IT leaders at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design started a cloud-based transformation before the global coronavirus health pandemic shuttered physical campus operations and moved instruction online.
With that transformation, the institution was prepared when forced to move quickly and support students, faculty, and staff in its abrupt shift to all-online operations.
Related content: What every student should know about online learning
Here, Matthew Weitzel, RMCAD’s IT project lead, discusses the institution’s IT priorities and goals.
Q: What was the goal of Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design’s (RMCAD) IT transformation before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and how did it evolve over the past few months?
Since 1963, our Denver-based college’s mission has been to make RMCAD a “community of creatives” that instills in all students a passion for creativity, innovation, and a desire for lifelong learning—both in the fine arts and applied arts. Similar to many other higher education institutions, we recognized the value of moving our systems to the cloud prior to the pandemic, however “social distancing” was not part of anyone’s lexicon at the time.
Our initial goal with the cloud-based transformation centered around the idea of serving a greater diversity of students, offering more program flexibility, allocating more resources around student success, and having a platform that could easily grow with them. Now it’s a critical factor in our ability to deliver education and training as an essential service. Now offering both on-ground, online, and hybrid programs as a result of our proactive IT transformation, our team was ready to pivot to fully online operations when the pandemic hit.