Notifications and Reminders (watch a video)
Notifications: GuidedPath tracks key changes to each student’s record and provides the option for users to be notified of these updates and reminded of upcoming events. Regardless of whether or not users are notified, a historical record of these key updates made on the student record is available in the Activity Summary, which is accessed from the bottom of the left hand menu for a specific student.
Reminders: In addition to tracking account updates, the Activity Summary also identifies reminders that the student has received in text or email regarding his or her college planning process.
A summary of key activity on a student’s record is always recorded in the Activity Summary. When an activity is listed, the user that completed the activity and the date that the update is recorded on the Activity Summary are also included. Notifications will be listed for the following key events:
- Survey started or marked as completed
- Test scheduled or test score added
- College added to or removed from My College list
- Discussion added to a college
- Application plan marked as approved
- Key application milestone marked completed
- Response received from a college
- Student decision added for a college
Details of these events can be viewed by selecting the link in the last column of the Activity Summary table.
Reminders are also recorded in the Activity Summary. The Activity Summary is updated once per day and the date and time of the last update is shown at the top of the page. Reminders and notifications are distinguished by the unique icon.
Note: all activity related to a student's account is included in the Activity Summary, regardless of whether the student actually received an email and/or text message. This allows a student or advisor to see both what has happened on the student's account and also what events are coming up.
Setup for the Organization
Notifications, as described above in the Activity Summary, are provided to let you know of an activity that has taken place.
Reminders are used to identify an upcoming event. An organization can define some key parameters for reminders including
- how far in advance the reminder is sent out
- custom text to be included with the reminder
These two parameters, days in advance and custom text, are defined at the organization level and are used for all reminders sent to any user within the organization. This ensures that all users within an organization are receiving consistent reminders.
To set these reminder parameters:
- advisors with administrative privileges can select My Account from the dropdown under their picture, or initial, on the top menu and then go to Organization Configuration.
- In the Organization Configuration tab, scroll down to theReminder Setting section to update the days in advance for each reminder type and any custom text to be added to the reminder.
Reminder customizations include when a reminder is sent, based on number of days before the event occurs, and custom text that can be added to each reminder. The days in advance of the event and custom text can be set for each of the following types of reminders:
- Test registration
- Late test registration
- Scheduled test
- Key application milestone for COMPLETED application plans
- All application milestone for COMPLETED application plans
Note: if you specify 0 days in advance, reminders will not be sent out.
In the section after the reminder days are set, an organization can also define the reminders that each type of users may receive. Note that these reminder settings are based on a user type of student, advisor, parent, other family and other connection. Each individual user can request reminders, but only those reminders that the organization allows will be sent. This provides control to the organization of the possible reminders to be received by users within the organization. Since all notifications of activity are included in the student’s Activity Summary, an organization cannot select a subset of notifications to be received, only the reminders.
Organizations can also define the default delivery preference used when a new user is created. An organization has two delivery preferences for each user type – one for notifications and one for reminders. Each user type has its own default delivery preference. All existing users of a user type (student, advisor, parent, other family, other connection) can be reset to a new delivery preference by selecting the “Update Delivery Preferences for existing users” button. Note that all users of the selected type will have existing delivery preferences replaced by the defined default preference for that user type.
User Level Notification and Reminder Delivery Preference
A delivery preference for notifications and reminders are part of each user’s profile to identify how the user would like to receive them (email and/or text) or if they should be turned off. These delivery preferences can be set for every user in the organization in the Organization Configuration page and they can also be adjust for each individual user as follows:
Students and Connections: To adjust the delivery preference for a student, go to the student profile by clicking on the student photo in the upper left hand corner or selecting the Student box on the dashboard. Scroll down to the Notification and Reminder Preferences section where the delivery method can be selected and saved.
Note that new students and connections get default Notification and Reminder Preferences from the organization setting when the account is created, but these can be updated for each user.
Advisors: To adjust your Notification and Reminder Preferences, select My Profile under your name in the upper right hand corner. Scroll down to the appropriate section, update and save changes. Advisors also get default settings from the organization setting when the advisor account is created.
Setting up Text Message Reminders
Users that want to receive reminders via text message must have a valid cell phone number and cell phone carrier identified in the first section of the user’s profile. If the appropriate cell phone carrier is not available, email firstname.lastname@example.org to add the cell phone carrier. Delivery preferences for reminders can be email only or both email and text. If the delivery preference is set to "None", then the reminders will be turned off for the user.
The "Email Summary" option sends one email to each user each day when a selected notification occurs based on activity on the student’s record. Reminders are also included in the email summary when they are sent to the student. Advisors will receive one email that contains all students in a single email. The email is only received if selected and enabled actions or events occur.
Some Notes about How Notifications Work
- "Survey completed notification" is only sent when the student, or student connection, that completes the survey also selects the envelope icon to send this notification. This allows all questions to be answered without specifying the survey as complete.
- Application milestones reminders are based off the Student Deadline, if it is available; otherwise the College Deadline is used.
- If "All application milestone reminders" is selected, then notifications will be sent for both key and non-key milestones. The "Key application milestone reminder" setting will only send notifications for key reminders. To avoid duplication, if an organization wants all milestones to have reminders, the “Key application milestone reminder” reminder option should be turned to OFF.
- The colleges added and removed notifications will identify who made the change to the My Colleges list. Changes to the Colleges to Consider list are not tracked.
- Appointments and assignments will continue to have immediate emails go to advisors and students when an event is created, updated or removed.