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Tech providers on student-success tech deployment snafus

University Business, October 2016

What do you see as the biggest mistake colleges and universities make when implementing student success technology?

“Retention technology can identify potential at-risk students, but then you need success coaches in place to effectively engage students. Helping coaches understand data and apply it proactively instead of reactively will empower them to reach out long before red flags surface.”

—Steve Pappageorge, chief product officer and senior vice president, Helix Education

“One of the pitfalls universities face when deploying a new technology is poor user adoption. Many organizations spend a lot of time and resources creating systems that could have great value but fail due to lack of funding for training. Other campuses design and develop systems that change the way the processes work and seem too foreign to the end user, which causes difficulties in user adoption of the new technology.”

—Kelly Corder, president, Redrock Software Corporation

“Many institutions don’t have personnel trained in change management to ensure short-term wins and long-term success.If projects are too ambitious, they don’t see immediate results. If they’re too focused on the quick win, there is no plan for assessment, optimization and expansion.A strong project manager is key.”

—David Yaskin, founder of Starfish and Hobsons’ senior vice president for Student Success

“Simply getting an application up and running does not automatically lead to student success. Colleges should seek partners who meet them where they are and scaffold them with the right combination of strategic enablement, specialized service and people. Our most successful partners form cross-institutional working groups to share ownership of the work, optimize data, operationalize insights, inform action, and continue the cycle of learning to inform student success work.”

—Nikhil Kumar, vice president of partner services, Civitas Learning

“We work with a lot of colleges and universities that have selected the wrong software or wrong provider to address their biggest student success challenges. The institution buys into a vision, but the software never delivers the promise. If the company you are working with doesn’t know your business, lacks expertise or is too expensive, your deployment will fail.”

—Isaac Segal, president and CEO, Edunav

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