Higher education institutions have readily adopted Oracle’s PeopleSoft Campus Solutions as their student information system because of its comprehensive and flexible functionality. It provides administrators with the critical backend capabilities they need to serve their student base. PeopleSoft houses all of the student data necessary for staff to support and manage students’ progress throughout their degree programs, including enrollment, degree planning and student financing.
The goal for any institution is likely student success. This term is now synonymous with outcomes, a key driver for institutions concerned with funding and rankings. Oracle’s PeopleSoft helps universities strategically use technology to support their overall goals and strategies so they can be successful. But what does that mean?
Data is the critical element to any student information system. Each student generates a significant amount of data, as a prospect, a student and an eventual alumni. All of this data must be managed throughout the student lifecycle, but it hasn’t always been easy. Many institutions house bits and pieces of this data in disparate internal systems, making it difficult to share or integrate the data in order to develop a comprehensive student profile.
Oracle solves this issue as well as cost overruns to support such an infrastructure by integrating the various systems with Campus Solutions. In doing so, Campus Solutions consolidates all of the data and makes it accessible to the institution to perform their many required tasks along the student’s journey.
The success of Campus Solution resides in its cloud architecture. Institutions can leverage the Continuous Delivery Model to take advantage of ongoing Campus Solution upgrade without additional costs or downtime. While integrating data and making it more accessible undergirds the institutions ability to deliver on its student success goals, Campus Solutions specifically addresses many challenges around the students themselves.
For the institution, student success boils down to one thing: improving outcomes. Enrollment numbers no longer provide bragging rights. Graduation rates are what get the attention. Institutions are focusing their efforts on helping students not only graduate but graduate on time. Identifying at-risk students may be the key to ensuring success.
At-risk students include those who have deviated from their intended track. They may be at risk for dropping out, for taking too long to graduate or for losing financial aid. Reaching these students before they get too far off their path is critical in helping them reach their goals. One way to do this is to provide students with a clear path with each step marked out for them. Guides like this can also help all students, at risk or not, to set goals, monitor their progress, and manage their journey.
Another challenge many students face is that they enroll in classes that may not qualify for financial aid or towards their degree requirements. This can put students at risk for giving up, graduating beyond their intended goal, or spending more money than they had budgeted. To combat this problem, Campus Solutions help institutions create program curricula to guide students to enroll in only the courses they need to satisfy their degree requirements. Students are provided with not only the courses they need to take to fulfill their requirements, but it presents those classes in the sequence and exact timing they should be taken.
All of these features and capabilities have changed the game for institutions, but do they go far enough?
Today’s students are different than those even a decade ago. Their reliance on mobile devices has changed how students interact with each other and their schools. Practically everything a student does in their personal life can be accomplished more easily using a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. As commonplace as these activities have become, however, many institutions aren’t offering a similar experience for students on campus.
Students expect they can complete their school tasks and manage their educational journey easily, quickly and from anywhere they go. This means their mobile device becomes their online portal. They aren’t logging into computers as frequently and they aren’t printing off sheets of paper telling them in which classes they are enrolled and where those classes are.
PeopleSoft Campus Solutions integrates student data into a centralized hub (a.k.a. student information system) and helps administrators better manage student success initiatives. While this is a huge leap forward to influence student outcomes, it can do more to put greater functionality into the hands of the students themselves.
The next step beyond integrating student data is making it available to the students so they can take control of their own educational journey and become more self-sufficient. In doing so, they relieve much of the administrative burdens for institutional staff while they take ownership of their own success. Students are already used to this self-reliance. They are exhibiting this behavior in many other areas of their lives with the help of technology and applications. It’s time institutions cut the apron strings and give students the opportunity to mature.
The less hand-holding administrators and advisors must do to keep students on track, the more time those staff members have to reach out to at-risk students, engage with students, and have direct impact on the student experience. Students, on the other hand, have all of the information they need to succeed at their fingertips. They don’t need special training to use the app because they are quite familiar with navigating these kinds of apps. They use them every day.
The key to making this happen is to bring the backend features to the frontend – the student-facing end where students can have similar access to their data as the staff members. It doesn’t happen through complex integrations with additional software, however. It is made possible through a solution that sits within the PeopleSoft Campus Solutions platform itself.
The purpose of any technology is to improve efficiencies and introduce capabilities. Before PeopleSoft Campus Solutions, student data was disjointed and tasks were labor intensive. The technology consolidated data and streamlined operations to give administrators greater capabilities with less work. But what about the students?
Student success must be supported both academically and socially, and these must be enabled through the use of modern technology. PeopleSoft provides administrators and staff with key functionalities and now the focus must be placed on the student experience. HighPoint leverages the core features of PeopleSoft, adds functionality, and extends them to the students, for the students. In essence, it brings the data from within PeopleSoft to the student.
What do students most want from their technology? When it comes to higher education, students want to complete required tasks and steps with minimal effort. So much of what they need to do can be efficiently accomplished without having to schedule appointments with advisors and administrators yet that’s exactly what many institutions still require. When you give students the ability to perform many of these tasks from the convenience of their mobile device, you are directly impacting the potential for them to succeed.
HighPoint understands students and higher education institutions. There are dozens of steps each student must take from the time they enroll as a freshman to the time they graduate. Our products make it easier and faster for them to get from point A to point B. How? We eliminate many of the manual processes, the need to schedule appointments, and the risk for missing a step. We believe school shouldn’t be a confusing web of to-dos, but a succinct, transparent and manageable journey that every student has the ability to navigate themselves.
HighPoint provides students with apps they can use throughout their educational journey. Our Degree Planner enables them chart their course, the Schedule Builder allows them to customize their schedules, and a Roadmap helps them monitor their progress. We automate the financial aid process and provide a Financial Aid Course Auditor so they never have to worry about taking a class that isn’t eligible for financial aid. Communicating with their peers and their school is simplified through the Message Center so no important message is missed.
All of these products are available to the student from an online portal as well as their mobile device through HighPoint Mobile, an app they can download from the App Store or Google Play. HighPoint Mobile is our flagship product because it does what PeopleSoft Campus Solutions and other mobile products simply can’t: provide a robust, unique mobile experience students have come to expect from their other apps.
The problem with other mobile campus apps is that they are add-on products that don’t have the student experience in mind. They were developed to solve the mobility issue but not the student issue. Students are tech savvy. Investing in custom coding or knock-off brands to enable mobile is a waste of resources because if the student experience is poor, they simply won’t use the technology.
HighPoint is the only solution to provide student-facing apps the students actually want to use. Our interface sits inside of PeopleSoft instead of simply integrating with it. This means institutions and students get real-time information with no interruptions, no delays and no middleman. We bring the data from within PeopleSoft to the fingertips of users in the fastest, most reliable way possible.
When students have access to their PeopleSoft data from their mobile device and portal, amazing things happen. They research and find classes that count towards their degree. They conduct “what if” scenarios to see how changing majors or colleges impacts their graduation date. They enroll and pay for classes but only the classes they are sure will qualify towards their degree and financial aid. They consult their degree planner and roadmap to make sure they are staying on track and taking the right steps to reach their goals. They receive messages and push notifications from their school suggesting next steps needed. They communicate with administrators, advisors and students. They engage on social media. They check grades, apply for graduation, and request transcripts.
All of these tasks and many more are made possible when data is brought from the backend system of PeopleSoft to the frontend, student-facing app. Every one of these mentioned tasks can be completed without a single appointment with a staff member. Students can do more with less effort. This translates into better student outcomes and greater student success.
If your student data is still locked up inside of PeopleSoft, it’s time to set it free. Empower your students to take control of their educational journey and release your staff from the heavy administrative burdens they must balance with their daily tasks. Students and staff will be able to do more through automated steps and with transparent data so they can be more successful.