As higher education institutions continue to shift towards online learning, it is important to recognise the benefits of a comprehensive online student support ecosystem. This ecosystem includes a range of support services, including academic advising, mental health counselling, financial aid assistance, and career services, all of which are accessible to students online.
Research has shown that students who receive support services are more likely to persist and graduate from their institutions. According to a study conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, students who participated in support services were more likely to complete their programs than those who did not. In addition, students who received academic advising services were more likely to enrol in courses that were relevant to their goals and complete their programs on time.
Online student support services have become increasingly important in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many students have had to adapt to a new learning environment while dealing with additional stressors, such as financial instability, family responsibilities, and mental health challenges. Online support services can provide students with a sense of community, connection, and assistance that can help them overcome these challenges and succeed in their academic pursuits.
A comprehensive online student support ecosystem can improve student retention, engagement, and well-being in several ways. First, it can provide students with personalised support that addresses their specific needs and challenges. For example, online academic advising can help students select courses that align with their career goals, while online mental health counselling can provide students with the emotional support they need to manage stress and anxiety.
Second, an online student support ecosystem can help students feel connected to their institutions and peers. This can lead to increased engagement and a sense of belonging, which are important factors in student success. Online support services, such as peer mentoring programs and student organisations, can allow students to connect with their peers and develop relationships that can last beyond their academic careers.
Finally, an online student support ecosystem can promote student well-being by providing resources and services that address their physical, emotional, and mental health. This can include online wellness programs, access to health care services, and mental health counselling.
In conclusion, a comprehensive online student support ecosystem is crucial for improving student retention, engagement, and well-being. Institutions should prioritise the development of online support services and resources that address the diverse needs of their student population. By doing so, institutions can provide their students with the support they need to succeed academically and personally, both during and beyond their time in higher education.
Want to see how Vygo can help improve student retention, engagement, and well-being at your institution? Book a demo today to learn more about our comprehensive support system, personalised approach, and analytics tools. Contact Vygo now.