For many institutions, implementing new processes, platforms or solutions in the business office, bursar’s office or financial aid departments can seem intimidating and overwhelming. Besides ensuring that any new process or solution improves efficiency and meets the needs of both students and staff, there are a multitude of other factors to consider, such as security, compliance, logistics, and project timing and prioritization.
Campus safety has become increasingly complex. Higher ed leaders face the threat of serious safety incidents on their campuses every day, while changing legislative mandates only add to the complexity. Ensuring that safety training and processes are up-to-date can be challenging. As a result, many institutions are adopting more efficient processes and individualized technology solutions that improve campus safety while saving time and money.
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Which major is best for me? How do I plan my courses? How do I succeed in my courses? What is my career strategy after college? These are all questions students tend to have throughout their educational journey.
In the race to attract, retain and prepare students, the institutions with the most relevant programs and most current technologies have an advantage. Hands-on learning through 3D printing at a college or university opens doors to entrepreneurship and industry collaborations that benefit budding scientists, engineers, artists and designers by preparing them for the requirements of the knowledge-based economy.
Often, student success efforts are focused primarily on retaining first year students, but fail to continue supporting students throughout their college careers. At the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, the institution’s leadership wanted to take a broader approach to student success by developing a predictive model that would include upperclassmen.
Students today don’t respond to the traditional methods of communication from their college or university like they once did. While websites and email are appropriate for housing and delivering certain types of information, institutions need to develop a campus-wide mobile presence in order to reach students effectively and in the format they prefer.
Many institutions struggle with the consequences of using multiple IT platforms for managing operations across departments, such as IT Support, Admissions, HR, Marketing, Residence Life or Facilities. The results—dissatisfied students and faculty, miscommunication, redundancy and poor resource allocation among them—can negatively impact the institution in a variety of ways.
At the University of Trinidad and Tobago, recording lectures was once a cumbersome technology dance. From loaner cameras and SD cards to burning and distributing DVDs, the process was disconnected from the teaching and learning objectives and produced no measurable results.
The university aligned its efforts by transitioning to an active flipped classroom.
Students today have varying needs and expectations when it comes to banking as well as receiving funds like financial aid disbursements. And with the evolving needs of millennials it’s difficult to ensure all your students’ needs are being met, especially those who may not be able to or wish not to bank with traditional financial institutions.
The Jeanne Clery Act, passed in 1990, requires all colleges and universities who receive federal funding to share information about crime on campus and their efforts to improve campus safety, as well as inform the public of crime in or around campus. Revised and amended several times since its inception, compliance with the Clery Act requires careful and deliberate coordination among various campus officials and entities.
It’s no secret that text messaging is the preferred method of communication for today’s students over email, direct mail or phone calls; a recent study found that some 97 percent say they use texting as their primary form of communication, 73 percent say they want schools to text them, and nearly three quarters of prospective students want to text with admissions counselors. However, only 28 percent report being offered the option to text with their college or university.
Institutions of all sizes are facing increased scrutiny of their student ID systems in light of recent security concerns. At the same time, budgets are tight for many colleges and universities, creating a number of common challenges when it comes to the business processes involved with issuing student IDs and maintaining an ID system.
Over the next decade, higher education will experience a significant shift, as the millennial generation gives way to “Generation Z.” As a result of this multi-generational shift in student expectations, institutions will have to adapt how they do business across departments, from financial aid to the business office to student services. This will include using social media effectively to communicate with students and their families—particularly in the financial aid and business offices.
For institutions to remain competitive, they must support a growing student population while providing responsive and top-quality student services. Linn-Benton Community College, which serves over 20,000 full-, part-time and non-credit students in Oregon, automated admissions processes to ensure that exceptional student experience begins from the first point of contact with the college, while improving efficiency and reducing costs.
Given the current environment in higher ed, the pressure to contain costs and the need to justify expenses, it is more critical than ever that any technology investment not only meet the needs of staff, students and the institution, but also provide a clear return on investment.
Imagine using academic video to strengthen prerequisite skills, enhance curriculum content, ease anticipated student struggles, and push students further in their knowledge of course material.
Brooke McCurdy has been teaching math for more than 14 years. When her classes morphed from a traditional in-person method to a flipped-classroom environment, she saw the success of her students soar as they became more engaged.
A variety of recent studies have shown that active learning—engaging students through activities, discussion and collaboration—is more effective than traditional lecturing, and can even result in better exam performance and reduced failure rates. Technology often plays a significant role in the active learning classroom, providing real-time feedback, improving information retention and promoting meaningful interaction between an instructor and students.
While faced with state and federal regulations, an increasingly competitive recruitment environment and intense pressure to contain costs, many colleges and universities have been unable to modernize critical business processes, which could help address key challenges in admissions, finance, and fundraising.
Student success and improving retention rates have become high priorities in higher education. Given significant breadth in definitions, context, programming, funding, and other key factors, what is most important to consider when it comes to student success and retention efforts?