Skip to Content

Salesforce.org Winter ‘22 Release Powers Student Engagement & Retention From Anywhere

By Susan Morrow | November 16, 2021 | , | Education

With undergraduate enrollment rates continuing to slide, it’s critical to ensure that every prospective student has a seamless and personalized application experience. Removing barriers to access and ensuring a connected journey from admitted to enrolled student is key to creating a sense of belonging, fostering trust, and ultimately driving student retention.

Take a look at how Education Cloud is powering student engagement and retention — from the application process to appointment booking — with the latest innovations from our Winter ‘22 release.

Students walking on a college campus
The latest innovations from Salesforce.org are aimed at empowering student engagement and retention.

Admissions Connect: Mobile Responsive Applicant Portal

The Admissions Connect Applicant Portal is now mobile friendly, marking an incredibly important milestone for students who don’t have access to a computer or laptop at home. Prospective students can now view the content of their application, overall progress, and upload required documents to the Applicant Portal right from their phone. They can also check on the status of their application 24/7 using the pre-configured chatbot that integrates with Admissions Connect, accessing updates via text, Whatsapp, Facebook or Slack. These mobile-first experiences are an important step toward ensuring the success of every applicant and increasing accessibility to higher education for all.

We are also excited to announce the launch of a closed pilot for our newest integration tool, Data Mover. From purchased lists to common flat file uploads, this tool is designed to help you stage, map, and identify potential duplicates when importing Leads and Contacts with all of their related information into Admissions Connect and the Education Data Architecture (EDA).

Admissions Connect Mobile Responsive Applicant Portal
The Admissions Connect Applicant Portal is now mobile-friendly, marking an incredibly important milestone for students who don’t have access to a computer or laptop at home.

Financial Aid Chat Bot

The Financial Aid Chatbot supports prospective students as they complete the FAFSA by answering commonly asked questions about eligibility, providing guidance on every question in the application, and sending proactive reminders of upcoming local, state, and federal deadlines. Rather than being confined to advisor availability during specific business hours, a bot allows students to connect with assistance from their mobile device on their own time.

GIF of the Financial Aid Chatbot in action
The Financial Aid Chatbot supports prospective students as they complete the FAFSA by answering common questions about eligibility, providing guidance on the application, and sending proactive reminders about upcoming deadlines.

Student Success Hub for Higher Education and K-12

As students reacclimate to campus life and navigate new hybrid learning environments, getting tailored support fast will be key to driving their success. Higher education and K-12 schools can use Student Success Hub Retention Tools to drive holistic student support from anywhere. With Student Success Hub, higher ed and K-12 staff can create success plans to support any population segment with appropriate interventions that they know will work best. Those plans can then be tracked by higher ed students with an integrated chatbot that proactively nudges students to complete tasks or ask for help when they need it.

Staff can also visualize data on specific student segments, drill into persistence rates, and measure diversity and inclusion goals — all in one place. With prebuilt dashboards powered by Tableau, student services teams can easily visualize key data points, make data-driven decisions, and share important metrics with campus leadership.

A screenshot of a Tableau dashboard
The Financial Aid Chatbot supports prospective students as they complete the FAFSA by answering common questions about eligibility, providing guidance on the application, and sending proactive reminders about upcoming deadlines.

In the latest edition of our Connected Student Report, only 27% of students reported that they could easily sign up for an advising appointment. With the new Scheduling Wizard within Student Success Hub, higher ed students have the flexibility to book multiple types of appointments depending on their needs, including: online, hybrid, or in-person appointments; group sessions; self-serve scheduling; and more. They can also schedule appointments based on location, timing, and topic — all from their mobile phone.

Student-Facing Scheduling WizardStudent-Facing Scheduling WizardStudent-Facing Scheduling Wizard
The Scheduling Wizard gives students the flexibility to book multiple types of appointments right on their mobile device.

Education Data Architecture Enhancements

The Winter ‘22 release for EDA introduces support for 14 different achievements and learning experiences to its data model, empowering users to display this information within the context of a comprehensive learner record. In addition, the new Release Management tab within EDA Settings provides a central location for system administrators to manage Education Cloud releases, providing more time to test new features in your sandbox before activating them in production on a timeline that works for your institution. Finally, we’re thrilled to deliver our most-voted idea on the IdeaExchange — the ability to mark addresses inactive.

A screenshot of a new feature in EDA
The Winter ‘22 release for EDA introduces support for 14 different achievements and learning experiences to its data model, including Academic Certification Achievement.

To learn more about these innovations, watch our Release Readiness Live for Winter ‘22 to see these features in action.


About the Author

Susan Morrow, Vice President of Product Management, Education Cloud, Salesforce.org
Susan Morrow
General Manager, Education Cloud at Salesforce.org
Susan Morrow has focused her career on the intersection of technology and social impact, currently working with a talented team of education technologists to lead product management for Salesforce Education Cloud. She previously served as Vice Chancellor of Innovation for a nonprofit university system, and prior to that, Chief Operating Officer for a social-impact venture providing affordable, accessible higher education to working adults. Other education tech experience includes serving as a development executive for Pearson, Chief Product Officer for Reading Rainbow and VP of Products for Leapfrog educational toys.