Datamark and Neustar Team Up to Lead Session at 2013 Interactive Insights Summit

Attendees Learn How to Increase Engagement both Online and Offline with Segmentation

Salt Lake City, UT – April 23, 2013 – Datamark, the leader in data-driven enrollment marketing, is collaborating with Neustar, the trusted real-time information services and marketing analytics provider for higher education institutions, at this year’s Interactive Insights Summit. Executives from both companies will lead a dialog with college and university leaders, helping them transform data into actionable content so they can segment audiences, market more effectively, and measure the results.

“There is no shortage of data when it comes to enrollment marketing, but turning that data into usable information and acting on it opens up a whole new world of possibilities for marketers – they become empowered to make better decisions,” said Rick Bentz, Senior Vice President of Business Intelligence at Datamark and session presenter. “When educators understand prospective students’ behavior, outreach can be more strategic. Schools can target their efforts to reach specific prospects through the most appropriate channels with more meaningful messages – both online and offline.”

Co-presenting with Bentz is Greg Schibler, Vice President of Analytics at Neustar. The two will share their insights into how schools can better manage student inquiries, evaluate potential fit, and determine the best way to engage prospects in a compelling and relevant way. “Marketing with Reach: Increase Engagement Both Online and Offline with Segmentation” will take place on Tuesday, April 30th at 2:00 p.m.

The 2013 Interactive Insights Summit, hosted by Neustar, is focused on “Real Intelligence. Better Decisions.” Attendees will leave with fresh ideas and actionable takeaways for harnessing real-time consumer insights to personalize multi-channel interactions, mitigate risk, verify consumer information, prioritize leads, optimize marketing strategies and more, with the most innovative solutions and tools. The event will be held April 29th – May 1st at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans.

About Datamark
Since 1987, Datamark (www.datamark.com) has delivered innovative, data-driven marketing exclusively to higher education. The company provides marketing advisory research services, full-service lead generation and management, and conversion marketing solutions designed to reach, engage and motivate prospective students. Focusing on performance and visibility into the student enrollment cycle, Datamark helps schools drive higher return on their marketing investment.

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New York man accused of cyberstalking college students

Savader sent text messages using Google Voice numbers to 15 women.

A New York man was charged Tuesday in federal court in Detroit with cyberstalking 15 women, telling them he had nude photos of them and threatening to distribute them to their friends and family unless they sent them more naked pictures of themselves.

According to an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court, the defendant, Adam P. Savader, 21, sent anonymous text messages using Google Voice numbers to 15 women in Detroit; Washington, D.C.; and Long Island, N.Y. Savader sent some of the victims links to a photo-sharing website where nude pictures of the victims had been posted, the affidavit said.

The FBI learned about the case from Ann Arbor, Mich., police detectives, who had received a complaint last September from a university student stating that she had received threatening messages from a person who had illegally obtained nude photographs of her from her email account.

The affidavit did not say which university she attended. According to the affidavit, the student had taken six nude photos of herself using an iPhone, uploaded them to her AOL account and intended to send them to her now ex-boyfriend in England.

But she never sent the photos and she never shared them with anyone, nor did she ever give anyone authority to access her AOL account, the affidavit stated. About a month later, the woman noticed that every time she logged into her AOL account, she was prompted to respond to a security question and had to change her password.

Three months later, she received a text message from someone claiming to be “John Smith” and threatening that he had nude photos of her and that “he would send the nude photos … to her parents and friends if she did not send him additional photos.” Smith knew the names of her parents and displayed a Facebook picture of her mother to prove he knew her family, the affidavit said.

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With admitted student weekends disrupted, universities went online

As universities shuttered their campuses and canceled activities during Friday’s lockdown, prospective students who had come from around the country for open house visits suddenly found themselves stranded and without answers to the many questions that would influence their college decision, Boston Magazine reports. After acceptances get sent out, April is typically the final push for universities to lock in their new freshmen class by inviting them to campus through scheduled open houses. But as the manhunt began, suspending much of the travel to and from Boston and requiring that much of the city stay inside, schools with scheduled admitted students weekends, including Boston University, Harvard, Tufts, and Northeastern quickly pulled the plug on their events. To cope, Both Harvard and BU took their prospective student outreach online. Representatives and students who volunteer in the Admissions Office began posting on the BU Class of 2017 Facebook page and using the hashtag #BU2017 on Twitter, offering to answer questions for students who were either stranded in Boston or hadn’t begun their journey here yet. But it didn’t stop there.

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Financial regulators to warn about student debt risks

The panel of senior U.S. regulators charged with safeguarding the financial system will warn this week about risks posed by the rapidly growing amount of student debt, increasing pressure on policymakers to deal with the potential problem, The Huffington Post reports. At roughly $1 trillion and rising, education loans may hamper economic growth and limit home purchases as overly indebted households and young workers cut back on consumption and borrowing, the Financial Stability Oversight Council is poised to warn in its latest annual report, sources familiar with the matter said. The yearly compendium on financial developments and potential risks to the financial system, prepared by the nine agencies that comprise FSOC, will be made public on Thursday. Student debt will not be presented as an immediate threat to financial stability, these people said, but its mention in the report as a risk is likely to alarm a sector that has been in policymakers’ sights for the past year.

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5 steps to improve your chances of staying in college

A lot of final college decisions are being made now by high school seniors as the May 1 National Candidate’s Reply Date looms. Most colleges will hold the student’s place in the entering class and any financial aid they have offered until then, the Indianapolis Star reports. After that, all bets are off, especially if the class is full by that date. Inevitably, our client families’ questions are turning to, “What are the keys to making a successful college transition?” Here are five important tips.

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10 tips for success with analytics, information management, and reporting projects

Launching information management, reporting, and analytics systems can be difficult. Sustaining them – and creating enthusiastic users – is even trickier.

In a series of interviews, technology leaders from several K-12 districts and universities shared their secrets for successful information management, reporting, and analytics projects. From those interviews, 10 best practices were revealed.

1. Securing executive sponsorship.

When taking on an information management, reporting, and analytics initiative, all the leaders agreed about the importance of securing strong executive sponsorship. It goes beyond just getting approval of a budget to purchase software. You also need to have executive sponsorship at the highest level – someone who fully understands the value that reporting and analytics can bring to the district or institution and has a vision for using it to transform school, program, and student outcomes for the better.

2. Identifying and involving stakeholders early and assessing their unique needs.

You will come across a wide variety of potential users, ranging from different internal users and the school board/board of regents to government bodies, media, parents, and the general public. These stakeholders can have vastly different skill sets and requirements. So it’s vital that you identify and engage these stakeholders early in the reporting and analytics planning process, view them as customers, and analyze and segment them.

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St. Petersburg College Goes Live with Student Success Plan, Enlisting Unicon for Services and Support

Gilbert, AZ – April 22, 2013— Unicon, Inc., a leading IT consulting services provider specializing in open source for the education market, announced the deployment of the open source Student Success Plan (SSP) at St. Petersburg College (SPC). SSP is a holistic intervention coaching and counseling model, with case management software. The college is taking advantage of the early alert SSP feature, in which faculty and staff identify student challenges and send early alerts with their reasons and recommendations to engage the appropriate intervention staff. The early alert tool provides a feedback loop to the originator to encourage long-term engagement.

SSP improves retention, academic performance, persistence, graduation rates, and time to degree. Through counseling, web-based support systems, and proactive intervention techniques, students are identified, supported, and monitored. SSP can be used with any targeted population of students, such as at-risk students or athletes. SSP is project of the Apereo Foundation.

“Our experience during the implementation process with Unicon was excellent. The staff at Unicon was professional, very helpful, and patient throughout the process,” said Dr. Phillip V. Nicotera, Provost of
Caruth Health Education Center, SPC. “Whenever we needed them they always responded in a timely manner.”

Unicon completed installation of the software and integrated SSP with the college’s student information system and learning management system. Unicon also conducted training for system administrators and staff. SPC also signed up for support through Unicon’s innovative Cooperative Support program. The program guarantees a dedicated team of expert development and technical support specialists for direct technical support and assistance.

About St. Petersburg College
Located in St. Petersburg, Florida, SPC was the state’s first two-year college (founded in 1927) as well as the state’s first community college to offer bachelor’s degrees (2002). Today, SPC is one of 14 State Colleges, and serves as a model for incorporating bachelor’s degree programs into traditional two-year institutions. The number of students enrolled for the 2010-2011 academic year was over 60,000. To learn more, visit http://www.spcollege.edu/.

About Apereo
The Apereo Foundation was formed by the merger of Jasig and the Sakai Foundation in late December 2012. Sakai and Jasig had been pioneers in the production and adoption of open source software for higher education for over ten years. Apereo will take that work further, providing a more rational and improved organizational umbrella for a range of projects and software communities serving higher education. The core mission of the Foundation is to “assist and facilitate educational organizations which collaborate to foster, develop, and sustain open technologies and innovation to support learning, teaching, and research.” For more information, visit http://www.apereo.org.

About Unicon’s Cooperative Support Program
Unicon’s program provides member organizations with a predictable cost support solution for their open source applications including SSP, CAS, Grouper, Sakai, Shibboleth, uMobile, and uPortal. Development work and fixes performed by the Cooperative Support program for individual organizations are contributed back and shared with the SSP community. To learn more, visit http://www.unicon.net/support/cooperative.

About Unicon
Unicon, Inc. is a leading provider of IT consulting services for education and works with institutions and organizations to find solutions to meet business challenges. Unicon specializes in using open source technologies to deliver flexible and cost-effective systems in the areas of identity and access management, student success and retention, mobile computing, learning management systems, portals, online video, calendaring, email, and collaboration. Unicon is a Sakai Commercial Affiliate; an InCommon Affiliate and Participant; an Industry Member of Internet2; a Jasig and VMware Partner; an authorized Solution Provider for CAS, SSP, uPortal, and VMware; a Solution Partner of Kaltura; and a Services Partner and reseller of Liferay and Zimbra. For more information, visit: http://www.unicon.net.

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Unicon is a Registered Trademark of Unicon, Inc. All other product or service names are the property of their respective owners.

Media Contact: Jim Layne, Unicon, 480-558-2444 or jlayne@unicon.net.

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Are student loans destroying the economy?

Recoveries are powered by two things. Houses and cars. And young people aren’t buying either, The Atlantic reports. That’s the conclusion from a new study out of the New York Fed, via Brad Plumer, that can be easily read as blaming student debt for holding back the recovery by squashing home and auto sales. This study seems to feed into a familiarly scary story about student debt as a dangerous bubble that is piling unprecedented levels of debt on young people, and is wrecking the economy by preventing them from starting their lives. There’s two problems with that story…

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Survey: Students more likely to do coursework on smartphone than desktop

Fifty-five percent of students say they use their phone for academic purposes.

Technologists weren’t kidding when they warned educators last year that it was time to prepare for the challenges of a multi-screen world.

A survey conducted by the National Association of College Stores (NACS) showed that college students are now more likely to do coursework on their smartphones than a desktop computer.

That students are no longer relying on antiquated desktops isn’t surprising. However, more than half of students using their phones to complete and submit homework and other class assignments signals a definitive shift in the way students use technology for school purposes, educators said.

“More than ever, students are using their smartphones to navigate their lives on campus,” said Elizabeth Riddle, consumer research manager for OnCampus Research, “and this even extends to their schoolwork.”

Students still use a laptop over a desktop or phone for school assignments, with 91 percent of respondents saying they complete coursework on laptops. Seven in 10 respondents said they owned a smartphone. More than 11,000 students on 19 campuses across the country participated in the NACS survey.

Nine in 10 respondents to Google’s 2012 survey-based research,  “The New Multi-screen World: Understanding Cross-Platform Consumer Behavior,” said they moved from one screen to another to accomplish a goal—from smart phones to PCs, for example, or tablet computers to PCs.

The prominence of what Google termed “sequential screening”—going from one screen to another to view a school admissions site, say—grabbed campus technology leaders’ attention this month as the best reason yet for schools to prioritize responsive web design (RWD) as a way of attracting prospective students.

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