Within the last few years many higher education institutions and systems have invested heavily in technology and have raised the bar in student expectations for online student services and online learning opportunities.
Because systems and schools that fail to offer state-of-the-art online learning opportunities and accompanying services over the next decade will lose students who routinely use commercial applications such as Amazon.com, PayPal and Facebook to browse catalogs, pay bills and network with one another. Digitally savvy students demand these same conveniences from their educational institutions and now have the choice of taking online classes from public and private institutions anywhere in the world.
So what is being done through technology. Well, the goals of many technology investments include the following:
- Creation of online course offerings, collaborative environments and even online clubs and activities.
- Providing life-long learning resources and experiences for students, staff, faculty, administration, college leadership and alumni;
- Support and enhance information collaboration and knowledge sharing;
- Provide a standards-based technology architecture across colleges or systems;
- Provide wireless access to students across the campus environment;
- Consistent and convenient data integration for back office system such as finance, billing and purchasing;
- Increase educational capacity and effectiveness through shared IT resources
- Provide 24/7 online student services;
- Develop an academic culture of rapid, constant change and continuous improvement;
- Shift to modern technology infrastructures (hardware and software) which are scalable and interoperable with existing and foreseeable technological innovations;
- Increase recruiting yield with more effective targeting of recruiting dollars;
- Increase admissions productivity with more inquiries and applications processed by fewer staff;
- Increase financial aid productivity with more financial aid applications processed with fewer staff;
- Optimize course scheduling to allow more classes and events to be scheduled with a smaller inventory of classrooms;
- Shift to web-based financial aid systems to allow students to submit applications, view and accept or decline awards, and view transaction balances online;
- Shift to web-based course registration to allow course enrollments to be transacted and course grades to be posted online;
- Shift to self-service human resources systems that allow employees to self-manage their paychecks, benefits, vacation, and sick leave accruals.
Does this cover everything? Did I miss something? Does this "feel" accurate? Are higher education systems really there?
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