Community college boosts IT security measures

Bristol Community College implements end-to-end IT security threat detection and prevention

Bristol Community College has implemented SOCVue hybrid SaaS security service from EiQ Networks, a provider of hybrid SaaS security and continuous security intelligence services.

As a learning resource for education and workforce development in southeastern Massachusetts, Bristol Community College (BCC) provides programs with a strong foundation in liberal arts and sciences and an emphasis on practical, employment-oriented education in allied health, engineering and technology, and business. BCC also offers comprehensive developmental education and adult literacy services in a learner-centered, supportive community.

Bristol Community College will use EiQ’s SOCVue Security Monitoring as a key component in its information security framework. BCC selected EiQ’s SOCVue to provide 24x7x365 security monitoring and incident analysis of its most critical assets. EiQ Networks was chosen because its innovative model allows affordable access to a full suite of SIEM resources, capabilities, and expertise.

“It’s a terrific solution for us,” said Steven Frechette, Information Security Officer, Bristol Community College. “EiQ allows us to gain the full visibility we need into our network at a very attractive price point.”

“EiQ’s hybrid SaaS model really works for us,” said Shawn Tivnan, Assistant Director, Web Services and Technology Training, Bristol Community College. “We needed a SIEM tool that would protect our infrastructure and the expertise to understand the information that comes out of it. With the EiQ solution, you get both in a single package.”

“EiQ is thrilled to be working with Bristol Community College,” said Vijay Basani, Chairman, President, and CEO, EiQ Networks. “Providing BCC with the critical cybersecurity services they need to protect what they value the most is why we got into this business in the first place.”

About SOCVue, EiQ Networks’ Hybrid SaaS Security Service
SOCVue is the only subscription SaaS service that combines people, process, and technology to deliver a cost-effective information security program, including:
· Co-managed SIEM & Log Management
· Continuous Vulnerability Management
· 24x7x365 Security Monitoring by Trained EiQ SOC Security Analysts
· Proactive and Continuous Critical Security Controls Auditing
· Incident Analysis, Notification, and Remediation Guidance
· Compliance Reporting

More information on EiQ Networks’ SOCVue pricing, starter packages, and features is available at: https://www.eiqnetworks.com/hybrid-saas/pricing.

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Students say digital presence is key to enrollment decisions

Digital presence via campus websites and social media can all majorly impact college decisions this year, say students.

According to a new report, student survey data reinforces that higher education institutions must place greater emphasis on their digital presence, engaging students with digital communications that are most in line with their preferences in order to boost enrollment.

The report, titled “The Digital Search for Education,” was commissioned by G/O Digital and is based on the results of a 2016 survey of over 1,520 U.S. adults enrolled in either full or part-time classes. The research study was conducted to understand how learners interact with colleges and career schools prior to enrolling, and how those interactions influence their decision to communicate with, and enroll in, a particular institution.

The report comes at an appropriate time, with many universities and community colleges suffering from recent enrollment declines and more and more students using mobile devices to seek out and engage with education institutions. Since digitally savvy prospective students usually have access to a massive amount of information on institutions thanks to the internet, it is more important than ever for colleges and universities to gain insight into what the choices and preferences of learners are.

Enrollment 101

According to the report, institutions must first understand what draws a student to enroll in higher education. According to the survey, 37 percent of students said that career enhancement is their top motivator, and that the programs offered at a school were the most important deciding factor. 17 percent said that cost of the program was most important, and 14 percent said location was most important.

With those factors in mind, an institution must then strive to be clear and consistent with their digital presence and communications, emphasized the report. Numerous prospective students are always at some stage of the decision-making cycle, the report points out, with time-to-decision varying greatly: 21 percent of students take more than 12 months to make a decision, 14 percent take less than one month, and the rest fall somewhere in between.

(Next page: The digital preferences of prospective students and what institutions should do to boost their digital presence)

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Institutions aim for innovation

Catch up on the most compelling higher-ed news stories you may have missed this week

Every Friday, I’ll recap some of the most interesting and thought-provoking news developments that occurred over the week.

I can’t fit all of this week’s news stories here, though, so feel free to visit eCampusNews.com and read up on other news you may have missed.

In this week’s news, higher-ed leaders are hoping to leverage the power of new technologies and trends to move their institutions forward. In one instance, a free learning-design tool could help faculty use their own course materials in adaptive learning. In another, a university is using virtual reality to help accepted students get an even more personalized campus perspective.

Read on for more:

Grant aims to leverage linked data for enhanced information access
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded Stanford a $1.5 million grant to support library initiatives that develop and advance the use of linked open data. Stanford Libraries will coordinate a team representing Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Library of Congress and Princeton to upgrade the current infrastructure libraries use to create, store, and share bibliographic data.

Can faculty get back pedagogical power in adaptive learning?
A free learning-design tool tries to make it possible for faculty to incorporate their own course materials in an adaptive learning environment; but are faculty really on-board?

A new type of student assessment emerges
A new, open source student assessment focused on developing core skills rather than passing or failing aims to transform the idea of student readiness.

University uses virtual reality for recruitment
The University of Hartford’s Barney School of Business (the Barney School) has launched a virtual reality campaign in an effort to attract accepted students for the class of 2020 to enroll in this upcoming fall semester.

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Three Universities Select OnBase by Hyland

Three schools improve efficiency by implementing Onbase by Hyland cloud enterprise content management solutions.

OnBase by Hyland, a single enterprise information platform, was chosen by several schools to increase administrative efficiency and student services while decreasing overall costs. The following higher education institutions join the growing number of schools using the OnBase Cloud to streamline processes across campus:

  • University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • John Carroll University, University Heights, Ohio
  • Brigham Young University-Idaho, Rexburg, Idaho

“These schools exemplify the wide variety of ways OnBase helps colleges and universities provide better service and lower costs,” said Laurel Stiller, global portfolio manager, higher education at Hyland. “Budgets continue to shrink and student expectations continue to rise, pressuring schools to find a way to bridge the gap by leveraging technology.”

OnBase provides finger-tip access to information and process automation, speeding up decision making while improving communication. Integrating with student information systems and customer relationship management systems, the documents and data stored in OnBase sync with the systems of record, creating a single digital student record and a more unified campus.

For more information about how schools are streamlining processes, connecting information and providing better student service, please visit OnBase.com/HigherEd.

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17 crowdfunding sites for millions in higher ed donations

Taking a cue from savvy students, colleges and universities are turning to online crowdfunding sites to rake in millions in alumni donations and program and research funding.

Figures like $2 million, $300,000, $10 million, and $900,000, abounded in a recent Washington Post story that revealed how small liberal arts schools are turning to the relatively new-ish startup concept of crowdfunding sites for alumni and student program donations—all through Washington D.C.-based crowdfunding website GiveCampus.com.

The success in receiving alumni donations, relates the article, is due to understanding how younger, more tech-savvy alumni like to do things: quickly, online and part of a social group.

“We all live on social media, so getting friendly reminders from your alma mater to give is not only effective, but appreciated,” said Tatum McIsaac in the Post’s article, who graduated from the liberal arts school Holy Cross in 2001 and donated via the GiveCampus campaign. “It’s a lot easier for me to make a quick contribution online than to wait for an envelope to arrive in the mail and write a check. I don’t even know where my checkbook is.”

Students have been crowdfunding for years, even for tuition; now colleges and universities are starting to follow suit, with hundreds of thousands, if not millions, in donations. And the timing couldn’t be better: according to the Council for Aid to Education, though overall contributions to colleges and universities rose to a record amount in 2015, most donations were large sums to Ivy League institutions. And though the overall amount rose, alumni participation is on the decline; meaning that while individuals are making larger contributions, less people are contributing.

The Crowdfunding strategy, it seems, is critical for higher education. But what are the crowdfunding sites that boast the most success?

(Next page: Top crowdfunding sites for higher education)

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5 ways governing boards can help boost completion rates

New brief offers guidelines and practical suggestions for presidents, chancellors, and board members in using governance to increase completion rates at their institutions.

A new brief released today by the Association of Governing Boards (AGB) of college and universities reveals that though the majority of boards in higher education agree that completion is among their top priorities, they also say they do not spend enough time on the topic to make a real difference.

This finding is part of a recent AGB survey part of a Lumina Foundation-funded project to enhance boards’ ability to help improve college completion rates. The survey and subsequent report on board members’ assessments of this knowledge and engagement in college completion efforts aims to help institutions across the country accomplish a core institutional mission to educate and graduate students; specifically, to boost enrollment and completion.

“Accomplishing higher education’s core mission—educating students and graduating them with high-quality degrees or credentials—requires board leadership, advocacy, and accountability,” said AGB President Richard D. Legon in a statement. “Graduation and student success should be the central priorities of our colleges and universities and as such, these should be a high priority for our governing boards.”

The statement, an outgrowth of the AGB research study, found that a vast majority of board members agree that they should play a more significant role in college completion:

  • 64 percent of independent and 72 percent of public board members agreed or strongly agreed that their board should devote more time to completion;
  • 73 percent of board members at public institutions or systems and 51 percent of those at independent institutions reported that college completion is a major priority for the board;
  • 86 percent of board members at public institutions or systems reported that their institutions have strategic goals in place to improve college completion, compared to 70 percent at independent institutions; and
  • Only 60 percent of board members at both independent and public institutions or systems reported that their institutions benchmark college completion data.

Along with highlighting findings from the survey, the AGB statement offers guidelines and actionable suggestions for presidents, chancellors, and board members in using governance as a tool to increase the rate of college completion at their institutions.

(Next page: Guidelines for boards aiming to improve completion rates)

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Grant aims to leverage linked data for enhanced information access

Collaborative grant will focus on initiatives that help promote the use of linked open data.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded Stanford a $1.5 million grant to support library initiatives that develop and advance the use of linked open data.

Stanford Libraries will coordinate a team representing Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Library of Congress and Princeton to upgrade the current infrastructure libraries use to create, store, and share bibliographic data.

Currently, libraries around the world rely on an information communication and storage standard that was first developed in the 1960s. Although the system revolutionized the industry, eliminating the dependence on card catalogs and moving libraries into an online environment, the development of the semantic web has created challenges to continued use of that system.

The grant team will be developing a new, distributed model based on web architecture that, according to Philip Schreur, Assistant University Librarian for Technical and Access Services at Stanford, “will fundamentally change how libraries interact with the semantic web.”

According to Schreur, much information is either unavailable or unintelligible to the semantic web, including large amounts from libraries. “Much of a library’s data has been locked in historic formats that do not allow for it to be connected to the Web,” said Schreur. “Linked Data uses basic web standards to publish data so it can be interlinked and become discoverable on the web.”

Efforts to improve the current system have been underway for some time, with individual libraries each investigating new approaches; this project allows for such developments to converge synergistically. Stanford will drive the effort, developing the communal environment within which institutions can interact and providing the social construct for continual engagement and exchange of ideas.

Together, the six partners will explore new approaches to integrating research, from art works to historic films, hip hop to globes, from musical performances to philosopher’s annotations.

“The Mellon Foundation funded project will shift the focus from the presentation of library data that can only be understood by a human at a computer screen to data that a machine can understand and link semantically,” said Schreur. ”The door is opened to linking concepts and content across continents and centuries.”

Stanford is also a partner in a companion project based at Cornell University (Linked Data for Libraries-Labs) that seeks to develop new linked-data-based tools and methods to better describe libraries’ scholarly information resources. Although a separately funded project, the two will work in tandem to mutually advance each other’s goals.

Previous to this grant in 2014, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded a planning grant with the same partner libraries to define the issues to be resolved for libraries to shift their data production standards to be compatible with the semantic web. The current project will allow for the first concrete steps in this transition, leveraging accepted Web standards to make library and research data fully and globally discoverable on the sematic web.

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Ranger College transforms digital learning

Cloud-managed services provide the network foundation needed to support new technology initiatives in the classroom

ADTRAN, Inc. created an advanced digital learning environment for Ranger College, a community college in rural Texas, with ProCloud Plus cloud-managed wired and wireless network services.

New learning applications, delivered via the cloud and over Gigabit broadband and with streaming media, are elevating educators’ abilities to create an engaging learning environment and connect with tech-savvy students. By leveraging ADTRAN’s ProCloud Plus managed services, Ranger College is able to eliminate the typical operational and capital costs that often preclude higher education IT institutions from delivering the digital learning programs that prepare students to compete in the data-driven workplace.

Students at Ranger College, like at most colleges and universities across the U.S., come to class with a variety of connected devices, so having a robust Wi-Fi infrastructure is critical to keeping them connected and engaged. While these devices enhance the students’ ability to learn, they also increase the pressure on the IT support infrastructure and team. By outsourcing its Wi-Fi and LAN services through ADTRAN ProCloud Services, the college can now easily support all connectivity needs from the classroom to the administrative offices.

Ranger College now has the confidence to scale new digital learning applications and services as more come online. Ranger College was also able to layer on a number of ADTRAN’s professional services, including initial site surveys, installation, student and staff help desk, alert monitoring and full system management as part of its new cloud strategy. This integrated approach has had an immediate impact on the college’s IT help desk by reducing service calls by over 90% per week.

“It’s challenging for schools to keep up with the demand for mobility and address the limits of traditional network architecture in terms of its ability to handle the growing connectivity demands in classrooms as the way we teach and students learn evolves,” said Michael Beran, IT director, Ranger College. “Prior to ProCloud Plus services, we had a variety of dissimilar, difficult-to-manage access points with a lot of downtime and no way to pinpoint problem areas. ADTRAN eliminates all those issues by providing a managed service with a solid backbone.”

“Education is changing, both in terms of the readily available online resources for teachers, and how tech-savvy students want to learn, and it’s causing real challenges for IT departments that are already strapped for resources,” said Todd Lattanzi, director, cloud services portfolio, ADTRAN. “Enabling these higher education IT teams to leverage a cloud-managed solution provides the critical networking foundation that will allow them to stay ahead of the learning curve and on budget.”

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Fayetteville State U. launches digital badge tool

Merit Pages offers university officials to celebrate, promote student achievement

Fayetteville State University has officially launched Merit Pages, a digital badge tool that allows the university to celebrate student accomplishments in and out of the classroom.

Used by more than 300 colleges in the United States, Merit allows institutions to recognize and promote accomplishments, and connect those achievements back to specific audiences that have a vested interest in each student.

All Fayetteville State students now have individual Merit pages online—a public, professional profile automatically created for them online that Fayetteville State University can update with their achievements, such as when they make the chancellor’s list, dean’s list, earn a scholarship, win an award, are inducted into an honor society, serve in a leadership role, do community service, graduate and more.

Students at FSU can build a resume with verified accomplishments from their institution and they can further customize this self-building resume, should they wish to enhance their Merit page with additional activities, awards, photos, videos or internships.

Ultimately, student’s Merit pages become a collaborative, verified record of success that students can share with potential employers and push out to family and friends through social media.

“With more than 70 percent of recruiters in the U.S. reporting that they’ve rejected candidates because of information they found online, we wanted to give every one of our students a hub for positive information about themselves,” said Dr. Jon Young, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. “Plus, because updates to students’ Merit pages also reach friends and family via social media and other channels, the success of our students helps Fayetteville State University tell our story in a personalized way.”

Each accomplishment is recognized in the form of an online badge that is automatically added to a student’s personalized page each time FSU grants an achievement.

Personalized notifications are then sent through email as well as to news outlets in the student’s hometown, legislators in the student’s home district, and can easily be shared by the student on Facebook, Twitter, and Linked-In.

“Merit knows that colleges, students, friends, and family are all stakeholders in students’ success. They all want the same thing–to prove the value that every student is getting from the education and experiences,” said Colin Mathews, CEO of Merit. “Instead of making every student have to distill years of study and success into a compelling story, Merit lets institutions detail and document it for each one of them.”

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