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The Future of Student Services Will Be Decided By Today’s First Graders. Susan Hallenbeck, Ph.D. Product Manager, Student Datatel, Inc. The entering class of 2020 was born in 2002. This was probably the last year of the Millennial cohort (which started in 1982)

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the future of student services will be decided by today s first graders

The Future of Student Services Will Be Decided By Today’s First Graders

Susan Hallenbeck, Ph.D.Product Manager, StudentDatatel, Inc.


The entering class of 2020

was born in 2002

This was probably the last year of the Millennial cohort (which started in 1982)

We don’t know what the next cohort will be called yet…

u s public non public hs graduates
U.S. Public & Non-Public HS Graduates

Source: Knocking at the College Door, 2008


On the other hand…

Source: National Center for Education Statistics Projections of Education Statistics to 2014 (September, 2005)

the millennials unique cohort characteristics
The MillennialsUnique Cohort Characteristics
  • Sheltered
  • Special
  • Confident
  • Team-Oriented
  • Conventional
  • Pressured
  • Achieving

Source: Millennials Go to College (2nd Ed.), by Neil Howe & William Strauss, 2007

the millennials protected sheltered
The Millennials—Protected/Sheltered
  • Perception of children shifted with this generation
  • Parents saw school and societal violence, disappearing children, and child predators as real threats
  • Children take fewer physical risks, have less unstructured time
the millennials special
The Millennials—Special
  • Parents and family life focused on the children
  • Parents are more involved with their children’s lives and decisions
    • 54% of parents report spending more time with their kids each week than their parents spent with them at the same age

Source: Millennials Go to College (2nd Ed.), by Neil Howe & William Strauss, 2007

the millennials confide nt
The Millennials—Confident
  • Millennials are optimistic, and parents seem intent on keeping them that way
  • 1.9M Google hits for “teenagers” + “confidence”
  • In 2006, 78.2% of female teenagers said they were ‘definitely’ or ‘pretty sure’ they would achieve their ideal jobs (65.5% for males)
the millennials team oriented
The Millennials—Team-Oriented
  • Expect group projects, used to playing on teams
  • Peer pressure is usually positive
  • Social networking reflects their passion for staying connected
  • Believe that people should be concerned about others and respect one another
the millennials conventional
The Millennials—Conventional
  • Very close ties to parents
  • Share important information, feel they can confide in parents
  • 76% of teens say their values are “very” or “mostly” similar to those of their parents
the millennials conventional1
The Millennials—Conventional
  • Believe that government, teachers & other authority figures have the answers
  • Value traditions and rituals
  • 61% of college freshmen say they pray weekly; 28% pray daily*

*Source: The Spiritual Life of College Students, HERI (2004), available at:

the millennials pressured
The Millennials—Pressured
  • 53% of GenX parents say they push their kids harder to do well in school than their parents did
  • 75%of parents and 81% of students strongly agree/agree that “Having a college degree is more important today than it was for my generation/my parents’ generation”

Source: Millennials Go to College research (2007)

the millennials pressured1
The Millennials—Pressured
  • Want to avoid making mistakes
    • Academic major
    • Career
  • Not interested in “winging it”
  • Concentrate on résumé-building
  • Tend to have long-term plans for their lives
the millennials achieving
The Millennials—Achieving
  • Want/need lots of feedback
  • Expect to be rewarded
  • Want to be challenged
  • Until 2005, SAT scores showed steady increases for Millennial cohorts
millennials not just students
Millennials—Not Just Students…

By 2020, the oldest Millennials will be 38…

  • The primary cohorts among parents of college students will be Millennials and Generation X
what is it about online gaming
What is it about online gaming?
  • Fast-paced
  • Highly interactive
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Socially engaging
from knowledge to search
From “Knowledge” to “Search”

“We’ve reached the point in our cultural adaptation to computing and communication technology that the younger generations are so empowered they are impatient and ready to jettison institutions most of the rest of us think of as essential, central, even immortal.

They are ready to dump our schools.”

- Robert Cringely

communication patterns are changing
Communication patterns are changing







9 out of 10teens use Social Networking sites to keep in touch with those they see frequently

it s about keeping it real
It’s about “keeping it real”
  • Emotional
  • Unpredictable
  • Always different
  • Colorful characters
  • Authentic
where are students going for info
Where are Students Going for Info?
  • Turning to social networks
  • Younger audiences trust peer networks over professional marketers
  • They will create extensive communities and seek information from these networks…even though they have never met IRL
social media generational differences
Social Media & Generational Differences

As customers, Gen X-ers and Gen Y-ers are more volatile and high-maintenance than any other generation in history. They are voracious in their desire for immediate information and have sophisticated behavioral approaches to filtering that information, no matter how many sources it comes from.

Paul Gillin, The New Influencers (2007)

over 300 million accounts worldwide
Over 300 Million accounts worldwide…

…and over 45 million UNIQUE visitors in October, 2007


“I used to use Instant Messenger, but now I mostly use Facebook to communicate with people. I use email for, like, reaching my coaches or uncles – older people. Otherwise it’s either my cellphone or Facebook.”

-- Emily Siegel, 16, Alexandria, VA

Source: The Washington Post Magazine, March 16, 2008


Technorati tracks over 112 MILLION blogs

sample blogs
Sample Blogs

8,979 results for “college admissions”


Seeking authentic voices

…One of my seniors is trying to decide between ABC University and University of XYZ. Both great schools. But she is worried that XYZ is out in the boonies and that she will be missing some opportunities. So we start looking at what opportunities she is seeking and how to check this out. We checked both schools…. XYZ had blogs...students writing about their experiences at college.


[The XYZ blogger] just happened to blog about a couple of things that were key to my student:

  • Internships—what are the opportunities…
  • Grad school—specifically getting into an MSW--again [she] helps make real that you can study anything and still go into an MSW…
  • Residence halls—my student has been led to believe that the residence halls may be party places....but [she] blogs about the different residence halls and offers up her opinion.
  • Now, I do not know if my student will take XYZ over ABC, but that is not the point. The point is that she has found authentic voices to explore her interests and concerns through.

Source: NACAC listerv, April, 2008


48% of Internet users have visited video-sharing sites

  • Daily traffic to such sites has doubled in one year
  • 15% of respondents said they had visited such a site the previous day
student life videos
Student Life Videos
  • Short, to the point
  • Probably aimed at prospective students
  • Could also be useful during student activity fairs, etc.
e commerce and lifestyle retail
E-Commerce and Lifestyle Retail
  • Amazon, iTunes, Netflix
    • Predictive
    • Adaptive
    • Based on collaboration filters
    • Uses the community to help drive sales
the key theme for social networking is
The key theme for social networking is…

Collaboration and communication

students first
Students First…
  • Build, maintain and reinforce community
  • Use technology to enhance on-line and off-line relationships
    • Blogs
    • Portfolios
    • Discussion forums
    • Online personas
    • And keep it highly interactive
students first1
Students First…
  • Use learning communities, first-year experience programs
  • Provide frequent feedback, inside and outside the classroom
students first2
Students First…
  • Concentrate on the future – “Here’s where we will take you”
  • Customized communication – keep it personal from admissions prospect to graduation
  • Continually demonstrate the value and benefit for the individual(WIIFM?)
remember demographic issues
Remember Demographic Issues
  • Increasing college participation from lowest two quintiles of SES
    • Potentially underprepared
    • Will need extra guidance and advising, increased learning support services
  • Customer service expectations
and then the parents
And Then the Parents…
  • Remember that Millennial and Gen-X parents will be the norm…
  • Students and parents will likely demonstrate a lot of the same characteristics and expectations
helicopter parents
Helicopter Parents…

…becoming personal trainers

“I tend to use the phrase ‘parents as personal trainers.’ It’s more than just hovering.

In deans’ offices, it’s much more common to meet a student and have a parent sitting there join the meeting as well.

The student says: ‘I invited my parents to the meeting because I think it would be good for them to hear how I am doing.’

- Fred Wood, Vice Provost, UC Davis

nsse results parental involvement
NSSE Results – Parental Involvement
  • 13% of first-year, 8% of senior-year students reported parents frequently intervened on their behalf
  • Both first-years and seniors had ‘frequent’ contact with parents/guardians, and pattern of contact was consistent
nsse results parental involvement1
NSSE Results – Parental Involvement
  • Students with ‘helicopter’ parents…
    • Reported higher levels of engagement & more frequently using deep learning activities
    • Had greater satisfaction with their college experience
    • Reported greater gains on several desired college outcomes
    • Had significantly lower grades…
recommendations for parents
Recommendations for Parents
  • Show/demonstrate the social aspects and outcomes of your college as well as the academic
    • How will their children fit in?
    • What social/networking opportunities exist?
    • What are the professional/grad school attendance rates?
    • Career opportunities/achievements of graduates?
recommendations for parents1
Recommendations for Parents
  • Find a way to deal with FERPA issues
    • Develop a streamlined waiver process
  • Review curriculum – does it address career preparation/grad school prep concerns of parents and students?
  • Emphasize career counseling services
recommendations for parents2
Recommendations for Parents
  • Be aware of financial concerns
    • Be prepared to demonstrate ROI
    • Show concrete benefits
  • Parents will increasingly demand accountability and transparency
  • Parents expect real-time results, customer service
they re on their way will you be ready
They’re on their way…will you be ready?

Susan Hallenbeck, Ph.D.Product ManagerDatatel, Inc.