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Digital Transformation at UMBC – How the pandemic created a chance to reimagine pupil providers


This put up was authored by Damian Doyle, Deputy CIO and Senior Affiliate VP for the College of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). 

The College of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) is an R1 college positioned simply exterior of Baltimore, MD that serves a various pupil physique of 14,000 undergraduate and graduate and PhD college students. We’re a STEM-focused establishment with our largest applications in Biology, Psychology, Laptop Science and Info Methods. U.S. Information and World Report ranks UMBC #6 for each innovation and undergraduate educating, and we graduate extra college students of colour that go onto earn MDs or PhD’s than another establishment in the USA.

Digital Transformation: Scholar orientation and advising program

A selected level of pleasure at UMBC is the scholar orientation and advising program, which loved a pre-pandemic pupil satisfaction charge of 85%-90%. It’s the primary interplay a brand new pupil has with the faculty expertise, so its success is crucial to getting college students off to a powerful begin. Orientation is a full day occasion that takes place all through the campus, with the advising course of occurring in our library to assist college students register for lessons and entry quite a lot of providers.

The pandemic pressured us to rework this in-person expertise in two quick months. The excellent news was that the IT division was already seen as a strategic associate throughout campus, so we have been engaged with different stakeholders early to assist construct the answer. We additionally had the great fortune of getting made a pre-pandemic funding in Cisco Webex. This enabled us to speed up our rollout plan as we shifted to distant.  Lastly, we collaboratively engaged a broad number of campus stakeholders that helped construct a brand new mannequin enabling 2700 college students to efficiently full the all-virtual orientation in September 2020 and three,500 college students in 2021.  Better of all, our new mannequin yielded a record-breaking pupil satisfaction charge of 94% whereas being 100% COVID secure. Shifting ahead we are going to implement a hybrid mannequin that blends each the digital and in-person codecs for various items of the orientation and advising expertise.

Classes realized

Digitizing pupil orientation and advising did greater than enable us to ship providers remotely. It additionally drove effectivity, improved service supply and yielded superior pupil, school and workers satisfaction.  For instance, use of Cisco Webex enabled sooner decision of pupil queries and allowed school to work from their workplace or properties whereas concurrently being on name to help college students.  We plan to leverage these and different advantages to reimagine and redesign different pupil providers throughout campus.

Keys to success

For IT leaders exploring comparable tasks, I want to share just a few key success elements for consideration:

  • Construct relationships with enterprise leaders throughout your establishment earlier than you look to begin a challenge. In case you perceive their wants, and there may be mutual belief, it permits for more practical collaborations, and ensures hurdles don’t derail the challenge.
  • Begin with the top purpose in thoughts – what you need to obtain, what outcomes, what success appears to be like like – don’t begin with the expertise!
  • Interact all stakeholders early! This can each give them a way of possession and enhance adoption.
  • Perceive that digital transformation is not only a stopgap and that you are able to do BETTER with hybrid fashions!
  • Anticipate to make errors, embrace them and be taught from them!

Lastly, be sure you work with sturdy companions like Cisco which can be dedicated to your success and have the portfolio and expertise to drive digital transformation.

To be taught extra about UMBC’s digital transformation and partnership with Cisco, hearken to the webinar:

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