SOWELA Technical Community College Re-Engaged Students After Hurricanes and COVID-19

How a public college leveraged Modern Campus Message to re-enroll 46 otherwise unresponsive students

About SOWELA Technical Community College







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Students are on their phones. With nuanced text messaging and a clean re-enrollment process, we quickly supported students in their desire to return and complete their credential. Texting was incrementally less work and had a much higher ROI in terms of time, dollars, and staff engagement.

Allison DeringDirector of Enrollment Management and Financial Aid

The Challenge

Fall 2019 conversion was very strong and leaders were excited for continued success for Fall 2020, despite the challenges of COVID. However, on August 27, 2020, the week after classes began, Category 4 Hurricane Laura hit the campus and did significant damage forcing the campus to close and move fully online. The culmination of the two events resulted in enrollment being significantly impacted.

To re-engage students who were unable to return in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 and were unresponsive to several email outreaches, Allison Dering, Director of Enrollment Management and Financial Aid, did a postcard campaign to 1,566 students. The postcard included a $500 scholarship grant through which 12 students responded and ultimately registered.


The Solution

Dering turned to Modern Campus Message to try a different approach: texting. Each student received a personalized text asking them if they would like to return. Over the next three days, 46 students responded and ultimately registered for classes.

Not only are 46 students back on track with completing their credentials, SOWELA has garnered over $170,000 in tuition.

SOWELA uses text messaging regularly to engage students through the application and enrollment process. “This year we will continue to expand our texting outreach to students in a coordinated, meaningful way for the benefit of both our students and staff,” Dering says.

Discover additional ways you can use text messaging to connect students with campus resources, extend limited staff resources and prevent stop-outs in our free guide:


How Text Messaging Supports Every Stage of the Higher Education Journey - download now

About Modern Campus

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