Uncertainty has dominated the higher education landscape in recent days due to coronavirus (COVID-19). Many of our partner institutions feel they are surrounded by ambiguity amid campus closures, rapid transitions to online, virtual formats and financial concerns.
At Collegis Education, our people and partners come first. In the current environment, it’s important for all of us to do what we can to prioritize the health and safety of our team members. As your campus community continues to prepare and activate emergency preparedness protocols, we are reviewing our own operating procedures to ensure we have the right systems and processes in place to provide a safe environment for our teams, while continuing to support and drive forward our strategic partnerships.
Collegis Education is closely monitoring the evolving situation and has taken critical steps to safeguard the well-being of our staff and our partners, as well as ensure continuity in our services to help the higher education community navigate this rapid transition. Below is further information on how the Collegis team is supporting our partners and the industry during this time.
A Fully Operational Team
Out of an abundance of caution for our employees and to adhere to social distancing protocols, Collegis Education made a rapid shift to operate as a virtual workforce this past week. As an organization with deep roots in technology, Collegis is well-prepared to support our partners and staff in a remote, digital capacity. The breadth of our technology capabilities has allowed us to activate our solutions so there will be no impact to the services we provide our partners.
Secondly, we are postponing non-essential travel for meetings and conferences for at least the next few weeks. While we believe that face-to-face meetings are important in strengthening our collective relationships, we’re confident we can accomplish these same strategic discussions virtually through the use of conference calls and video conferencing. Our team is working closely with each of our partners in advance of scheduled meetings to determine if travel is necessary.
Academic Continuity Taskforce
To support the higher education community as it grapples with rapid transitions to online, virtual operations, Collegis has formed an Academic Continuity Taskforce. The sole purpose of this group is to respond to our partners’ needs for any future technology or enrollment solutions that may be required as they address longer-term challenges. The Taskforce is comprised of partner management, online learning and technology experts dedicated to working with our institutions to establish a plan that provides the ability to manage the abrupt transition from residential instruction to distance learning in a manner that minimizes the impact on students, faculty, staff and the overall learning process. The overarching goal is to ensure that academic continuity is achieved.
While this Taskforce is working in direct support of our partner institutions, we are willing and able to connect with other schools who are seeking guidance and support.
Innovative, Virtual Support Solutions
The breadth and depth of solutions offered by Collegis can support and enable rapid online and virtual delivery of student support and engagement strategies. We have deployed several key services during this time, including:
Personal Support Center (PSC)
Technical support is a critical need for students and staff to support a seamless transition and positive experience during this time. The 24/7 PSC is the first point of contact for technology support and is equipped to assist students, staff and faculty remotely through the use of various technologies and a well-defined process. Our teams have detailed support guides on how to connect and utilize technology from home, which can be distributed quickly and efficiently to those who have been displaced.
Online Learning Technology
Our expert technologists are well-versed in online learning technologies, and our infrastructure is prepared for expanded support of learning management systems (LMS’s). Our cloud-based solutions coupled with our academic expertise can support rapid onboarding, increased course development and LMS maintenance. Additionally, we provide support for faculty members who are not accustomed to delivery in an online format – a critical need for many over the last few weeks.
We understand there may continue to be onsite technology support needs. We’ve introduced an additional step to our support process to deploy resources to office locations facing urgent technology issues. As long as the health risk does not significantly change, we plan on continuing to support onsite technology needs.
Student Engagement and Outreach
Given the current situation, current student outreach and engagement must be prioritized. As institutions look to the future and protect their upcoming enrollments, a focused effort toward yield, deposited student engagement, and future cohort funnel development is needed. Our dedicated Student Engagement Team is fully operational and can help fill any gaps left during this transition, including messaging strategy and outreach via phone and text.
Although the current situation presents a unique challenge that higher education has not faced in recent history, know we are here to partner and support. We will continue to update this page with resources and information that could be useful in ensuring a smooth transition.
James E. Cowie
President and CEO, Collegis Education
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