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Cloud-Based Student Success Strategies

Adopting technology that drives institutional transformation
University Business, December 2018
From left to right: Nicole Engelbert, Vice President, Higher Education Development, Oracle; Steve Hahn, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Tonjia S. Coverdale, Ph.D., Vice President, Information Technology and CIO, Central State University (Ohio).
From left to right: Nicole Engelbert, Vice President, Higher Education Development, Oracle; Steve Hahn, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Tonjia S. Coverdale, Ph.D., Vice President, Information Technology and CIO, Central State University (Ohio).

Students are arriving on campus with a rapidly changing set of goals and expectations. Meeting these expectations while supporting student success across the life cycle requires institutional transformation, bold strategies and innovative use of technology. Cloud-based systems can be essential to the transformation, but utilizing this technology effectively requires a strategic approach.

In this web seminar, two higher ed leaders discussed their institutions’ journey to the cloud, how this technology is foundational to their student success initiatives, and highlighted some key strategies for ensuring successful cloud adoption that supports student success at any institution.

Speakers

Nicole Engelbert
Vice President, Higher Education Development
Oracle

Steve Hahn
Vice Provost for Enrollment Management
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Tonjia S. Coverdale, Ph.D.
Vice President, Information Technology and CIO
Central State University (Ohio)

Nicole Engelbert: I want to share a bit about how Oracle CS is building a student system that helps institutions become more agile. We see this coming across in six key attributes.

1. Cloud. The key element of the cloud is that it will have more rapid access to innovative new features and capabilities for reducing the burden of supporting that system.

2. Hyper-automation. Can we find the process efficiencies? Can the student system automate commodity functions, leaving more room and space and resources for the differentiating functions?

3. Attractive. Is it responsive to the way that end users work with it, and does it integrate seamlessly into the end users’ day-to-day life as opposed to being a separate activity?

4. Architectural flexibility. Of course it needs to be flexible and extensible, but this is more about moving beyond the credit hour—not just in the duality of credit and noncredit, but more about whether the system can support the educational events that a student might experience over their entire lifetime.

5. Platform approach. Instead of a system that supports just the transactions, we want one that brings together activities and insights so that students, faculty and staff can engage and support teaching and learning research in a smarter, more efficient and more engaging way.

6. Joined-up advisory. Instead of advisement happening in departmental silos that never cross paths, we take a life cycle approach in which there is a smart and intelligent connection between the advising that happens in recruiting, admissions, financial aid, academic advising, career services and even alumni affairs.

Steve Hahn: The cloud isn’t about the cloud. It’s about the transformation of our business processes and the outcomes that we’re seeking. So the first step is to identify what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.

We define student success as being able to support students in whatever they encounter on their journey. We want to replace the “student career” with a notion of a lifelong learning experience with us. We want to provide services in a consistent way, and hopefully a predictive way, wherever they encounter us. We want to eliminate the risk of multiple campus systems. And we want to replace our existing technology platform with a more sustainable architecture.

One path to the cloud that folks can take immediately is knowing what you have now, looking at it critically, and then taking steps to make sure that you are freeing yourself of a technical debt and of other constrictions that will prevent you from moving to the cloud.

There also needs to be a desire to integrate with the rest of campus in the service of lifelong learning. We want all of our students in a common system so that we can be credentialing them in a new way. We can produce a transcript and do other badging that is suggestive of a lifelong learning transcript, and we can do other predictive things in the application space by having all of this and a common system.

Tonjia S. Coverdale: We have built a connection to a state data center, and we are maintaining minimal data center services here on premises. We’re doing our security, and we’re even putting a phone in the cloud. Everything is in the cloud now because we don’t have the time, the money or the people to maintain all of these things.

We’re adopting a new model, wherein we go from being computer focused—focused on installing, servicing and upgrading hardware and software—to being more customer focused. What do you need in your business unit? How can we assist with your process restructuring and your procedural restructuring to ensure that your businesses are efficient and effective? We can focus on the user because now we don’t have to worry about the hardware.

We need to move from being a service provider—which is a reactive model, sitting around waiting for tickets to come in and then fixing items—to being a solutions provider.

To watch this web seminar in its entirety, please visit universitybusiness.com/ws100418