Texting is the Future for Higher Education. Who Would Have Thought?

Text messaging is revolutionizing the way we communicate – Sophorn Chay

PSU Admissions currently uses Mongoose to communicate with prospective students.

With the current population of incoming college applicants, the primary method of communicating is via text messages. What I proposed for my personal research project in my IS 4220.01 class, is PSU should recognize this trend, and use it to make the on boarding process easier for incoming students. Student callers exist, and I believe student texters should as well.

I first looked into the stress and anxiousness that surrounds the college application process. I wondered, what makes students the most overwhelmed? Thinking back to my personal experience, the answer is easy; information overload. Not only was I completely swamped by facts and figures, but I felt I couldn’t reach out to anyone at admissions. I didn’t know who to contact, and I definitely didn’t feel comfortable enough to just pick up the phone and start conversation. This led me to think- what if I was able to simply text a current PSU student at any time of the day?

Last semester, I explored the online disinhibition effect. When proposing this idea to Enrollment Management, I noted its relevance. Prospective students may engage in benign disinhibition, and feel more comfortable to disclose information, and ask questions they might not feel comfortable asking an administrator. Not only would potential PSU students feel more comfortable texting, but they would be able to get help at any point in the day.

These “student texters” would not be confined to the normal work hours of the day. Instead, prospective students would be able to receive help from morning, until dusk. There are obviously the most appropriate times to send messages and when to answer messages, but that determination would be at the student texter’s discretion.

I sat down with the director of Admissions today and discussed the possibility of this being implemented at PSU. Our meeting went really well, and if we can legally make it work, this will become a part of the PSU first year experience.

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