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Articles: Internet

To understand how technology can help improve the college application and enrollment process, as well as the professional lives of college admissions officers, one need look no further than the healthcare profession.

Apps for Education

  1.  How does the solution fit with your overall technology plan?
  2. Does the solution help move your institution forward?
  3. What is the escalation process?
  4. What is the exit policy?
  5. Will the data be portable and accessible on a different system?
  6. Is the contract flexible enough to accommodate growth, or pull back if needed?
  7. If you can’t customize a SaaS product, does it do what you want? Will you spend as much to customize it as you would on a traditional product?
  8. Does the security and encryption meet industry standards?

Acceptance of cloud computing—the practice of storing data in off-site servers rather than on campus—has been growing by leaps and bounds, at least in some areas. “It’s growing in the areas easier to rip and replace, such as CRM,” says Stan Swete, chief technology officer at Workday, which offers HR and Payroll systems through software as a service (SaaS).

Unless you have the print issue of University Business in your hands, you might be reading these lines on a wide array of different devices: smartphone (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry), laptop, desktop computer, tablet (iPad, BlackBerry PlayBook, Kindle Fire), game console (DS, Wii, Xbox, etc.), or widescreen TV. Maybe soon it’ll even be appearing on your refrigerator door.

Talk about options…

In November, Ivy Tech Community College (Ind.) hit a 50,000 Facebook fan milestone. Two months later, the count neared 54,000. The page didn’t get to be what’s likely tops among community colleges on Facebook by accident. Jeff Fanter, vice president of communications and marketing for the system, which has 200,000-plus students enrolled annually, shares some success secrets:

Tim Goral

Registration is now open for UBTech. “The conference formerly known as EduComm” returns to the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, June 11-13. With the theme Technology Changes Everything, UBTech 2012 will feature a wide assortment of sessions focusing on how technology impacts Campus Networks and Infrastructure, Facilities Planning and Design, Teaching and Learning Technologies, Marketing Your Institution, and Financial Services. This year the conference also includes, for the first time, four pre-conference summits.

A Community College Research Center study found that, at community and technical colleges in Washington state, students enrolled in online courses didn’t fare as well as those enrolled in face-to-face or hybrid courses. But better student preparation, faculty development, online support services, and other resources can close the gap. Here is what a few community colleges have done to implement those practices and help students be successful in online courses.

Social networking, online banking, entertainment... There’s an app for that—and for everything else you can think of. When it comes to higher ed, there’s an app for that, too. From behind-the-scenes mobile CRM apps to in-your-face athletic program apps, campus administrators are developing ways to make students’, administrators’, and faculty members’ lives a bit easier (or just more fun).

As technology advances and the economy declines, campus leaders become more aware of the importance of using website analytics to make decisions. As recently as three years ago, administrators were not even thinking about analytics, says Phillip Ice, vice president of research and development for the American Public University System. “Now they understand the need and know they have to pay attention to it because of the economic climate.” Everyone from the provost level up realize they need to understand what contributes to a successful web presence, so they can better manage budgets.

Once visitors get to a college or university website, the aim is to keep them there. Keep in mind that they might not know what questions to ask and probably don’t have time to read, says Stephanie Geyer, associate vice president of web strategy services at Noel-Levitz. “They just want to get to pieces of content quickly and institutions struggle to provide that.” Here are some tips for ensuring navigation doesn’t negatively impact the time that visitors spend on your institution’s site.

An institutional website is not only often the first contact a prospective student has with a college or university but also a constant landing point for current students, faculty, and staff. “We looked at trends and research and realized that the website is very important to recruiting,” says Beverly Golden, director of marketing and communications at The University of Texas at Tyler. “It might be the first thing people see about your institution.”


Imagine being a student in a class listening to your professor as she writes on a whiteboard at the front of the room. She asks a question and you faintly hear a voice, but you can’t see who it came from or understand what was said—because you’re sitting at your desk participating in class through your webcam.

screengrab of SHSU's social media page

People can be very sensitive about their social media accounts, as witnessed any time Facebook makes changes to the news feed presentation. So it makes sense that the Sam Houston State University (Texas) campus reacted badly when administrators tried to implement a new social media policy requiring any school group with SHSU in its name to grant administrative access to the Marketing and Communications department. Cries of “free speech” quickly followed. Since then, reports in the campus newspaper indicate a social media committee was created and tasked with developing a new policy.