Dartmouth advisors simplify appointment scheduling to successfully serve over 4,400 students


May 01, 2020

Learn how Dartmouth increased their capacity to advise students, despite staff cuts.


The challenge

Advisors at Dartmouth’s Undergraduate Dean’s Office serve over 4,400 students in a variety of advising capacities, including course selection and crisis management. With only eleven advisors on the team, each one supports anywhere from 300–600 students.

Scheduling coordination was so difficult, it was impossible to meet with all their advisees. This was an especially sensitive situation with their first-year students. Associate Dean Brian Reed talked about the importance of reaching these students:

“Some students have a tendency to shy away from advising, and if the back-and-forth of appointment scheduling becomes too burdensome, there's a risk we’ll lose students’ interest and they’ll never come visit, which could negatively affect their academic experience.”

Before adopting Calendly, a front desk assistant managed their appointments. Because of the high volume of requests and managing calendars for multiple advisors, there was a bottleneck that caused response delays.

When budget cuts removed the front desk position from their office, the team was unsure how to schedule meetings and effectively advise students with their already limited resources.

The solution

The Associate Dean was introduced to Calendly by a colleague. When he saw how easy it was for someone to schedule an appointment, he had every advisor on his team set up an account and share their scheduling links in email signatures and in all school-wide communications, so students could easily access their availability.

By automating the process, students could schedule advising appointments directly with their designated advisor by accessing that advisor’s unique scheduling link. The team also implemented a round robin system that maximized the availability between all advisors to better serve students with general inquiries and time-sensitive issues.

Results / key benefits

Within just a few days, the staff saw noticeable differences in their work style. Across the board, advisors increased their capacity to see students. They no longer have to maintain time blocked on their calendars for tentative appointments, and students can cancel and reschedule appointments all on their own. By collecting information from students during scheduling, advisors are able to prepare ahead of time and make the most of their appointments.

With this improvement in workflow, the advising team is able to see more students despite the loss of their administrative staff. They now consistently are able to meet with over two thirds of their freshman class. By adopting Calendly, it also gives students flexibility to schedule at any time, without needing to wait for an office to open or for an email reply.

During their first academic year of using Calendly, Brian’s team was not only able to schedule over 90% of their student meetings through Calendly, over 62% of those were meetings with repeat students. Repeat meetings are a sure sign of success for Dartmouth, showing that advisors are a resource students want to take advantage of over and over.

As they enter the new quarter, Brian is more confident in his team’s ability to provide top-notch advising to their students. “Calendly is essential because of recent cuts to the administrative budget. We could not see as many students without our scheduling links and we really appreciate the help!”

Ready to see how Calendly can improve the way your advising team schedules appointments? Sign up for free today and discover new ways you can better serve your students!

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