Building Successful Student Profiles

I recently presented at the Distance Education and Training Council Annual Conference, and there was quite a bit of talk about student profiles.  So, I ask you this…

1)     How important are student profiles in helping schools meet learner demands? 

2)     And if you believe these profiles can contribute to both student and institutional success, how do you even go about building them?

I believe there are both a tremendous need and an exciting opportunity to better understand your students.  How are they changing?  How can you create models that meet their needs?  And how can you communicate with them based on their needs? 

I happen to be one that believes student profiles are of absolute importance when it comes to providing your students a unique and productive experience.  And the most effective profiles are those that include information from across the student lifecycle.  Schools that not only build, but more importantly use these student profiles will be able to 1) recruit the right kinds of students, 2) quickly launch new programs, and 3) tailor offerings and delivery modes. 

Student profiles can encompass demographic, behavioral and psychological information.  For example, how old is the average student, how ready are they to enroll, what risk factors to they have, what programs are they most interested in, and what are their career goals?

I propose three steps that will help you gather the necessary data in order to build your successful student profiles:

  • Report on student activity from prospect to placement
  • Monitor student inflection points
  • Deliver education where and when students want it

Student profiles can be critical in analyzing where, when and how students can be most successful at your school.  By building a complete picture of each unique student, your school can best meet a particular student’s needs and the student can maximize the education experience.

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