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Claflin U Connects Online Students with 24/7 Support Resources

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South Carolina's Claflin University is working with ed tech startup Upswing to offer a variety of support resources for its online students. The historically black institution is looking to better engage students and improve outcomes, according to Syed Hasnain, director of online education at the university.

"Claflin University was seeking an option to provide students with online tutoring, as well as tools to improve student retention. We were impressed by Upswing's solution — particularly their virtual assistant, Ana. We look forward to seeing how adding Upswing to our student support resources impacts outcomes in the coming year," he noted in a statement.

Upswing tools involved in the rollout include:

  • Online Student Engage, a 24/7 tutoring platform that will connect students with Claflin online tutors for online as well as in-person sessions with flexible scheduling;
  • Reviews of writing assignments: Students can submit coursework to Upswing to have it reviewed by a Claflin or Upswing tutor for content and structure, with feedback provided within 24-48 hours;
  • Ana, an SMS-based virtual assistant that answers questions, schedules sessions, and sends reminders and other mass communications to students via cell phone; and
  • An administrator dashboard that summarizes usage data to track student performance.

"Upswing is proud to be partnering with Claflin University to help execute their vision for expanding the ways they engage and support online students," said Melvin Hines, co-founder and CEO of Upswing. "Claflin University understands the importance of providing online students with a sense of confidence that help is there when they need it and making it a priority for them to succeed in earning their degrees."

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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