Engaging alumni is of paramount importance for institutions these days. In the current educational scenario where the old, conventional systems gathering dust are thrust into oblivion by dynamic, distinctive, and unique techniques, alumni are a powerful weapon in an organization’s arsenal that can yield results of unprecedented value. Ranging from mentoring to fundraising, scholarships to networking, many aspects of an educational establishment can be tweaked to suit the needs of the students with the alumni’s guidance and support. If the alumni are engaged, enticed, and entertained genuinely, their power, connections, and experience can be harnessed to create wonders in education’s ever-growing, ever-evolving realm.
The alumni engagement programs are spawned across various areas. They are primarily categorized into Alumni-Institution, Alumni-Student, and Alumni-Alumni programs. Based on the proven BEHA (Build-Engage-Help-Ask) Framework, we’ve designed 13 Engagement Programs to suit the requirements of every institution.
Let’s delve deeper into some of the engagement programs, here in this article –
Alumni Services Program (ASP)
This is a program that ticks all the boxes regarding the services that an institution can provide to its alumni. Alumni aspiring to pursue their master’s or planning to move abroad need a Letter of Recommendation, Character, and Migration certificates. Still, they need to find a way to afford to visit the premises owing to their busy schedules.
Facilitate easy processing of the required documents by bringing alumni relation cell and admission departments under one roof. The alumni can skip through the struggle of formalities by simply requesting the same on the alumni platform, and the requested documents can be posted or made available on the premises for the alumni to collect.
Also, some alumni might want to avail themselves of libraries for preparation for their upcoming exams, sports facilities to relax and recharge, and hostels for short visits to the town/city. To streamline the inflow, you can issue Digital IDs, Alumni cards for frequent visitors, QR codes, and unique IDs for the alumni who visit the campus for a specific period.
Appoint a dedicated Alumni Officer who supervises the coordination between the institution’s various departments to function smoothly. Think of this as an extension of the services you provided to alumni as students. The alumni would be willing to pay the tariffs for their hostel accommodation, which won’t burden them. Looking after alumni can be rewarding for the institution in the long run!
Admission Ambassador Program (A2P)
The prospect of admissions is a double-edged sword. The herculean task is selecting students who resonate with the institution’s core values and making the admitted students feel welcomed and heard.
The esteemed admissions officers and deans will complete the bureaucratic side of the work, and the students are left wanting to know more about the institution, the career prospects, and the college life they are about to experience. This is where the alumni can be of use. Encourage recently graduated alumni, such as Millennials (21-25-year-old alumni), to interact with prospective students and clear their apprehensions and doubts. Facilitate a mixer on the campus where the students and millennials meet and get to know each other. Invite millennials to the admission offices across the premises to share their rollercoaster ride of college. Create testimonials and success stories to let the prospective students know how well their seniors are faring.
Millennials, with their unfazed energy and a deep sense of nostalgia, would be willing to give back to the college. Inviting them as speakers to the induction program could be the best course of action. Newly admitted students love to hear from their immediate seniors and their senior counterparts who have experienced the world outside college.
Alumni Support Program (Saathi)
With busy schedules and deadline pressures, people often tend to put their mental well-being on the back burner. This may seem normal at first, but the ramifications of neglect can be alarming to the very fabric of human existence.
Vagabonds (26-34-year-old alumni) who are exploring uncharted areas of life find it overwhelming to cope with the transitions. This may lead to depression and meltdowns. The alumni can be victims of an abused relationship or depressed lifestyles, and all they need is a helping hand and a shoulder to lean on. Invite volunteers from Captains (35-54-year-old alumni) and Patriarchs (55- above-year-old alumni) groups to become counsellors in this program. These groups of seasoned alumni are very experienced, have seen a lot of things and can devote their time to the alumni in need.
Your role as an institution would be to share the emails and contact numbers of the seasoned alumni with the aggrieved on their permission. The alumni will take it from there. This small token of gesture will enormously impact the alumni’s lives. Millennials and Vagabonds will reach out as they aspire to have more refined, balanced lives. Patriarchs will engage because they can allocate more time and must have experienced similar anxieties when they were young.
Institution Development Program (IDP)
Many corporate hiring departments, talent scouts, headhunters, and the people who take up technical interviews during placements always complain about how the curriculum should be more industry-relevant and how the students should be more familiar with the practical aspects of the departments they aspire to work in.
This educational gap can be bridged by leveraging your alumni. Wondering how? This is where the IDP comes in handy.
Share the course curriculum and objectives with the Captains (35-54-year-old alumni) for feedback. Given their vast expertise and positions as pioneers in their respective fields, they have the proper idea of what students should be taught. Involving Patriarchs (55 years and above alumni) in Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) committees can be a great way to bring the required changes to the board.
Encourage the alumni to assume honorary positions in other areas like R&D, incubators, and centres of excellence where their quality inputs can be used to enhance the resources. Captains will connect as lending a hand in designing a college’s curriculum and being involved in R&D strengthens their profiles. Patriarchs resonate with the importance of incubators and quality assurances. They would be pleased to assist the IQAC boards and R&D committees.
Here’s a video about an engagement program, Alumni Emergency Helpline, in our CEO’s words –
Alumni Engagement Programs repeatedly proved that alumni are the most dependable resource any institution ever laid its hands on. The programs mentioned above can be customized to suit your organization’s needs and be tweaked according to your requirements. Harness the indomitable potential of your alumni to scale heights in the field of education and into the annals of history as a trailblazer!
To learn and gain more insights on the 13 Alumni Engagement Programs, Register for Alumni Leadership Program here at https://13x.app/c/alp