Adam Binkerd at Indiana Wesleyan has helped create one of the leading engines that supports online and adult students. Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, Indiana Wesleyan has transformed into a flexible, multi-platform institution with both a brick and mortar campus and comprehensive online programs. Adam joins RNL’s Scott Jeffe to talk about what Indiana Wesleyan has learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit right as the institution was engaged in a comprehensive review of its services. They’ve actually seen growth during this time, and attention to students as human beings is crucial to this success.
Adam Binkerd’s suggestions for serving students during this challenging time:
- Be flexible, and embrace change. Be informed by data, implement quickly and be ready to make changes. This entrepreneurial spirit has been lacking in higher education, and if you treat your institution more like a startup, you’ll be agile and able to adapt.
- Students want authenticity, not necessarily perfection. If you focus on the meaning and the purpose, and be “real” with students, you’ll have greater success.
- Reach out with personal connections. The best institutions have reached out personally to students during this challenging time. (IWU talked to over two thirds of students personally in just a few weeks).
- Speed up with change, but slow down with personal attention to students. Policies that have been inflexible need to adapt in an interrupted world. If you ask questions before just executing policy on students, you’ll keep them engaged and enrolled.
- Do research on both retained students and those who left. You’ll learn a lot from those who didn’t continue, and help fill gaps in your student engagement, services and platforms.
Catch Adam’s presentation at the RNL National Conference: register today and join us for this virtual event!