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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. How should institutions address this gap by reaching students the way they prefer?



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. When it comes to the significant investment involved with implementing an ERP, there are strategies and approaches that any institution can take to reduce total cost of ownership, as well as realize ROI in the least amount of time possible.


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.

Watch this recently recorded web seminar to learn some of the best practices for using video to teach math to grades 9-20, including:


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.


Keeping employees engaged while minimizing turnover is a crucial component of institutional success, but unfortunately, many colleges and universities are hampered by a culture of disengagement. One recent study found that 52 percent of faculty members said they were not engaged in their work, a further 14 percent were actively disengaged, and only 34 percent reported feeling engaged with their jobs.*


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. Siloed data, manual processes and inefficient workflows can be costly, create security vulnerabilities and prevent institution leaders from understanding the true costs of doing business.


Institutional research is crucial to providing college and university leadership with the data required to make the most informed strategic decisions, across a broad range of areas including admissions, academics, finance, enrollment, retention, staffing, facilities and more. In order for this research to be effective, however, it is also important to have a strategy and process to translate the data gathered into actionable information.


Colleges and universities are under intense pressure to meet enrollment goals, improve retention rates, and shorten time to completion. Predictive analytics can play a crucial role in these efforts by providing insights that guide strategic decision making, improve enrollment management and promote student success.


Competency-based education (CBE) provides students with more flexible and cost-effective ways to complete their degrees, gives institutions more effective ways to assess learning, and helps to address concerns from many employers about the skill levels and readiness of recent college graduates. Rasmussen College (Minn.) is an early adopter of flexible, competency-based programs, and part of a network of colleges working with regional accreditors and the U.S. Department of Education to address shared challenges to designing, developing and scaling competency-based programs.


Colleges and universities are facing a wide variety of business and finance challenges, but many are finding creative solutions. To explore these issues, University Business and Oracle partnered to develop and deploy a recent survey of higher ed business and finance leaders about some of the challenges they face, including rising costs, lack of access to strategic data and changing student expectations.


Colleges and universities are under pressure to provide more flexibility in their learning environments, and offer students and faculty multiple ways to access and deliver content. Video-enabled teaching and learning, taking advantage of cloud-based videoconferencing technology, offers institutions the capability to create innovative blended learning environments and enable collaboration across campus or from anywhere in the world.


Campus cards are a critical component of campus life, serving not only as a student’s identification, but also providing access to facilities, meals, disbursement funds, events and more, interconnecting the institution and the community. New technologies are continually expanding the capabilities of campus cards, including the physical form they take. Institutions have an ever-growing number of options for providing secure and convenient IDs to students, faculty, and staff.


Higher education is in the business of learning, but all too often, institutions fail to extend learning to staff members, by failing to provide professional development opportunities. With the aging workforce and the higher turnover ratio of millennials, it is more critical than ever to provide professional learning opportunities that maximize employee potential and foster leadership skills, creating a pipeline of talent that can also enhance succession planning. 


Document management through Enterprise Content Management (ECM) holds tremendous potential for improving business operations—as well as information security and recordkeeping compliance—by streamlining processes and enabling colleges and universities to do more with less. Meanwhile, paper-heavy environments can lead to wasted time, reduced productivity, risk of data loss or theft and employee frustration.


In the Creighton University business office, administrators challenged with balancing the delivery of high-quality, hands-on customer service to students and families with the heavy workload that came with managing the university’s tuition payment options manually. Creighton administrators realized that employing a third-party tuition payment plan provider could resolve these challenges, and decided to enlist the Actively Managed Payment Plans provided by Nelnet Business Solutions.


Why do students persist? Although there are some commonalities, the answer is different at every institution. Predictive modeling seeks to answer the question of why students persist by discovering hidden relationships in data. By leveraging a clear picture of past and present behavior, predictive modeling uses statistical analysis to generate a confident simulation of future behavior. Higher education institutions can then use that insight to positively impact student trajectories and influence outcomes.


Higher education professionals responsible for administering financial aid continue to confront key challenges, from shifting regulations to fast-moving technology. The new Cash Management rules published by the U.S. Department of Education, for example, will significantly impact the administration and disbursement of financial aid. In addition, the rapid evolution of the financial services industry and emerging electronic payments technologies require a depth of understanding greater than ever before.


Many colleges and universities face challenges when it comes to their phone and communications systems. Outdated phone systems offer limited capabilities and often consume time and resources due to support and maintenance requirements. By moving to a unified communications platform, institutions can not only replace aging campus phone systems, but go beyond voice to unify all communications in a streamlined and more reliable desktop application, encompassing voice, email, fax, video and chat.


The ways in which stakeholders across an institution—administrators, faculty and staff members—think about student success will dramatically influence how they program, intervene, and ultimately structure efforts to identify at-risk students and help them succeed. These mental models frame an individual’s thought process relating to a particular concept and can greatly impact student success plans—in other words, influencing what we focus on and why.


When the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at Clark University in Massachusetts experienced an 87 percent increase in application volume between 2012 and 2015, administrators recognized that they needed to overhaul their yield forecasting and admitted student engagement efforts. They knew that personalization would be key to achieving their enrollment goals, but it would only be possible in the context of such an enlarged applicant pool if they could effectively target the right students.


The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) was developed to encourage and enhance cardholder data security and facilitate the broad adoption of consistent data security measures globally. Version 3.2 is being released now and includes a number of updates.


Nontraditional students can represent significant potential for an institution to reach enrollment goals, but this population also presents unique challenges. At Central Michigan University (CMU), administrators have addressed these challenges in innovative ways to enroll and retain a wide variety of nontraditional students, from adult learners to military personnel and veterans, leading U.S. News & World Report to rank its online division among the best programs in the nation.


An increasing number of colleges and universities are redesigning traditional lecture halls and classrooms into active learning classrooms, which are more flexible and open designs that better foster teamwork, collaboration and interactive instruction through a variety of engaging technologies. Historically it was necessary to build a dedicated networked A/V infrastructure that could enable the use of any multimedia technology. That is no longer the case as new technologies emerge that allow AV to be distributed over the traditional IP network.


EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) is a new international standard for payment cards which leverages a dynamic chip for more secure point-of-sale transactions. EMV is a proven means of fighting card-present fraud and has been in use around the world for some time, but is just beginning to enter U.S. payment processing systems, including those on college and university campuses. Processing EMV transactions will require new, certified point-of-sale devices, among other changes.  


For institutions looking to grow and expand their student population, a primary challenge is ensuring that administrative services keep pace with the flood of new students. When the Texas A&M University (TAMU) College of Engineering committed to doubling enrollment to 25,000 students by the year 2025, they also committed a concentrated effort to reengineer key business processes for operational efficiency, and to provide the highest quality of services to students.


A small proportion of higher education institutions in the U.S. command a majority of international student enrollment. While 108 doctorate-granting universities enroll just 11 percent of all students in the country, they enroll some 44 percent of all international students. What explains this trajectory of so many international students towards a small number of institutions?


An estimated 11 percent of undergraduate students on campuses today have a disability. Ensuring that these students have equal access to technology is a complex challenge, requiring a coordinated effort across campus departments. Universities must maintain compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA, which is considered the standard for measuring web accessibility.


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?


Students today want more options when it comes to their refunds, and institutions are looking for disbursement methods that limit students’ exposure to fees. In addition, the increased scrutiny and mounting regulatory pressure regarding student refunds disbursement is creating an even greater need for higher ed leaders to reexamine the refund processes at their institutions.


Research shows that each generation sees more value in a college education than the one before. Even with the rising cost of higher education, this next generation of college students—Generation Z—is no exception. However, Gen Z does have different preferences and expectations for learning than previous generations. Colleges and universities need to have a solid understanding of this generation in order to meet their expectations and, ultimately, enhance recruitment and retention.


Despite being vulnerable to cyberattacks, many colleges and universities still have insufficient threat management defenses.

Cyberattackers will evade the strongest perimeter security defenses and spy, spread and steal vital research data as well as personal and financial records from members of the campus community, and can access university systems for months or years before a breach is detected.


Every student deserves hands-on experience with the same tools and technologies they’ll encounter in their careers. As an educator, you recognize the need to adapt curriculum accordingly, but you might still be wondering where to begin. Recognizing the profound implications of 3D printing for the future of design and manufacturing, Stratasys Education has designed a 3D printing course to prepare students for current and emerging careers in those fields.