Innovation in Online Education Transforms Today’s College Experience

Innovation in Online Education Transforms Today’s College Experience

Campus Management integrates with open source to improve student services

Facing budget pressures and intense competition for students, today’s colleges require innovative technology solutions, especially in the arena of online education and self-service to tech-savvy, time-constrained students. Huertas Junior College in Caguas, Puerto Rico is no exception.

Established 63 years ago to meet a small-scale, local need for career raining opportunities, Huertas Junior College (HJC) entered the new millennium with a vision to reach more students in more disciplines with courses delivered on their terms. But HJC’s administration and faculty realized that in the increasingly technology-driven world of higher education, quality academics and dedicated faculty don’t seem to be enough—to compete and succeed today requires distance learning experiences that create a sense of place, connecting the virtual learner to the campus community in an online environment—one that goes beyond static web pages and downloading forms. Students and staff expect the same on-demand service they enjoy when banking online or visiting e-commerce sites.

“We looked into alternatives for Internet-based distance education and administration solutions, but our demands were high,” said HJC Vice President Mar?a del Mar Lopez. “We required an open-source solution and the technical support to back it up, without increasing the size of our internal IT staff.”

The technology team at Huertas evaluated multiple approaches. They discussed pros and cons with faculty and students, and settled in short order on a list of critical priorities. “We needed to enhance our studentadministration communication, integrate all of our administrative tasks, gain capability to design and evaluate courses, and provide students with real-time access to their class schedules, academic progress, and individual accounts, all within an online solution,” remarked Academic Dean Rub?n Hernandez. “We also needed an integrated online admissions application process for prospective students.”

Among the vendors competing to meet HJC’s requirements was Campus Management Corp., a provider of higher education technologysolutions designed to coordinate all college administrative tasks and academic communications in a web-based environment. Of special interest to the team at HJC, Campus Management’s software suite—CampusVue and CampusPortal—along with CampusLearning, provides support for Moodle?, the world’s most widely used open-source course management software. CampusLearning from Campus Management provides hosting services, academic consulting, course conversion, training for Moodle, 24/7 help desk support, and unique, real-time two-way integration of Moodle with the core administrative suite to automate the movement of data and tasks among various systems..

Huertas Junior College realized that selecting the optimal provider was long-term mission critical. According to research from the industry-leading Sloan Consortium, growth rates for online education enrollment are sixand-a-half times higher than for the overall higher education population, and institutions offering associates degrees—like HJC—are experiencing the greatest demand of all. HJC sought a competitive edge.

After a thorough evaluation, Huertas’ administration and faculty selected Campus Management to manage their online future. College President Edwin Ramos commented on the decision: “Campus Management’s technology allows us to transform the college for a new Internet-centered era in higher education. CampusVue and CampusPortal are the most effective tools we found for overall administrative effectiveness and integration, including financial aid, student accounts, registration, and counseling. Furthermore, our student-administration communication is improved, and it all blends seamlessly across the college community. We now have exactly what we need to educate more students more successfully in an increasingly mobile and networked era.”

The experience for students at Huertas Junior College is far different now from what it was when the college opened its doors in 1945. Class schedules, tuition payments, faculty-student communication, grades and transcripts, assignments and announcements—even career opportunities and appointments with prospective employers—are all managed in real-time online, using Campus Management’s solutions.

“We are light years ahead now,” said Vice President del Mar Lopez.

For more information please visit www.campusmanagement.com.

CampusLearning functions independently from (and is not bundled with or required to be used with) CampusVue. Moodle? is a registered trademark of the Moodle Trust. Campus Management is not associated with the Moodle Trust. For more information, visit www.moodle.com


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