Salesforce.org Education Cloud for Higher Ed: Three Ways to Transform the Student Experience

By Nathalie Mainland | August 24, 2018 | Higher Education, Salesforce Advisor Link (SAL), Student Experience

Salesforce.org Education CloudLast March, we announced our next step in deepening our commitment to Higher Ed innovation with Salesforce.org Education Cloud for Higher Ed – a cloud-based set of solutions that enables institutions of all sizes to drive student success across the entire life cycle from prospect to alum. Think of Education Cloud as an umbrella over a complete set of solutions for recruiting and admissions, student success, advancement, as well as purpose-built products like HEDA (Higher Education Data Architecture), Salesforce Advisor Link, and our new gift processing capabilities in development.*

There’s never been a better time to leverage Education Cloud to become a Connected Campus. We’re excited to continue our innovation in Higher Ed and help institutions blaze their trail to a digital transformation. And we’re already seeing a ton of success across the Higher Ed community. Trailblazers from community colleges, small private institutions, and large public universities are now spending less time organizing student data and more time guiding students on their path to success.

Higher ed institutions succeed with Salesforce.org Education Cloud.

But we know that the path to digital transformation isn’t always easy and that every institution is different. To help you get started, we chatted with one of our customer Trailblazers, Rebecca Joffrey, IT Innovation Officer at Cornell University and a founding member of the Salesforce.org Higher Ed Advisory Council. Take a look at what Rebecca has to say about the top three ways to transform the student experience with Education Cloud:

1. Put Student Success First

Higher ed technology enables student successIt might sound simple, but starting with the goal of student success will help create the blueprint you need to get started on a digital transformation. Rebecca Joffrey has been a Salesforce customer for 9 years and has always been laser-focused on improving the student experience. Cornell University’s student centric approach has a lot to do with how they view their students as co-creators of the campus experience:

    “Universities have a different relationship with our constituents than a typical
    company. It’s a very engaged relationship. The students are co-creators of the
    experience – they aren’t like a Starbucks coffee drinker where they interact with us
    casually here and there. A student’s relationship with their higher ed institution is critical to
    their future, their goals, and their identity.”
    – Rebecca Joffrey

Students truly are at the center of the campus experience. That’s why it’s critical to leverage technology solutions that make it easy to capture that 360-degree view of the student and how they engage with your institution across the entire lifecycle.

However, Rebecca notes that it has been painful for institutions to find the right technology solution that connects all aspects of the student experience. For years institutions have been “trying to marry together a set of tools, each designed for a singular and specific aspect of student life from admissions to clubs, dorm life, advising and career management. But stitching together legacy technologies with their own interface and data structure does not create a smooth experience for anyone – not for the students or for the staff and faculty who want to support them. Not only is it expensive, but students can fall through the cracks.”

Education Cloud connects each aspect of the student experience – from recruiting and admissions to student success and advancement – all in a single view. By eliminating the need to stitch together student data across multiple systems, institutions can have more time to proactively support students on their path to graduation and beyond.

Education Cloud “highlights a commitment from Salesforce to the nuances of Higher Ed, which is critical,” notes Rebecca. Cornell intends to drive more meaningful student engagements at scale from career counseling to academic advising and more. “Having equal access to everything available at the university is key to helping each individual achieve their goals,” notes Rebecca. It truly is the foundation for student success and the first step in transforming the student experience.

2. Get Involved with the Community

Power of Us Hub, where Salesforce.org customers share ideas, advice and resourcesBy integrating data across the student lifecycle, Education Cloud not only drives student success but institutional success as well. And that’s key when thinking about the state of Higher Ed today:

    “The education landscape is changing. We want students to focus on learning and engaging with the experiences, resources and people across the university. We want to make that easier. We don’t want to have systems and process that make it harder. Staying the same is really just making things harder for the student and institution.” – Rebecca Joffrey

The power of the Salesforce.org community can help institutions go from “staying the same” to embarking on a digital transformation that unifies siloed data systems across campus. By getting involved with resources like the Power of Us Hub, higher ed institutions can connect with Education Cloud customers, learn best practices and discover how other institutions became a Connected Campus.

Rebecca notes that “there’s nothing like joint problem solving” and that it’s “invaluable to be able to solve these problems with other people and with other schools.” She goes on to say: “One thing I really appreciate about the Salesforce community is the diversity. Often, at conferences, we see similar schools over and over but in the Salesforce world, we have the ability to learn from schools we normally wouldn’t encounter.”

Learning from other institutions by getting involved with the broader community is a great way to learn, grow and take the next step towards transforming the student experience.

a group at the Salesforce.org Open Source Community Sprint

3. Create a Culture of Innovation on Campus

We know this isn’t always easy to do, but there a few steps you can take to start creating a culture of innovation on campus. First and foremost, start thinking about the top challenges that are making it difficult to drive student success. Is it easy for students to schedule an advising appointment? Do they need to go to multiple websites to access resources? Talking with students and answering these questions is essential in order to start a culture of innovation:

    “This is about modernizing your infrastructure that supports your most important constituents. It’s about creating the modern experience that students and alumni are demanding.”
    – Rebecca Joffrey

One way to get the innovation conversation going is to join us at Dreamforce where you can hear from Education Cloud customers and partake in hands on workshops that will help you take the next step in becoming a Connected Campus. Our open-source community sprints are another great way to get hands on with Higher Ed innovation. These two-day events bring together Higher Ed Trailblazers to identify the top challenges across education and collectively develop impactful technology solutions. You can check out what makes our open source sprints different.

Start prioritizing opportunities for change and see where you can make the most collective impact on campus. Interested in chatting with a rep? Contact us to start your innovation conversation today.

For more information on Education Cloud, visit salesforce.org/highered.

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*Any unreleased services or features referenced herein are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase our services should make their purchase decisions based upon features and products that are currently available.