Salesforce.org Education Cloud Helps Dallas College Better Serve Its Students & Community
Dallas, Texas, is a tale of two cities. Like many urban areas, it’s experiencing a great deal of growth and development — the skyline is full of cranes putting up new buildings. However, one in four Dallas County residents lives in poverty. Among 19,000 economically disadvantaged Dallas County 8th-graders, less than 10% will complete a college degree.
The seven colleges comprising the Dallas College have always been a beacon of hope for their communities. In fact, 80% of Dallas College’s students come from underserved populations. In 2016, knowing it had to continue its work to build more inclusive pathways to education, Dallas College decided to start a “college promise” program — a guaranteed free-tuition program similar to the successful Tennessee Promise. Through the new Dallas County Promise program, Dallas College provides high school seniors with guaranteed free tuition to one of its seven community colleges, and the district also assigns a success coach who starts to work with students during their senior year of high school.
Partnering with a community that included the Commit Partnership, Dallas College, four-year university partners like the University of North Texas at Dallas and Southern Methodist University, K-12 school districts, and many others, the Promise platform was built and launched on Salesforce in an astounding seven weeks. “We knew we needed a platform that could connect this massive ecosystem. Salesforce.org Education Cloud was the right platform to build this infrastructure quickly,” says Dr. Joe May, Chancellor of the Dallas College.
Using Education Cloud, Dallas College can tell high school partners how many of their students have signed up for the Promise program, how many are at each stage of the process, and what questions they’re frequently asking. “We’re giving high school counselors and principals information they’ve never had previously about their own students’ progress toward college,” says May.
Once students sign up, they are enrolled in a communication journey. Using the power of Marketing Cloud, Dallas College can design and visualize the ideal communication journey for each student and run it automatically for the 9,000 students in the program, guiding them through processes like applying for financial aid and completing the college application.
Beyond a Two-Year Degree
But it’s not just about building pathways from K-12 to college. Dallas College also is working to remove barriers in the next stage of the life cycle: the transition from two-year colleges to four-year institutions and eventually to the workforce.
With its “Greenlight Platform,” Dallas College is using Blockchain technology to create a record for each student that any of its colleges can write to. What previously took weeks can now be instantaneous. Institutions and employers could instantly verify a student’s credentials without going through the hassle of requesting a transcript, receiving it by mail, and verifying it. The Greenlight platform allows students to log in and see their ledger: all of their credentials in one place, each of them backed up by Blockchain. Verified sources can also add a new credential – like a Salesforce Trailhead badge.
One of the big benefits to employers and institutions is that they can list their programs and openings on Greenlight. For example, students can mark their interest in a particular program at UNT Dallas, one of DCCD’s four-year partner schools. At this point, integration with Salesforce happens. Because UNT Dallas is running on Salesforce, all of the students who use Greenlight and say they’re interested in a particular UNT Dallas program will automatically be populated into the UNT Dallas Salesforce instance. Now, the four-year school can start to engage those students before they even step on campus, and the university doesn’t have to worry about verifying the students’ credentials.
This school year, 9,300 seniors in 31 high schools across seven Dallas school districts signed up for the Dallas County Promise, and more than 40% (2,841 students) are now enrolled in Dallas College. That’s almost 1,000 more students than 2017’s enrollment of 1,872 from those high schools. With the help of Education Cloud, Dallas College is building pathways to college for students who never thought a degree was a possibility.
Dr. May says, “We follow what we call the ‘Dallas College Way,’ which includes four core values: creating jobs; increasing prosperity in our community; inspiring everyone to achieve; and improving the quality of life for all. It’s great to be part of this community and to partner with Salesforce.org because, when I look at their values, they’re aligned with ours.”