Texas Tech University

News and Events

Student Support and Enrollment Services

by Justin R Louder, EdD, Associate Vice Provost

When a campus-based Texas Tech student seeks assistance from financial aid, student business services, or any number of our student services offices on campus, they can can make an appointment or stop by in person and talk to someone. But when one of our online or regional campus students needs help, they are often just left with email support. As many of our online and distance Red Raiders work full-time jobs, it is hard for them to take time away from work to make a phone call when they have a question about a registration hold on their account or a question about their bill. The majority of these students aren't able to log into Blackboard or register for classes until family and work obligations are taken care of—and that is often late at night. Questions or issues may take a few days to be resolved because of this time difference. 

With that in mind, TTU Worldwide eLearning, along with the Office of the Provost, the IT Division and others, have collaborated to provide 24/7 student support services to our distance and online Red Raiders. These services include providing basic program information, registration and advising help, billing help, financial aid services, and IT and Blackboard support via phone, web-chat, or email channels. Now, for instance, students working full-time and attending classes at TTU at Waco can have the same support services as someone taking classes in Holden Hall.

eLearning Student Services went live in December, right before the semester break, and we have already helped a number of students with questions about their tuition bill, getting access to Blackboard courses and many other issues. As of the first of February, 100% of the support calls the student services group received have been resolved. See Figure One for other metrics.

In January, the second part of the student services project went live: enrollment services. Enrollment services provides prospective online or distance students assistance with admissions and answers to recruitment questions. Once the prospective student fills out one of the contact forms (as seen on the homepage and every program page of the Worldwide eLearning website, as well as every regional site website), these enrollment coaches will reach out to them within hours (sometimes minutes) to answer basic questions about online programs at TTU. The coaches then give these prospective students contact information for full-time program coordinators or advisors associated with specific programs. This allows the prospective student to receive a basic overview of online programs before they contact advisors. The enrollment coaches then follow up with the student at pre-determined intervals to help the student further navigate the admissions and enrollment process. 

In the first two weeks since launch, we have helped 174 prospective students, sent out 463 emails, and logged 177 phone calls (Figure Two.) Most of the students contacted were from Texas (68%) but there were also prospective students from New Mexico, Florida, California and Washington, as well as at least one prospective student in Belgium, Taiwan, Dubai, UAE, Hong Kong, India and Africa! Each of these interactions are aimed at helping TTU grow our online and distance enrollments.

If you would like more information about the Student Services project,  please feel free to check out the support portal on the eLearning website and if you have any questions about the admissions and recruitment portion of the project please feel free to email eLearning@ttu.edu.

Student Services
Figure One: Student Services Metrics (Click for Larger Version)
TTU and Blackboard Enrollment Status
Figure Two: Enrollment Services Metrics (Click for Larger Version)