Colleges and universities have become a favorite target of cybercriminals because of the sheer volume of student information they handle—and the fact that payment processing happens all over campus, from the ticketing office to the bursar’s office to the cafeteria. In addition to endangering students and damaging the reputation of the institution, the financial costs of a data breach could include legal representation, fines, and the expense of notifying affected individuals.
Faced with rising costs of higher education, many students are deciding not to purchase required course materials, therefore going through their semester without the tools they need to learn and succeed. Some 50 percent of students say avoiding or delaying these purchases negatively impacts their grades. As a result, more institutions are taking advantage of digital tools and platforms, which provide students and faculty with immersive, engaging content while providing required materials to all students on or before the first day of classes at a lower cost.
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An increasing number of institutions are taking advantage of mobile technology to help recruit, engage and enroll prospective and admitted students. Mobile apps are being used for self-guided campus tours, open houses, recruitment events, college nights and more, providing a highly effective way for admissions and enrollment departments to meet the needs of these students.
From early alert programs to degree paths, many current student success initiatives focus solely on academics. But, many students leave without completing their degrees due to issues outside of academics. Any institution’s approach to student success must be inclusive of both academic and non-academic issues.
As higher education continues to feel pressure to reduce costs and improve efficiency, campus IT environments are rapidly changing and the speed of cloud adoption is increasing. More schools are utilizing cloud technology to modernize systems, cut costs and analyze data to gain insights about more cost effective ways to run the institution.
The development of today’s students into tomorrow’s successful alumni ambassadors is an aspiration shared by institutions and students. To realize it, student borrowers must be empowered with the practical skills and knowledge that drive retention, completion and successful loan repayment.
Your admissions tool options are expanding, and prospective students’ expectations continue to rise. Yet, business admissions can still be simplified down to three essentials: prioritizing brand awareness, expanding your applicant pool and minimizing administrative tasks.
Higher education has unique needs when it comes to student engagement, from the recruitment cycle through alumni relations. More of today’s institutions are taking new approaches, going beyond the typical point solution mindset and toward a ‘whole campus’ strategy by employing a single engagement platform. Today’s engagement platforms are able to integrate data from multiple systems and touch points, and provide insight through powerful analytics to improve results across the institution.
Community, faculty and student engagement are important components of college and university strategic and facility planning. But, many traditional methods of gauging opinion or gathering input—such as surveys or town hall meetings—are flawed and can be misleading, often being disproportionately influenced by the loudest or most negative voices.
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.*
The next generation of college students—Generation Z—has a variety of different expectations for higher education, particularly when it comes to the campus environment. Research has also indicated that Gen Z students have higher levels of anxiety and stress both entering and during college, which can significantly impact their likelihood of success.
Transforming finance to meet the challenges of processing more information efficiently and turning that information into deeper insights is an organizational imperative. These transformation initiatives are also focused on minimizing non-value add work, decreasing reporting cycle time, and improving collaboration.
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.
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.
Like most institutions, the University of Arizona added lecture capture technology through small scale experimentation, starting at the departmental level. But in just a few years, lecture capture had taken hold and UA faculty were producing some 2TB of video every week and over 30,000 hours each year.
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Some 75 percent of high school seniors say they visit a college campus without ever contacting the admissions department. Not all prospective students want or are able to take a guided tour of campus, but without an alternative, many students visit on their own, and are walking away with unanswered questions and no communication from the college or university.
Higher education is in the midst of significant changes, including in the areas of technology infrastructure and strategy. Moving to the cloud, updating or automating business processes and incorporating data-driven decision making can dramatically benefit the institution, but campus leaders can run the risk of overlooking a crucial component to ensuring any technology strategy is successful: change management.
The leadership of Dickinson College understands the importance of predictive analytics to help shape their class. But they also know that models can get stale, and will only improve when they are transparent and institutional departments collaborate during the model building and enrollment process.
While students have a variety of options when it comes to paying for college, making unwise financial decisions can lead to negative consequences for the student as well as the institution. Overborrowing, poor planning and budgeting, and misunderstanding financial aid can create seemingly insurmountable debt that can affect academic performance, push students to leave school before completion, and burden them long after graduation.
Higher education is in the midst of significant change. Institutions are under pressure to reduce costs and improve the efficiency of operations while providing responsive, quality services to students. Many college and university leaders are turning to transformative technologies such as electronic forms, workflow automation and enterprise content management (ECM) to help them overcome these challenges.