Attain Partners was pleased to sponsor the Institute for Student Services Professionals (ISSP) Conference in Austin, TX, earlier this month. Thank you to hosts The University of Texas at Austin. This team is taking seriously the positive impact they can have in the lives and success of their students!
A large number of ISSP attendees are now providing student services through a formal “One Stop,” with various functional areas represented by a team of customer service-focused staff that can answer questions across multiple disciplines—one place to go, or “stop” for support, both virtual and physical. The functional areas normally represented include Enrollment Management, Financial Aid, Bursar, and Registrar. Typically, Academic Advising is not part of the One Stop—however, many attendees felt that moving it within the same system would improve visibility and collaboration in serving the same students.
When schools pull together support for these areas, there is a need for a new technology platform to track engagement and manage the business processes and reporting. Using the student information system (SIS), spreadsheets, and Outlook does not cut it. Bringing these groups together on a modern platform enables institutions to move off siloed systems that lack visibility and personalization, and are often reactive versus proactive. Given the demonstrated benefits to schools and students in consolidating services and migrating to a more modern technology, the migration to One Stops is growing. According to a survey conducted during the conference, 52% of respondents have had a One Stop for just 3 years or less, which illustrates that this is a new and growing model of providing student services.
We see this as a significant growth area for the Salesforce Service Cloud CRM, and after talking with conference participants, we found that many agreed. The core case management, contact tracking, collaboration, analytics, integration, and communication capabilities that have made Salesforce so successful in the commercial world are perfectly suited to drive improved engagement, interaction, and results with students.
Change Management Roundtable Highlights
I had the pleasure of facilitating a roundtable discussion room during ISSP, and throughout the conversation, some key themes emerged:
- All organizations had a high level of interest in change management and recognized its importance for project success. However, only one of the 15 schools represented had a team dedicated to change management. This could be due to budget limitations, staffing shortages, or simply a lack of information on where to start to set up formalized change management team.
- Institutions could clearly see that there are a number of independent components of change management—from assessment to staff training to executive support and more—each with their own steps that when combined, are all essential to the overall success of the project. Managing change is a multi-faceted effort that requires proper planning and active participation at all levels.
- Making sure everyone is well-versed in the effort, understands the impact/benefit to their own role, is on board with, and frankly, cares about the change are all foundational to successfully managing change. In particular, when asked about projects where the change was successful, representatives from the schools explained that it happened when there was open and obvious executive commitment—buy-in is a key component.
With another ISSP Conference in the books, we’re excited and poised to help schools make this transformation for students and staff alike to a more connected, modern, effective, and satisfying experience. We’ve heard the pain points, institutional priorities, and long-term goals shared across so many organizations and we’re ready to help you move forward! Learn more about how our student success offerings, our Student Success Hub, or our change management expertise can support your institution.
About the Author
Leidy Smith is an Associate Business Development Director at Attain Partners. Leidy has spent his career providing innovative solutions within higher education and has been part of the Salesforce ecosystem since 2013. Leidy’s focus is on demonstrating the value of the Salesforce platform and Attain Partners’ services to higher education clients in the areas of student success, recruiting and admissions, corporate relations, and executive education.