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Less Than Half of Hispanic Students Surveyed Indicate Excitement to Kick Off Academic Year

Updated: Sep 28, 2022

Stressed man rubbing eyes behind his glasses while facing an open laptop

Student affairs and enrollment leaders understand that student success doesn’t end after move-in. In fact, a prudent approach is to adopt strategies that encourage student success beyond the campus census date. One great way to accomplish this is to check in with students on a regular basis and simply ask them how they are doing.

A Temperature Check is a part of EdSights’ SMS-powered outreach that informs an adaptive AI framework to identify students who may be at risk of not persisting based on their responses. These interactions help advisors prioritize outreach and intervention opportunities by listening to students in real-time rather than relying on static indicators like academic-based predictive models or lagging indicators such as classroom attendance or grades to help.

Insights Supporting Hispanic Serving Institutions

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month we have made a commitment to uncover meaningful insights that may help colleges and universities better support a population of students with unique needs, priorities, and challenges. Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that nearly half of all hispanic students are enrolled at a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). Our data team took a look at some macro trends across our numerous partners who are classified as Hispanic Serving Institutions. We analyzed responses from nearly 1,000 students across these campus partners over the past two terms and found a critical trend.

When asked, “How are you feeling about the start of the spring term/fall semester?” less than half of respondents indicated excitement. In fact, 1 in 4 indicated they were nervous or overwhelmed.

Supporting Hispanic Students on Campus

According a recent study, Barriers and Supports to College Aspiration Among Latinx High School Students in the Journal of Youth Development at the University of Pittsburgh, ​​the most common barriers impacting hispanic students are:

  • Lack of financial resources

  • Family responsibilities

  • Lack of teachers' support

  • Peer pressure, and systematic discrimination.

The most valuable resources mentioned by these students were: support from their parents, siblings, relatives and teachers.

With this information it is important for institutions to identify methods of reaching and supporting students and connect them to the people and resources on campus that they need for support. Latinos are more likely to be first-generation college students than any other racial or ethnic group. Given that family is a top resource for this population it is very possible that their lack of excitement at the beginning of the term has to do with the reality that their most trusted source of information may not know how to support them.

Leveraging Research to Drive Hispanic Student Success

Based on research by Dr. Vincent Tinto, EdSight’s framework identifies students who are at risk of not persisting at an institution based on four key drivers.

These main drivers include:

  • Academic Engagement

  • Financial Distress

  • Wellness

  • Engagement

The most common barriers impacting hispanic students align with these key drivers used in the EdSights framework. By engaging students with adaptive AI via interactions delivered through SMS text messaging, institutions have an opportunity to to encourage a sense of belonging. This approach also provides students with an additional trusted resource; their institutionally-branded chatbot that serves as a 24/7/365 contact that both proactively and reactively engages with them; connecting them with the people and resources they need to succeed. Additionally, the adaptive AI identifies students who are most at-risk of not persisting earlier than traditional methods.

Finally, The College Completion Fund for Postsecondary Student Success is an opportunity for colleges and universities that historically support black and brown students to implement new initiatives that support student persistence.

By Gil Rogers

Head of Marketing at EdSights

Gil is a recognized leader in higher education enrollment management having served in leadership roles at the University of New Haven (CT) as well as Director of Enrollment Marketing at Chegg, Director of Marketing at NRCCUA (now Encoura) and most recently as Executive Vice President at PlatformQ Education.

Gil has conducted numerous research studies on student engagement published by Inside Higher Ed, The Chronicle of Higher Education and presented at numerous regional and national conferences focused on student recruitment and engagement including the National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC), Ruffalo Noel Levitz National Conference, ACT Enrollment Planners Conference, TargetX Summit and more.



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