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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 situated 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 packages in Biology, Psychology, Pc Science and Data Methods. U.S. Information and World Report ranks UMBC #6 for each innovation and undergraduate educating, and we graduate extra college students of coloration that go onto earn MDs or PhD’s than some other establishment in the USA.

Digital Transformation: Pupil orientation and advising program

A specific level of pleasure at UMBC is the coed 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 essential to getting college students off to a robust 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 compelled 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 accomplice throughout campus, so we had been engaged with different stakeholders early to assist construct the answer. We additionally had the nice 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. Transferring 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 discovered

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 employees satisfaction.  For instance, use of Cisco Webex enabled sooner decision of pupil queries and allowed school to work from their workplace or houses whereas concurrently being on name to assist 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 wish to share a couple of key success elements for consideration:

  • Construct relationships with enterprise leaders throughout your establishment earlier than you look to start out a undertaking. In the event you perceive their wants, and there may be mutual belief, it permits for simpler collaborations, and ensures hurdles don’t derail the undertaking.
  • Begin with the top aim in thoughts – what you wish to obtain, what outcomes, what success seems to be like – don’t begin with the know-how!
  • 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 to work with robust companions like Cisco which are 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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