Giving students a connected and personalized academic experience goes a long way in boosting engagement and meeting their increasing expectations of higher education, according to a new study.

Colleges and universities are facing stiffer competition for students, while at the same time juggling tight budgets and struggling to improve engagement and retention. On top of those challenges, students are finding their voice and are demanding more of their chosen institutions–they want to know what their return on investment will be to ensure they’re securing the best future for their dollar.

Many higher-ed leaders look for one solution to address a variety of needs, in the hopes that one solution can streamline and improve processes.

Institutions using Salesforce.org’s Education Cloud leveraged the platform and experience management capabilities “to better attract, retain, and engage students, alumni, and donors through more data-driven decision making,” according to the study by Nucleus Research.

Those institutions saw increased productivity and student engagement, streamlined communications and processes, more data-driven decision making, and improved technology management.

The study surveyed 72 higher-ed decision makers on issues ranging from the challenges their institutions face, their current technology strategies, and how they would grade their institutions’ performance in areas such as student engagement, career placement, and retention.

Financial viability is the number one challenge, with one-third of institutions rating it as their top concern, followed by enrollment (a top challenge for one-quarter of respondents), and retention (identified as a top challenge by 15 percent of respondents).

About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura


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