How to Adapt to the New Reality of Higher Ed, Part 1

This year has disrupted what was once considered normal operations for so many industries, and colleges and universities have not been exempt. This was especially evident for those involved in Higher Education, as students, faculty, and staff recently began the fall semester.

An increase in competition and pressure had already been a problem for many Higher Ed organizations, but the addition of a global health crisis has added further stressors—such as students and parents having issues with costs and new concerns for safety on and around campuses.

Virtual learning and digital transformations have been offered as an answer, but organizations need to be pushing themselves more in order to meet both new and old challenges.

So, how are organizations supposed to push themselves in this new reality when they’re already under so much strain? By getting the most out of digital solutions, like the Salesforce Education Cloud.

Finding Solutions with Salesforce Education Cloud

  1. Communication

Adaptation and communication are key right now, particularly when it comes to connecting with students. One of the main complaints from students and teachers alike is that they’re not receiving enough information and are unsure of what’s going on.

What can your organization do?

  • Push information out as much as possible
    • Use Communities to put out a knowledge base for students, it:
      • Keeps information standardized and secure
      • Can include everything from accessing online classes, course content to how to access library materials
      • Let’s them help themselves on their own schedule
    • Use Communities for faculty and staff
      • Again, put out as much information as you can from changes in procedure to tips for generating student participation
  • Now more than ever your organization needs to utilize different methods of accessibility
    • Students today are more comfortable using mobile devices and social media, meaning Salesforce mobile is a crucial platform for communicating effectively
  1. Support

While the bulk of media coverage has been about virtual learning and virtual classrooms, virtual student support is an important way Higher Education organizations can adapt with Salesforce Higher Ed.

How can your organization adapt to this new reality?

  • Listen, listen, listen—real-time data let’s student support answer the right questions at the right time, in the right ways
    • Students can submit tickets for the type of support they need
      • Tickets can be categorized and addressed easily by the right department
      • This data can be used to help with what we discussed in the section above, Communication; student support can:
        • Update information to what’s relevant
        • Archive information that’s not relevant
      • The chat function in Communities is great for offering support and getting students the help or answers they need
  • Rethink your Student Advisor services
    • Utilizing alerts for at-risk students is more important than ever, and should be prioritized
    • Salesforce Higher Ed is known for its 360 views of a student’s experience but has added recent Advisor Link for Student Advisory services
      • New features are being added continually, which include:
        • Mobile appointment booking for students
        • Virtual check-in and walk-in management
  1. Safety

Social distancing can be difficult on crowded campuses, and campus health services are more than

likely overwhelmed with students wanting information right now.

How can your organization help?

  • Get your Health Services staff comfortable with Communities and Salesforce Education Cloud
    • If a student tests positive for Covid, can your Health Services staff notify everyone they need to quickly and easily?
      • This could help with:
        • Counseling them on what to do about classes if they’re ill
        • Seeing who they had contact with on campus, such as classes or in-person appointments
        • Notifying administration that they need to alert the organization
      • Health Services can easily use Communities to put out up-to-date information on how to minimize health and safety risks, if the organization is making masks or hand sanitizer available, etc.
      • Consider looking into to further empower your campus Health Services program
  • Think about the ways your connected campus can track, advise, inform, and assist from a distance
    • Salesforce is constantly updating features to help Higher Education organizations adapt
      • Keep informed and ask for help if you need it while navigating your options

Solutions for Financial Concerns and Resiliency

In part two of this blog we’ll be covering more ways to adapt using Salesforce Higher Ed, with solutions for finances and resiliency.

This blog series is about getting the most about Salesforce Higher Ed, but if you’re new to the product or your Higher Education organization is looking for help, please contact us.