U.S.-based high school students say the website is their most influential resource when conducting college research, and 40% will lose interest in a college or university if the website is frustrating or disappointing.
The research comes from Ruffalo Noel Levitz’s E-Expectations Trend Report, an annual survey of high school students exploring their behaviors and experiences as they research prospective colleges. The 2021 edition highlights the rising importance of personalization in engaging prospective students—and the need for colleges and universities to stand out in the increasingly competitive postsecondary marketplace.
“Modern learners think and act like consumers, so it’s critical for colleges and universities to build websites, social media presences and outreach strategies that address their needs and interests,” said Peter DeVries, president and chief operating officer of Modern Campus. “Those that do will thrive. We know this because we see it in our customers every day—on average they grow annual revenue by 19% and enrollments by 14%.”
Like any customer in any industry, prospective students conducting their college research are primarily trying to understand how the institutions they are considering match their needs and expectations.
Modern Campus announces the acquisition of Presence, a campus engagement and learning platform for higher education institutions. The acquisition extends Modern Campus’s learning partners to more than 1,400 colleges and universities across North America and enables each to serve their students with a massively personalized experience throughout the “learner to earner” journey.
With a practical approach to impacting student engagement, Presence helps higher education institutions increase student engagement to power retention, graduation rates and workforce readiness. A data-focused student engagement, learning and retention platform for student affairs divisions, Presence enables higher education institutions to:
Manage and automate processes: Simplify complicated and inconsistent practices by standardizing how involvement opportunities are structured and advertised. Integrated in one platform, users can improve both operational workflows and student accessibility.
Engage more students: Meet students where they are and simplify how they find involvement opportunities to ensure effective advertisement, quick access and more direct engagement. Remove barriers to involvement, including every student with automatic profiles.
Track and collect engagement data: Measure participation both qualitatively and quantitatively. Utilize scalable data collection through mobile devices and collect survey and assessment data in a single tool.
Assess behaviors and trends: Make data-driven decisions to increase engagement, ensure retention and boost graduation rates. Synced live with student information system data, users can identify trends, compare effectiveness and identify under-involved students.
Modern Campus, a modern learner engagement platform, today announced the acquisition of DIGARC, a provider of academic catalog and curriculum management, class and student scheduling and student pathfinder software for higher education. The acquisition enables Modern Campus to accelerate its commitment to customer success by revolutionizing learner engagement with massively personalized digital experiences.
Founded in 2001, DIGARC is committed to aiding higher education institutions to engage students through the power of a connected, integrated curriculum. Today, its catalog management software solutions are used by nearly 800 higher education institutions. DIGARC enhances the student experience, helping them better navigate degree planning, and ultimately improve retention and graduation rates.
Modern Campus will integrate its award-winning web experience platform and personalization engine with DIGARC’s comprehensive course curriculum management software. Together, they will empower higher education institutions to solve two of the biggest challenges they face today: attracting and converting prospective students, and creating a highly personalized and engaging pathway to on-time graduation. In most institutions today, accessing the course catalog – typically the first stop for prospective students after the homepage – requires navigating an often-cumbersome menu structure.
Likewise, current students often struggle to set a path to successful program completion. With DIGARC, Modern Campus Omni CMS and Personalization by Modern Campus, higher education institutions can enable a modern student catalog experience with personalized content, pathways and recommendations.
“There’s never been a more exciting time in higher education. The modern learner is a savvy consumer and their expectations of higher education institutions have changed. They expect a highly personalized, Netflix-like experience. They’re primarily focused on maximizing the return on one of the most important and largest investments they’ll make – their post-secondary education,” said Brian Kibby, chief executive officer of Modern Campus. “For colleges and universities experiencing decreased enrollment, they need every advantage available to attract, engage and graduate the modern learner on time. The combination of DIGARC and Modern Campus helps deliver this, combining a highly personalized web experience with world-class catalog navigation.”
In my 30 years of serving higher education, I have had the privilege of visiting hundreds of community colleges across the country. I have seen firsthand their level of caring and concern is second to none, and the value offered is unequaled.
The problem is, many people don’t. All too often, prospective students have a perception that going immediately to a four-year college or university, despite the costs, carries more clout or is somehow academically superior to community colleges. Many parents are often swayed into a mindset that community colleges are second best—whatever the reasons (keeping up with the proverbial “Joneses?”) and at whatever the costs (loan debt that few can afford).
The reality is that community colleges help students transform from learners to earners. To start, students with an associate’s degree earn significantly more than high school graduates, and because of their talent and training, are attractive to employers upon graduation. Further still, students transferring from two-year colleges are highly sought after by four-year universities because they can handle college level work and are more likely to graduate.
There’s so much that community colleges do—for their students, neighbors and communities—that we should celebrate, including:
Pathways: Community colleges also offer program pathways to help students translate their interests into a career, affordable—and in some cases, free—tuition.
Relevance: Community colleges have strong relationships with local industry and employers, giving graduates a leg up on finding a job immediately after graduation. This also improves the local tax base and encourages other businesses to come to town because the population is educated.
Outcomes: Given the diverse audiences served by community colleges, they deliver a healthy program mix leading to certificates, workforce credentials, associate’s degrees and even bachelor’s degrees.
Diversity: Community colleges serve a varied student population: students directly out of high school, employees interested in upskills or earning a degree, people in transition who want to augment training in their field or who want to change careers altogether, and the entrepreneurial workforce, people who want to work for themselves and need a specific skill set.
Modern Campus, a modern learner engagement platform, announces the acquisition of nuCloud, a leading provider of highly customizable interactive campus maps and virtual tour solutions for colleges and universities. The acquisition reinforces Modern Campus’ vision to revolutionize the student experience and deliver what today’s modern learner demands: a massively personalized learner-to-earner journey.
Founded in 2008, nuCloud provides a software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based application that enables higher education institutions to build rich, eye-catching interactive maps and virtual tours that make it easy for students to experience the campus of their choice in a unique way. NuCloud customers will benefit from the integration of nuCloud within the Modern Campus personalization engine, and the expansion of capabilities provided by Modern Campus Omni CMS, the only purpose-built content management system (CMS) for higher education.
“First impressions count. Colleges and universities have mere moments to capture the imagination of prospective students. Seeing a rich, immersive experience on the web site, enabling them to ‘walk’ the campus and imagine the possibilities in a personalized way, drives high engagement and enrollment,” said Peter DeVries, president and chief operating officer of Modern Campus. “This acquisition is just one example of our commitment to customer success and enhancing the student experience with massively personalized digital engagement. It illustrates our deep expertise in higher education and provides another proof point for how we intend to expand our platform’s capabilities.”
NuCloud brings the campus environment to life with rich maps and virtual tours, making it easy for students to experience and find their way around a campus. Colleges and universities using the newly integrated solution will experience benefits including:
Eye-catching illustrations: nuCloud allows users multiple illustration styles without constraints of a specific angle or perspective.
Easy-to-use interactive software: Completely customizable layouts, themes, map markers, functionality, design, layers and more.
Enhanced images attract visitors and improve student experiences: Interactive maps blend seamlessly with a current website design in a way that enhances the site to support marketing efforts.
“Visiting a campus to evaluate whether it’s ‘right for me’ as a student is exceptionally difficult in a virtual environment, and a prospective student’s digital experience must be exceptional,” said Nick Catto, chief information officer and co-founder of nuCloud. “The acquisition by Modern Campus and integration of our solutions into Omni CMS is the perfect outcome for our company, allowing us to provide the industry’s leading interactive map tool to the portion of Modern Campus’ 550-plus customers who haven’t yet been introduced to these capabilities.”
Both Nick Catto and Todd James, chief financial officer and co-founder of nuCloud, will join Modern Campus, and continue to lead customer engagements and Omni CMS Campus Map product innovation.