How shifting to a relational approach can help promote student success: Interview

In a recent interview with EvoLLLution, Justin Smith (Saint Louis University) and Troy Hargrove (Saint Louis) discuss changes that institutions can make to shift from transactional interactions with learners to more relational interactions. Smith notes that asking more about why students are making requests—such as to drop courses—can help build relationships and provide insight into how an institution can increase retention. Smith and Hargrove also encourage building relationships by providing a listening ear for students and prioritizing relationships with adult learners to help them through their education journey. Smith notes that while virtual relationship building comes with challenges, their institution reaches out regularly to students and flags students who have not been active or who are having grade issues. Hargrove says that this approach has helped promote student success and make education accessible.