As college and university students transitioned to remote learning in early 2020, leadership was forced to make quick decisions to accommodate and support students virtually. The shift toward digitization wasn’t easy, and many students have found themselves lacking the resources needed to thrive in a remote environment. Some have experienced a drop in the quality of instruction received. A study by Gallup and the Lumina Foundation reported that 51% of currently enrolled students believe COVID-19 is “likely” or “very likely” to impact their ability to complete their degree. Other students face a myriad of challenges related to finances, understanding coursework, mental health, and access to personalized resources with 24/7 availability.
The Gallup/Lumina study reports that “Negative ratings and experiences are more common among students who have transitioned from a completely in-person to completely online instruction model.”
It’s tough to reproduce the in-person learning experience virtually. In the classroom, students can have discussions and form connections with classmates. Students can talk with their professor when a lecture ends or walk with them across campus as they head to their next class. Students are more likely to be engaged when there’s no camera to turn off or distraction at home.
The Disconnection Problem
Being thrown into a pandemic caused a lot of students to feel disconnected from peers, educators, campus services, and society in general. It’s difficult to foster connection when face-to-face communication isn’t an option. Disconnection hinders students’ sense of belonging and confidence in the future. Fortunately, colleges and universities have developed innovative ways to mitigate disconnection, like virtual study groups and office hours, online counseling services, and hybrid education models. But there’s still a long way to go.
There’s not a magic solution to solve the disconnection problem. It’s a lot of little things that, together, better equip students for success. It includes committed faculty, supportive and competent professors, career guidance, knowledgeable advisors, and the right technology (to name a few). At EVAN360, our focus is support and connection using the right technology.
The Completion Rate Problem
Completion rates are historically lower for first-generation, low-income, and minority students. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, “Many first-generation students are at greater risk of not persisting in or not completing credential programs because of such challenges as being less well prepared academically, having children of their own, and working full time while enrolled.” The Pell Institute conducted a study in 2018, reporting that only 11% of students from the lowest-income quartile earn a bachelor’s degree within six years compared to the 58% of students in the highest-income quartile.
Completion rates are low at many schools because students either don’t have access to the right resources or don’t know what resources are available. Many universities offer aid for low-income students to assist with bills, childcare, etc., but such programs are not widely known. Students with a job or a family usually aren’t able to study until they get off work or put kids to bed. At that point, tutoring centers are closed and there’s no option for after-hours support. It’s devastating when students are unable to complete their degree due to a lack of access to the right resources. There’s a lot of friction in the process of connecting to the right person for academic or financial support. At EVAN360, we want to change that.
Giving Students the Right Support at the Right Time
At EVAN360, we have a laser focus on connecting students to the right person for help right away. The app is designed to facilitate an immediate, live connection rather than scheduling appointments. Students can know exactly where to go for help with coursework, advising, financial services, and more. EVAN360 instills confidence in students—confidence that their college or university will give them the support they need to thrive, every single time.
One App for Every Need
- Advising – Connect to the right advisor without having to schedule an appointment and get questions answered fast.
- Course questions – Connect with the right TA or professor for help with coursework.
- Mentorship – Connect with mentors or alumni for support, advice, or career-related questions.
- Financial services – Get support regarding financial aid, scholarships, work study programs, and more.
- Tutoring – Build a network of peer tutors who are available 24/7. Make it part of a work-study program and use gamification to hold people accountable.
- Career advisory – Talk with an advisor, get help with resumes and interview prep, conduct mock interviews via video chat, and more.
- Campus services – Get help with anything and everything—disability services, international student services, transfer student resources, veteran services, family life services, writing services, library assistance, key cards and IDs, dining, parking permits, recreation centers, and more.
- Health and safety – Get help with anything health and safety-related—counseling and mental health services, campus safety, recovery services, primary and urgent care, nutrition services, personal support, and more.
- Technology – Get help with PCs, Wi-Fi, printing labs, email accounts, course-specific online programs, and more.
EVAN360 is customizable depending on individual campus offerings and student needs. It’s easy to use and accessible 24/7 from any smartphone or PC. It also adds back the person-to-person communication that was lost during COVID-19 as students can connect to the right support via chat, phone call, or video call. Whether students are back in the classroom, receiving instruction online, or balancing family or work with their studies, EVAN360 will empower them to get what they need to succeed.