Top trends for meeting evolving student success needs in 2017

New tools for career planning, continuing education, competency based education and managed services offerings will drive education leaders’ decisions, budgets and plans in 2017 and going forward

How is the way in which institutions address student success expected to evolve in 2017 and beyond?
Previously, students were looked at in a very fragmented way: They were either a recruit, an applicant, a student, a potential graduate, a lifelong learner or potential dropout. New tools have caused a shift in how higher ed is viewing students, we can now think of the student in a much more holistic way. We can help a student in high school and try to match them to the right college where they will be the most successful. It’s like for students and colleges. Then we’ll guide them through college, helping them identify a potential career early on, as early as high school or soon into their post-secondary journey.

Recent statistics show that students graduate from four-year institutions with an average of 140 credits, which is 20 more than they need to graduate. If we get students thinking earlier about what they like, what they are good at and what they see themselves being successful at after college, they are less likely to meander through college without direction, and their parents or themselves are less likely to incur unnecessary costs.

What are the promises of the growth of competency based education?
This shift from “it is about seat time in a classroom” to “it is about students’ ability to consume as quickly or as slowly as they need to” is truly fantastic. Students can take lessons learned from experiences like gap years, military experience and study abroad and bring them back to the classroom to show competency in particular areas.

CBE helps us meet the needs of today’s student. Some learners do not want to go to a campus, sit in a lecture for three hours and take a test on the lecture materials. They are looking for a more interactive environment. And that’s the key to graduating successful students—providing them with the learning experience by which they are stimulated.

What changes should higher ed leaders expect to see in the delivery of continuing education?
In 15 years, jobs will be much more sophisticated than those in previous generations—in fact, many of them don’t even exist today. Whether gaining a new certificate or taking a few online courses, people in all careers at all stages of life are going to have to keep refreshing their skills. Continuing education is not just for that typical “non-traditional” student anymore. Institutions need to offer a diverse set of courses that match the diverse learning needs.

Given the workforce changes expected in the coming year, how can enlisting managed service providers help institutions?
In this fall’s Campus Computing Survey, the No. 1 issue facing education technology is the retention of IT staff. Many people in IT are retiring—termed the “Silver Tsunami”—or leaving the higher ed industry for commercial positions. When an individual was solely responsible for managing and updating a particular system, chaos ensued upon their departure. Having managed services in place prevents that chaos.

As administrators create budgets, managed services is a cost that remains constant. There is peace of mind in knowing no unexpected costs will crop up, and that a seasoned individual is responsible for systems upkeep.

With Jenzabar Guided Pathways to Success, Jenzabar Retention, Jenzabar Managed Services and Jenzabar Higher Reach solutions, Jenzabar is poised to help institutions stay agile and empower their students throughout the entire student lifecycle.

This piece was prepared by University Business for Jenzabar Inc. For more information, visit


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