How to Minimise Student DropoutsFeb 07, 2019
After the first few months, at the end of a first module you might inevitably have some students drop out.
You can’t altogether avoid it, but you can take many steps as a school owner to minimise dropout and, at the same time fill in vacant places.
This is my TOP 10 ACTION LIST to minimise student dropouts and ensure continuity of income:
- Don’t sit back once a student signs up:
Getting new students is hard work, but the real work only starts when you have them in class. Check back on your original promises on a monthly basis, and make sure you are delivering on them each month.
- Connect with students outside the classroom:
Make sure you provide additional value for their home practice online and a platform for them to ask questions. It doesn’t matter that not everyone will use it, but those who will, will love it and appreciate it – @edmodo is excellent for this.
If you teach kids, use the same approach, connect with parents, tell them what you did in class and give them ideas to practice at home – I use @classdojo.
- Don’t be afraid to address differences openly:
When someone misbehaves, it always has a reason. Try to find some time to connect with them individually to understand what bothers them. At times it’s good to address some issues with the whole class so that everyone is on the same page. As a last resort, you can propose a group change. Sometimes it works magic!
- Ask for feedback:
We have our students fill in a self-evaluation sheet after the first three months with us. They look back at the previous months and document how they felt they have progressed (in comparison to where they would like to get). Then they mark how good they feel at our school. They can also highlight things they love and things they would change about our school.
- Identify “dropout-risk” and act on it on time:
A month before the module ends we mark “dropout-risk” students and give them extra attention. A call, a private chat can help see how we can solve the situation. This term we have introduced a “Happy Student – Happy Teacher” project, where we identified students who don’t feel well in class and acted on each one of them separately.
- Offer in-person meetings outside classroom time:
Before the end of each trimester students or their parents can reserve an appointment for a meeting with their teacher. This is a great time to connect and also an opportunity to identify issues. Make sure you follow-up on your promises made during these meetings.
- Don’t be afraid to let people go:
Sometimes your clients are not the right ones for you. If they decide to leave, thank them for their business, and don’t insist too much. If you choose that they shouldn’t continue with you, make sure your communication is clear and not offensive. You still might want to do business with them in the future.
- Check on your teachers:
Make sure you establish a way to receive regular feedback from and about your teachers. Guide them and help them to become better professionals. That’s essential for you to reach your goals.
- Maintain a waiting list:
When you are unable to offer someone a place when they are interested, make sure you document their contact details and references. Get back to them once you have a fireplace, even if months later. Some of them will be happy to take it and become your student.
Keep a warm email list. Make sure you have a funnel for people to sign up (on your website) and update our followers on new openings.
+1. Maintain a great community:
Sometimes it’s not only your product or service but connections: friendships made with your help are what keep people together.
Offer a forum and events outside of classroom hours, and bring connections to the next level.
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