Fayetteville State University Becomes 14th HBCU to Partner with Upswing to Provide Academic Support

Industry: Education

Fayetteville State University’s Use of Upswing’s Education Tools Helps University Maintain Personal Connection with Students

AUSTIN, Texas (PRUnderground) March 4th, 2020

Upswing, an education technology firm, is partnering with Fayetteville State University (FSU), a distinguished historically black college and university (HBCU) in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and Upswing’s 14th HBCU partner, to connect the university’s students with integrated student support resources such as live, online tutoring and advising, and 24/7 engagement services to increase student’s success rates.

“People retain students, not technology. We selected Upswing as our education technology provider because their set of education tools offer us the best chance to increase positive student outcomes while maintaining a deep personal connection with our students,” says Dr. Bonnie Grohe, Director of Faculty Development and Online Education at Fayetteville State University.

Upswing Helps FSU Support and Retain Students

As FSU’s education partner, Upswing will create an integrated student services platform helping the university engage, support, and retain students, including online, nontraditional, and first-generation learners.

Upswing focuses on increasing student achievement for diverse populations, especially in rural communities, by scaling student services, supporting 24/7 online tutoring, and optimizing student engagement with an SMS-based, people-backed virtual assistant.

“Upswing’s services are available for every student at FSU. Anyone with access, including tutors, and advisers can meet virtually with students to provide advising and academic support,” says Dr. Grohe.

Grohe says Upswing’s online tutors help the university continue to build its relationships with students using methods that are convenient for modern learners.

“Nontraditional students have very hectic schedules and don’t always have the time to seek support.  Our mission is to make it as easy as possible for students to receive help when they need it most, at their convenience,” says Melvin Hines, co-founder and CEO of Upswing, and a former HBCU professor.

Upswing’s Integrated Student Services Enhances Student Achievement

Upswing’s solution for FSU includes a user-friendly, online advising, and virtual learning classroom environment easily accessible to students with the look and feel of social media platforms to help increase usage.

Through the integrated services platform, students can connect with both FSU advisors and tutors, as well as Upswing tutors and receive academic support, tutor session feedback, and analyses.

Upswing’s Integrated Student Services platform ensures that FSU’s students have the flexibility to schedule tutoring remotely around their schedules while improving the reach of the university’s student support services.

Ana Virtual Assistant Connecting FSU Students with Success

FSU students also benefit from Upswing’s SMS-based virtual assistant, Ana.

Ana mimics the experience of a personal adviser through automated nudging sequences, two-way conversational interactions, and sentimental analyses, and acts as a mass communication tool to reach students on their phones.

Students will be using Ana daily to get their questions answered, receive reminders about important dates such as financial aid deadlines, and schedule live support sessions on their mobile devices.

More importantly, Ana will be a new channel to engage with FSU students opening up lines of communication and creating a space students feel comfortable expressing concerns and receive motivational nudges.

These ongoing interactions build trust in the virtual assistant as an extension of their relationship with and a sense of belonging at Fayetteville State University.

“Our students can use Ana to get help with tools and resources they might not have previously known about, and use them regularly for better academic support, and improved outcomes,” says Dr. Grohe.

Upswing’s integrated student service platform provides FSU administrators with access to an easy-to-use dashboard that aggregates and summarizes usage data to track student performance (even creating alerts or reminders), giving them in-depth knowledge that helps them make informed decisions around student success and retention.

“It’s an honor for Upswing to partner with Fayetteville State University — a distinguished historically black university located just minutes from where Upswing first began in Durham, North Carolina — to provide their students with the educational tools they need to cross the finish line, earn their degrees and create a pathway for their success,” says Hines. “Diversity among college graduates is crucial because it makes us a better formed, positive, and successful society.”

About Upswing

Upswing is an Austin, Texas-based online student engagement organization focused on removing the barriers to degree equity. Learn more about Upswing at https://upswing.io/

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