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Flipping Student Services

Southeast Missouri State University aims to provide the same level of student services to online students as it does for its on-campus community.

This story appeared in the April 2013 digital edition of Campus Technology.

Administrators of the online program at Southeast Missouri State University wondered why student support services are so often geared to residential students, leaving online students at a disadvantage. In a move to better accommodate the needs of online students, Southeast Online has "flipped" the nature of student services. Here, Southeast Online administrators comment on their strategies.

How and why do you "flip" student services?

Courtesy of Southeast Missouri State University

"The concept...evolved from the need to provide high-quality student services to a growing number of online students.... We now refer online students to [video and web] resources...[so they can] formulate questions specific to their situation.... Then, they can spend their time [with advisers] more constructively."
--Robin Grebing, former director of Southeast Online programs

How do you target online students for these services?

Courtesy of Southeast Missouri State University

"We decided an online student was anyone who was declared in an online degree program and was attempting to complete all the requirements online. [These students] receive a web campus code we use to track them throughout their campus career."
--Chelsea Caile, online advising coordinator

How else do you use technology to serve online students?

Courtesy of Southeast Missouri State University

"We use technology in a variety of ways to reach out to our distant students...providing them with resources they can access anytime and anywhere...and by helping to create a sense of community and a connection to campus."
--Chelsea Caile

Editor's note: Robin Grebing and Chelsea Caile will present a breakout session, "Flipping Out: Using Technology to Transform Support Services for Distance Students," at Campus Technology Forum 2013 in San Diego, April 29-May 1.

About the Author

Mary Grush is Editor and Conference Program Director, Campus Technology.

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