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InsideTrack Coaches give students a leg up with Up Next

There’s no doubt that mobile phones have become our go-to lifeline. We rely on them to make lists, find our way around town, look up the hottest new restaurant and keep up with friends and family. Ironically, the last thing we use them for is, well, a phone call. That’s why connecting with students via text is an integral component of InsideTrack’s customizable and scalable coaching programs.

It was this text-savvy approach to student support that made InsideTrack Coaches a perfect fit for Up Next. A text-based campaign offered through Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher initiative, Up Next provides personal coaching and support for students starting their college journey. InsideTrack partnered with Up Next by providing coaches to text with students.

Coaches invited to support the initiative didn’t hesitate to jump on board.

“It sounded like such a cool, new, innovative partnership that we had an opportunity to contribute to,” explained Natalie Christiansen, an InsideTrack Operations Manager. “Plus, it fits right in with my passion for aiding students during the transition time from high school to college. Those first few weeks of college can be an especially vulnerable time.”

Bill Muller, an InsideTrack Enrollment Coach, agreed. “I was thrilled to be asked to participate in this project. It was exhilarating to work with first-generation college students and be able to make such a profound impact. I wish I had something like this when I was starting college,” he said.

Interactive technologies boost student success

“I think this shows what a viable channel for communication text can be for students,” said Ben Smith, an InsideTrack Success Coach.

Our coaches regularly provide text-based coaching through our customizable uCoach® platform. Featuring multichannel communication capabilities, uCoach optimizes student engagement, generates valuable, measurable insights on the student experience and enables the delivery of highly personalized support at scale.

With uCoach, we’ve found that coaching using SMS is exponentially more successful at engaging hard-to-reach students.

“The data shows that texting works well across every demographic and positive results are only increasing,” explained Micah Wheeler, an InsideTrack Success Coach. “It’s particularly a good way to get people on board in the initial phases of the coaching relationship – to get the conversation started.”

“These types of nonsynchronous but open communication channels have a positive influence on student decision-making,” added Christiansen. “When working with Up Next, my coaching skills came into play with a student who was thinking of taking some time off of school. Helping her process through the pros and cons of taking a break helped that student realize that staying the course was the better option.

“Even the quicker, faster exchanges have a lot of impact on the students,” Christiansen reflected.


Higher education and technology go together like peanut butter and jelly – stay up to date on the latest trends in edtech through the Digital Learning Network and their regular #DLNchat

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