Over the years, I have heard countless complaints about the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of student communication systems in higher education. People are tired of students claiming they never received the university’s communication or that they accidentally deleted it. They wish there was a way to confirm that a student actually read a message or a method for students to submit a simple reply.
I have been working on a solution to these common problems, The Communications Center, which has been successfully implemented at multiple institutions including the University of Nevada, Reno.
The Communication Center provides two complimentary features that are directly tied to the delivered PeopleSoft Communication Generation process:
- The Communications Center uses communications generated through the delivered ComGen process, allowing the institution to store them in Student Self-Service. The institution can store a copy of the entire message for later retrieval. Or for those messages that have standard content, a simple header of the message title and date can be stored.
- The Communications Center allows institutions to “push” messages to students within Self-Service. Institutions can also set up the option for students to respond to the message by using predefined responses or free form text.
I asked the University of Nevada how the Communications Center has improved overall student communications, and here are some of the highlights:
- It has allowed students to retrieve a copy of their admissions letter for reprinting at any time.
- It has allowed the Cashier’s Office to remind students to sign-up for direct deposit.
- It has allowed the Office of Admissions and Records to push the yearly FERPA notification to the student body and track which students have acknowledged receiving and reading it.
- All e-bills emailed to students are now stored so they can easily reprint them as needed.
Want to learn more? I will be co-presenting a Case Study session on this topic at Alliance 2012 along with Jessica Muehlberg, Student Records Module Lead at University of Nevada Reno, and Megan Hall, Senior Project Manager at National University. Our session (#30068) – “Student Messaging – A Panel Discussion” – will be held on March 20 from 3:45 to 4:45 pm. Please join us.