Schoolcraft Foundation:
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Schoolcraft bands together to lend students a hand

By Dawn Dyer Magretta, CFRE

Not many expected the pandemic would have such a significant impact in enrollment for 2020-2021.   At that point, the education landscape had changed considerably.  Two-year institutions across the nation lost a total of 540,000 students over the past year (10% decrease).  Schoolcraft was no different. 

Student on phone

In spring 2020, Schoolcraft College knew students could use a helping hand. As the list of students putting their education on pause grew, staff was left wondering what they could do next.

“We thought at the very least we could reach out to lend some encouragement and support,” said Dean of New Student Experiences, Stacey Stover. “What we didn’t realize is how this would allow us to help out students in situations we didn’t even know about.”

What started off as a few check-in calls quickly grew into a campus wide effort. As spring 2021 approaches, plans are already set in place to continue the calls – a full year since they first began.

With encouragements from the college’s president, Schoolcraft faculty and staff were asked to sign up for slots to call students to check-in or just say “hey, you’ve got this.”

In total, 94 faculty and staff members, including colleagues here at the Foundation, signed up. Many going beyond their first round of 25 calls, to reach a whopping 3,400 students and counting. 

“An effort like this reminds everyone why we’re here,” said Stover. “And why we do what we do for our students.”

Student on phone

As calls continued, the College was able to learn how students were fairing in the middle of an unprecedented experience. They discovered students who were in need of assistance, or on the brink of pausing their education, and were able to connect them to the resources needed to stay in school.

In some cases, students were connected with the school’s student relations department and eligible for a refund that helped them complete the semester. “Schoolcraft College is committed to the success of its students,” said Stover. “Students at risk of not returning means we didn’t achieve our goal. To us, that is unacceptable. So, I think these calls and this program will stick – even after the pandemic.”