ACADEMIC SUCCESS EXCHANGE
Today’s discussion focused on a single question that at one time or another, most centers have had to answer: Do we let students book their own sessions, or do we have them call or come in to request an appointment?
Our Accudemia clients know that they can set up appointments to comply with their centers’ policies and procedures, but for a variety of reasons, some choose to disallow students from booking their own appointments. While we encourage centers to run their appointments in the way that works for them, we also encourage them to consider making appointments student-facing, giving them more empowerment, and taking some work off the plate of admins and staff.
We understand that for a center trying this process for the first time, it can be a little intimidating and difficult to know the best way to go about it. One of our clients has been struggling with this very issue, and during our meeting, other attendees graciously offered tips and tricks that worked for them and their students, many of which involved leveraging the Control Panel settings in Accudemia.
There are many settings that you can configure in the Appointments Control Panel, but one of the most important settings, if you’re allowing students to make their own appointments, is to limit the number of appointments that students can make per week. The exact number of appointments your center might allow students to have will depend on a number of factors, but the most common numbers we see are two or three. Centers that also allow walk-ins typically allow students to get walk-in help as much as they want (pending availability of support staff or tutors) to make up for these limitations. Appointment limits ensure that students cannot monopolize the time of your staff, and if you’re using Accudemia, you can also turn on the tutor load balancing option, which hides tutor names from students when they make appointments, to prevent one tutor’s schedule from being eaten up over another.
Another setting you’ll want to pay attention to is the no-show limit. This determines how many times a student can be marked as a no-show for your center before they’re not allowed to make any further appointments. You can set the limit to apply over an entire term, or over a shorter period of time. For example, the student may have a certain number of no-shows within a two week period, but after they have passed two weeks with no no-shows, they are free to book appointments again. Other centers require students to meet with a center admin before their privileges are restored.
Setting this limit gives you the peace of mind to know that students must take their appointment commitments seriously, or face realistic consequences. When determining how many no-shows a student can have, make sure you also set how early or late a student can sign into the kiosk for the visit to count towards their appointment.
Similarly, make sure you set how far in advance a student can cancel or modify their appointment. A no-show limit won’t have much impact if students know they can just cancel their appointment a few minutes in advance if they decide not to attend. Of course, there will always be legitimate reasons students cannot attend, and that’s what admin overrides and no-show voids are for, but for all other instances, you’ll want to configure this setting. There’s no one right time to set this line, but a day in advance is a popular choice amongst our clients.
As you can see, if your center uses Accudemia, these settings make enforcing your policies a lot easier. Without it, you may be managing these policies yourself, which will lead to a lot of confusion and a lot of students slipping through the cracks. If you are an Accudemia client but haven’t yet allowed your students to make their own appointments, we encourage you to consider utilizing these settings. If you’re not an Accudemia client, contact us today to learn more about how we can help take the management of your center off of your plate.
Join us next time
Engineerica Systems is pleased to present our Academic Success segment recap for 8/10/2021 for the weekly Accudemia sessions. We hope that these questions help you to ponder how you can ensure every student feels welcome in your center. Join us next Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. EST for our Weekly Accudemia Session and for more ideas about helping our students achieve success!