Important decisions need to be made for DX to succeed
Three solutions stand out as common among fast-growing colleges and universities: the use of the cloud, offering students greater access, and the use of data analytics.
Because automation is a critical part of optimizing a student experience, the cloud is a necessary solution. It also has financial benefits: some IT infrastructure becomes unnecessary, thereby reducing costs. These savings improve the institution’s profits and can be passed on to students.
“We’ve been able to do this with frozen training for the last five years, and we’ve started the process of reducing it by 20 percent,” Lombardi says. This is an attractive financial incentive for prospective students and can attract a higher enrollment rate.
Digitization of course materials is another solution that offers benefits to students and institutions.
TO PROVE: Creating a strong financial future for HBCU.
“You’ve reduced students’ costs, improved their access to the information and tools they need, and leveled the playing field,” says Lombardi. This means that higher education is not reserved for the privileged. Students with financial problems, adults who want to study while keeping a job, and others will find it easier to budget for enrollment.
Everyone in the higher education environment, especially students, produces vast amounts of data about how they live, study and how they want services to be provided, Lombardi says. Institutions that strive for technical innovation apply artificial intelligence to all of this data to get accurate information about their services and students.
AI can identify students who are at risk of dropping out of school, and send out alerts to help them, increasing the chances that they will stay in school. Thanks to the participation of students, AI can determine which services or courses work – or not. All of this can create better and more tailored offerings for students from the course level to the administrative level. This can lead to better recruitment and content, both of which are good for financial health.
RELATED: Building a sustainable higher business model.
Don’t be afraid of cultural change
For institutions that are in the early days of the digital transformation, the future will not be without obstacles, especially given that temporary pandemic measures are becoming more permanent as hybrid and mixed models of education. It may even seem risky, so moving forward requires cultural change, which Morales calls.
“You need to get rid of the fear of failure and try new things,” Morales says. “I’ve seen a lot of people with amazing ideas that they’re not afraid to implement in digital transformation, but then they forget about excellence and how to reduce the cost of what they implement.”
As demonstrated by Maryville, WGU and others, insistently awaiting rewards.
“If you’re going to do that, stick to it and keep pushing for it,” Morales says.