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Top trends for meeting evolving student success needs in 2018

Jenzabar offers tools and managed services that will drive education leaders’ decisions, budgets and strategic plans
University Business, January 2018

What are some of the trends Jenzabar is seeing in higher ed for 2018 and beyond?

There is a focus on fiscal responsibility. As we see budgets tighten, business officers are going to be tasked with being very responsible about the fiscal situation at their institutions. This strategy aligns perfectly with the Jenzabar ethos. Our solutions are affordable and focused on making things more efficient. Another trend is the increasing use of financial aid as a recruitment tool. We recently had an executive forum, and one IT director at an institution said that his president’s mantra is financial aid first and foremost during recruiting.

We will continue to see a focus on student success and retention. Last year we rolled out the Jenzabar Internship Program, which puts Jenzabar Foundation funds back into our client community. We had 50 interns at 50 schools, and paid each of them $6,000 to work on a project. Lastly, I see growth next year in workforce development and continuing education. We will see more adults going for additional workforce training to keep them viable in the economy.

What trends are you seeing as institutions channel their focus on student success?

Institutions are realizing that student success is not up to one individual office. It is a campuswide initiative. Every single office needs to be focused on this and understand that students have a lot of choices now. If students don’t have a great experience, they can go someplace else, or they can drop out. When everyone across campus gets on board, led by the senior leadership team, student success is much more attainable.

How are you seeing the C-Suite at colleges/universities implement institutionwide strategies?

There are several ways we’re working with our clients on campuswide initiatives, one of which is with Jenzabar One. The great thing about Jenzabar One is it provides a completely customized approach to fit the needs of a customer. At one institution, Jenzabar One is used for financial aid, and at another institution it is used for our Guided Pathways Solution. Our Cloud and Managed Services are also great tools for fiscal responsibility. With our Cloud Services, we can manage servers, databases or an entire solution for a customer in a cost-effective and efficient manner. IT really needs to be strategic and sit at the C-Suite level. It needs to be a facilitator and a change agent, instead of a person working on a server. We want to help our customers use technology to propel their institutions forward.

Amid budget cuts and growing pressure to increase fundraising goals, how does Jenzabar Advancement strengthen advancement initiatives for institutions?

Jenzabar Advancement has been significantly updated to help institutions with their fundraising efforts. I recently read about a trend that shows institutions greatly increasing their typical fundraising goals, particularly around capital campaigns of $100 million to $150 million. There is more pressure on advancement offices to bring in more donations. Tools like Jenzabar Advancement help advancement offices with automation processes, so that they can actually be out meeting with donors instead of working on letters and reminders.

For more information, visit jenzabar.com/higher-education-solutions

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