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Digital Transformation at UMBC – How the pandemic created a possibility to reimagine scholar providers

This publish 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 scholar 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 Data Methods. U.S. Information and World Report ranks UMBC #6 for each innovation and undergraduate instructing, and we graduate extra college students of coloration that go onto earn MDs or PhD’s than another establishment in the USA.

Digital Transformation: Scholar orientation and advising program

A specific level of satisfaction at UMBC is the scholar orientation and advising program, which loved a pre-pandemic scholar satisfaction price of 85%-90%. It’s the primary interplay a brand new scholar has with the school expertise, so its success is vital 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 remodel this in-person expertise in two quick months. The excellent news was that the IT division was already seen as a strategic companion throughout campus, so we have 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 scholar satisfaction price of 94% whereas being 100% COVID protected. Transferring ahead we’ll 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 scholar orientation and advising did greater than enable us to ship providers remotely. It additionally drove effectivity, improved service supply and yielded superior scholar, college and workers satisfaction.  For instance, use of Cisco Webex enabled quicker decision of scholar queries and allowed college to work from their workplace or houses whereas concurrently being on name to help college students.  We plan to leverage these and different advantages to reimagine and redesign different scholar providers throughout campus.

Keys to success

For IT leaders exploring related tasks, I want to share a couple of key success components for consideration:

  • Construct relationships with enterprise leaders throughout your establishment earlier than you look to begin 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 need to obtain, what outcomes, what success seems 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 isn’t just a stopgap and that you are able to do BETTER with hybrid fashions!
  • Count on to make errors, embrace them and study from them!

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

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


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