Skip Navigation
College bound advisors combat “summer melt”

Summer meltIn the spring semester every year, seniors across San Antonio ISD decide upon and commit to attending college in the fall. But according to Dustin Nieto, coordinator with SAISD Postsecondary Initiatives, something happens over the summer months, something he and his team call “summer melt.” Summer melt is when a student commits to and is on path to go to college, but doesn’t show up on campus in the fall.

“We tend to see students get discouraged by micro-barriers such as needing a credit card to pay $10 to upload their meningitis shot record or not having the financial aid verification form filled out correctly,” said Nieto. “Small things that can overwhelm and discourage a student.”

This July some college bound advisors who are currently off-contract are volunteering their time to combat summer melt. From July 6 through July 22, the volunteer advisors are holding daily, virtual office hours as well as providing telephone and email to support to students with questions. 

Annalisa Trevino, college bound advisor at Highlands High School, is one of the volunteers who is helping advise college-bound students this July during her summer break. 

“I have a lot of kiddos sending me questions, asking for help,” said Trevino. “Seeing that they need my help in writing helps me power through this monotonous period we are going through because of COVID-19. I really thrive off of face-to-face interactions so this has been hard, but knowing that the students are reaching out in any way they can is reassuring and motivating for me to help them in any way I can.”

Trevino said she knows how difficult it can be to navigate all the forms and applications that come with registering for college. From financial aid applications, to enrollment, to resident hall forms, it can be hard for students, especially first-generation students, to figure out all the ins and outs on their own. 

“It’s really easy to forget all the things you need to be mindful of when getting ready to head off to university,” she said. “But knowing that so many of them are relying on us and not shying away from us, asking questions through our new texting app, makes me happy that we have a team who are working throughout the summer to make sure all those needs and questions get answered in a timely manner.”

According to Nieto, the team has implemented a couple of other strategies to combat summer melt, including College Chat: Know Before You Go, a program where college bound advisors connect SAISD alumni who are current college students with graduating seniors.

“We market this as a way to help seniors understand some issues they may face and how to combat those issues,” said Nieto. “If students missed the live chat we have replaced the registration links with a recording of the chat.”

Additionally, the team uses a text messaging platform called Signal Vine, which is a great way to stay in touch with students. Advisors monitor text messages from students and help advise them via text. The advisors keep in contact through the platform with students for their first year in college. 

Toward the end of July, the college bound advising team will start reaching back out to the class of 2020, asking them about their college class schedules. Nieto says this a great way to help verify that a student will attend class in September. 

“I’m extremely grateful for our team and their dedication to all SAISD students, not just those at their campus,” said Nieto. “It motivates me to see team members sacrifice their time off to help make sure students don’t fall through the cracks. I am convinced that we have the best team ever. Actions speak louder than words and our team is a great example of that!”




Copyright © {{YEAR}} San Antonio Independent School District. All rights reserved.

powered by ezTaskTitanium TM