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New Research: 76% of Students Identify Wellbeing as Top Challenge

Connected Student

  • Global report shows student and staff wellbeing concerns are on the rise
  • Students indicate that communications and support resources powered by technology are desired solutions
  • Also announced today, a Student Wellbeing solution leveraging technology from Salesforce.org to help foster data-supported student wellbeing with holistic advising, a survey tool, AI-powered support bots, and more

Across the globe, university leaders are witnessing first hand the second wave of a student wellbeing crisis. In fact, many students are still grappling with the effects of over a year of social isolation, adapting to online learning, and financial concerns. 

The second edition of Salesforce.org’s Connected Student Report highlights the global magnitude of this student wellbeing crisis. The report includes survey results from 1,128 students and 1,076 staff members across 10 countries, and shows 76% of surveyed students identified wellbeing as their top challenge. This is up from 73% when Salesforce.org surveyed students last year, indicating that a second wave of the wellbeing crisis is already underway. 

The report also highlights the following key findings:

  • Financial concerns (74%) and finding a quiet place to work (65%) followed closely behind wellbeing as top challenges faced by students, highlighting how holistic wellbeing is often multi-layered and can be shaped by various financial and social-emotional factors.
  • Students ranked wellbeing as the most important value that can be shared by institution leaders via university communications.

University leaders are taking notice of these trends. In fact, a recent survey from the American Council on Education (ACE) highlighted that the most pressing issue facing university presidents is the mental health of students (73%) followed closely by the mental health of faculty and staff (48%). 

Mental health and the overall wellbeing of students is on every president’s mind. We saw an increase in the number of presidents identifying the mental health of students as a pressing issue. By coming together, sharing best practices, and leveraging technology solutions that can help scale our support efforts, we can work to proactively address wellbeing from all fronts.

Ted Mitchell, President, American Council on Education

Proactively addressing student wellbeing 

At the 9th annual Education Summit, Salesforce.org education leaders highlighted why holistic wellbeing and proactively addressing student needs is key to driving their success. Administrators and national organizations focused on these issues are collaborating on ways to address the growing crisis.

Over the last five years, the student mental health crisis created a challenge on campus. Schools couldn’t hire enough counselors to address clinical needs. So, to address higher levels of wellbeing among students, we suggest upstream solutions — like teaching students resiliency, stress management, and other behavioral changes — to help prevent more concerning downstream problems.

Kevin Kruger, President, National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA)

When asked what resources their university could provide to best support their wellbeing, students asked for:

  • more SMS text reminders to help maintain my wellbeing (22%)
  • an app to find a quiet place to study/work (27%)
  • more wellbeing-focused communications (29%)
  • more online wellness support (34%)
  • more opportunities to engage with others to feel less isolated (37%)

With fall semester quickly approaching, higher education institutions need a flexible solution that can provide the self-service support students expect with the personalization they need to thrive. 

Announcing Student Wellbeing from Salesforce.org

The Student Wellbeing solution leverages technology from Salesforce.org to equip university leaders with the data-supported tools necessary to address student needs and ensure ongoing wellness success. 

  • Advisor Link is the foundation of this solution, centralizing data and aligning success teams to help ensure holistic advising and wellbeing support for every student. 
  • University leaders can also provide personalized checks-ins with students using Salesforce Surveys.
  • With Einstein Bots, leaders can provide 24/7 self-service support through the platform, whether students are on or off campus. 
  • Furthermore, institutions can provide proactive life skills development for students using myTrailhead to help teach resilience, stress management, and more.

All of these tools are available now for general use.

When students aren’t well, the last thing you want for them is to have to jump through hoops. I’m not sure how we could have supported students holistically over the past year and a half without Salesforce’s student-centric solutions. As we emerge from this pandemic, supporting the wellbeing of our students will continue to be top of mind for the entire Cornell community.

Ann LaFave, Senior Director of Student Services for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell

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