With technology, student success is about ‘the whole experience’

For Virginia Bender, student success is about more than getting students to commencement.

“Student success is not just graduation, it’s the whole experience,” Bender says in a video interview with EdScoop. “There are so many processes that students have to go through.”

At Saint Peter’s University, where Bender is a special assistant to the president for institutional planning, the curation of a seamless university experience meant leaning on technology, she said.

Student success is a guiding principal for many educators and is one of the top 10 higher ed CIO priorities identified by the education advocacy group Educause. And at an annual user conference hosted by the edtech company Ellucian in April, Bender and her team were recognized for their “research-based approach” to student success. The university used Ellucian’s enterprise resource planning platform,¬†Colleague, which made operations more efficient and improved student engagement, according to the company.

“We looked at how there are obstacles or there may be obstacles along the way that present challenges for students to persist in their education,” Bender says. “The people who are closest to these processes can use technology to find ways to either facilitate, streamline or just make more accessible access to the kinds of information students need to be successful.”

Bender on the project Ellucian recognized:

Bender on emerging tech:

Bender on how higher ed will change:

These videos were filmed in April 2019 at the Ellucian Live conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of a partnership between EdScoop and Ellucian.