With growing concern about Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the US, colleges and universities are on high alert. Here’s how to keep your students informed. 

TL:DR

Students, parents, faculty and staff may have questions about Coronavirus, and your school should have the answers readily available for them. To provide information, colleges and universities can: 

  1. Add content from the CDC’s website to your website using an embed code (includes instructions and troubleshooting tips). 
  2. Add Web Chat to your site that can provide immediate answers questions about the virus, 24/7. (Request your free account here.) 
  3. Send proactive messages to your students via text, so they’re sure to see it. 
  4. Send email alerts. 
  5. Post updates on social media. 

What do students need to know? 

Students should be aware of the status of COVID-19 in their state, their community, and their school. There are several topics that students may have questions about, including: 

  • Basic information about Coronavirus, such as how it spreads and what the symptoms look like 
  • How to protect yourself 
  • What to do if you think you’re sick 
  • Travel risks 
  • Campus updates like class cancellations 
  • Best practices for self-quarantining and social distancing 
  • Who’s at risk? 
  • Mental health and coping with COVID-19 
  • What is NOT true about the coronavirus 
  • What your school is doing to keep everyone safe 

Many colleges and universities are moving to remote classes and asking students to leave campus, some for the rest of the semester. Important updates like this, as well as general information and updates about the virus, need to be communicated effectively. 

How can Colleges and Universities inform students about COVID-19? 

Campus-wide updates and safety information have likely already been posted on your school’s social media platforms, and sent out to students, staff and faculty in an email. And there are likely many questions flooding into the call center and email inboxes, asking what to do or looking for more information. 

To help alleviate this staff burden, provide up-to-date information about COVID-19, and ease the minds of your students in this tense time, schools can: 

1. Add content from the CDC to your website. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed a ‘microsite’ that shows all the latest information about COVID-19. With a simple snippet of code, you can add this to your school’s website and it will update in real-time whenever the CDC makes an update. 

2. Add a chatbot to your website to answer questions in real-time.

It’s one thing to provide this content for students to read through, or an email alert with information specific to your campus, but students — along with their parents, staff and faulty — still have lots of questions. One way to answer these questions without taking up hours of staff time, is to add Web Chat on your homepage. 

AdmitHub is offering free access to this helpful tool for any school that wants it. Request an account and you’ll receive more information, onboarding options, and instructions for implementation.

3. Proactively let students know about these resources. 

Students may be receiving emails about COVID-19 updates, but if you have additional information or resources (such as the microsite or web chat previously mentioned), you’ll want to be sure to point them in the right direction. The best way to reach today’s students is through text. And the best way to implement a text messaging platform, is to incorporate AI so that students can text back and receive immediate, accurate answers to their questions any time of the day. 

4. Send email alerts. 

Email is where you can send the most comprehensive information all in one go. However, don’t rely solely on email! We all know that not all emails are opened, and even when they do, they’re not often read all the way through. Just be sure to supplement this information with other channels like your website, social media, and text if you have it. 

5. Post updates on social media. 

Students often follow their school’s accounts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Snapchat and Tik Tok. Be sure to use these channels for any Coronavirus-related updates. On most platforms, you can even pin those specific posts to the top of your feed so it’s the first thing people see.

Each school is handling this crisis in the best way they know how. So while students across the country have questions, let’s make it as simple and straightforward for them as possible. 

To learn more and request your free COVID-19 chatbot, click here.