Academic Advisors Engaged 72% of Text Recipients at Olney Central College

How a small community college uses conversational text messaging powered by Modern Campus Signal Vine to improve its academic advising program and reach more students

About Olney Central College







academic programs



full-time retention rate

Communication with students has become so easy and is a great time saver. Rather than many calls and emails over time, we can text a student and get an immediate response similar to a face-to-face conversation. It saves hours of reaching out and waiting time. The implementation was not difficult and the staff at Signal Vine are amazing to work with!

Andi PampeAssistant Dean of Student Services

The Challenge

OCC received a Title III Strengthening Institutions federal grant, which included an objective to improve its academic advising services.

Advising staff all agreed that they needed to tackle one major challenge: communicating with students. Most students didn't regularly check their email, and many never listened to their voicemails. Thus, staff had no reliable way of reminding students about upcoming appointments, deadlines or incomplete paperwork. 

Implementing Signal Vine

OCC staff decided to start using Signal Vine for three major areas: advising, nursing and a combined “support staff” program, which included financial aid, front-line staff and records.

Staff note that Signal Vine's segmenting feature has been critical to the program's success. Advisors can only see students in their caseloads, which avoids confusion. Also, segmentation allows advisors to text personal reminders, midterm and progress reports, and other information personalized to each student.

More recently, staff have branched out their programs, dividing the “support staff” program into three separate programs. Further, the team has created a program for the retention coordinator and recruiter. 

The Results

Since staff began texting students, students are far more comfortable reaching out for help. In a way, texting “disarms” students before they even get to campus. Staff have seen increases in the number of students who seek out help on campus because they’ve already formed connections with staff.  

Staff wanted to see if they were meeting the goal of their Title III Strengthening Institutions grant, so they used Signal Vine to send out a survey — asking students how they felt about recent changes made by the advising office. The results were overwhelmingly positive; 86% of students said they were satisfied with the recent changes, including the use of text messages. Many students also noted how much they appreciate being able to text their advisors any day, any time. 

Signal Vine has produced transformational changes within student services at OCC. With the platform's blended messaging approach, we're building stronger relationships with students.

Ashley BigardTitle III Advising Specialist
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