Earlier this year Wonderlic teamed up with the Imagine America Foundation (IAF) to conduct the Educational Benchmark Study. This study was designed to identify the factors that influence educational outcomes. More than 3,500 students participated.
We found that student perceptions about the enrollment process, admissions representative, advisors, faculty, classes, and campus resources all play a vital role in affecting student engagement. We also found that there are a few simple things that all schools can do to drive engagement, and in turn, improve educational outcomes:
- Ensure that teachers know their students’ names. This small gesture can positively affect student opinions about the school and their courses. Our study found that students are more engaged in their classes and find their classes to be more interesting if the teachers simply know their names.
- Foster support systems that students need to succeed. To succeed is no small task; nor is it an individual one. Our study found that establishing and fostering student support systems drive engagement and educational outcomes. For example, we found that if advisors are focused on students’ individual needs and interests, and use such information to match students to their career interests, then students are more likely to be proud of their school and recommend it to others. When students feel like they have someone they can go to with their struggles, they are happier and more engaged in their program.
By improving certain school characteristics, your students will be happier, and you will likely see dramatic increases in engagement. Such improvements in engagement will, in turn, lead to better educational outcomes.
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