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Del Mar College: 34% Increase in Graduation Rate with Nudge to Complete

Some of the most prominent challenges for the population of Hispanic students at Del Mar involve the fact that most of them are commuters and many are over the age of 25. This means that intervention programs to help students complete or transfer have to be precise and personalized in order to reach students who aren’t always on campus and to engage students who have competing obligations such as family and work.


At a Texas Community College Workshop hosted by Civitas Learning, Del Mar was inspired to coordinate a campaign to leverage the Illume Students application to make the most of their Title V grant work. They enabled Graduation Coaches to use Illume Students to identify students who needed the most support among those who had completed 75% of their degree. The Coaches looked at students with the lowest persistence probabilities and, using the Student Lists feature in Illume, they were able to identify each student by name in order to add precision to their efforts.


In Spring 2017, in addition to posting flyers and setting up a table at the student fair in order to get more students to come in to talk about a degree plan, Graduation Coaches were able to optimize their outreach efforts. They sent emails to students with high persistence predictions and they called students with low-to-moderate persistence predictions, inviting them in for a face-to-face meeting


The college exceeded its goal to increase applications for graduation by 5 percent. At the end the spring term, Del Mar announced a 34% increase in graduation rate and a 38% increase in awarded credentials. Being able to reach out to students individually and bring some of them in for conversations helped the Graduation Coaches learn that some some students had already completed their degrees and some needed advising to enroll for a few additional courses that might best optimize their time to completion.


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