Skip to main content


Fostering Community for Remote Learners

Remote learners lag their peers in reaching critical milestones.

2 min read

Remote learners lag their peers in reaching critical milestones.


More than 2 million students will begin their first year at colleges and universities across the country this year — wide-eyed and eager to continue their education, cultivate meaningful connections, and ultimately prepare themselves for promising career opportunities after graduation. As they transition into this new chapter, however, data shows that not all of these students will reach the milestones necessary to make their college journeys successful.

In fact, only 59% of undergraduates at four-year universities will earn a bachelor’s degree within six years, and the rate is even lower for online programs. According to U.S. News & World Report, just 35% of students who entered an online bachelor’s program earned their degree in six years.

There are several reasons why online students do not successfully progress to graduation. Many will struggle as they find themselves on a steep learning curve, figuring out how to navigate the same newfound academic responsibilities as their peers but without the structure and accountability, a brick-and-mortar classroom often provides. And too often, students will tackle the challenges of financial hardships and other personal barriers alone and do not have a campus of peers, professors, and counselors to leverage for their success.

Fortunately, there is a solution, one that has emerged as a powerful and proven tool to remedy many of these problems faced by online students: holistic support and success team comprised of peers, advisors, coaches, and mentors.


To broaden opportunities for community and connection among online students, colleges and universities must rethink their existing programs and create
more impactful ways to serve their digital communities. Let’s explore three key strategies which have already demonstrated promise and have been proven to
improve success rates for online learners. Details can be found in the shareable.

  1. Strategy – Create a hub-and-spoke model for all students
  2. Strategy – Personalize based on needs, interests, and lifecycle
  3. Strategy – Use data to measure impact and areas for improvement


See Full Shareable

With more students demanding a meaningful return on investment, the time has never been better for universities to invest in academic and social programs designed to motivate, support, and encourage both short and long-term success for online students throughout the college lifecycle.


Explore more related to this topic: