Transform the Student Journey with Education Cloud
After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
- List ways Education Cloud can improve the student journey.
- Describe how Education Cloud makes staff more productive.
- Give an example of how the Salesforce mobile app improves efficiency.
We've talked generally about Education Cloud, but what does it all really mean for your institution? What makes Education Cloud so powerful?
There are lots of real stories about how Education Cloud empowers institutions of all sizes, but for now, let's imagine how Education Cloud might help (fictional) education institutions like Pleasant Trail School District and Cloudy College.
Welcome to Pleasant Trail
Pleasant Trail School District is a respected institution in the Midwest that serves over 25,000 students. From dedicated teachers to caring administrators, Pleasant Trail has always put students at the center of everything it does. Today, it is more important than ever to understand and support the whole child--their relationships, interests, and unique needs.
Last year, the Superintendent of Pleasant Trail, Cynthia Lawrence, began working on a plan to improve student success in her district. In particular, she focused on three key areas: test performance, attendance, and student behavior. Although she would sometimes see data on test scores or attendance, it was inconsistent and difficult to track, and behavioral actions such as suspensions rarely crossed her desk.
Luckily the Pleasant Trail School District started using Salesforce- leveraging K-12 Architecture Kit to track and manage all of this information in one place to gain actionable insights.
Using the pre-configured page layouts, schools in the district were able to get started quickly, training their teachers and administrative staff how and where to enter relevant information. K-12 Architecture Kit comes equipped with Attendance, Test Scores, and Behavior objects, so implementing the Superintendent’s plan to track all three was simple.
Over time, the Superintendent was able to build reports on each of the three student success factors and see everything in a handy dashboard.
While Pleasant Trail schools had low numbers of behavioral issues and high test scores, their attendance rate was lower than expected. To get attendance up, Pleasant Trail schools came up with a rewards program for attendance achievements. Students with the best attendance record were recognized every semester with an in-class pizza party, a book of their choice, and a shiny badge. Additionally, Pleasant Trail teachers reached out to parents of their at-risk students, and devised a plan–weekly emailed progress reports on attendance and a monthly phone check-in. Over the course of a single semester, Pleasant Trail’s Superintendent saw a marked improvement in attendance numbers.
With the help of K-12 Architecture Kit, the Pleasant Trail School District addressed an issue that they didn’t even know they had! The team is now looking to build on this success and use Salesforce to create new efficiencies in admissions and enrollment, fundraising and grants management, and communications and family engagement .
Cloudy College is a private, coeducational liberal arts college in the Northwest. Founded in 1964 by a beloved businessman who owned a chain of apparel stores, Cloudy College recently enrolled more than 3,800 students for their fall semester.
A few years ago, in response to shifting demographics, Cloudy College started offering their courses online and on evenings and weekends. Despite creating these new and in demand programs, Cloudy College wasn’t able to meet their enrollment goals. Recruiters faced unnecessary obstacles in attracting top-tier prospects and admissions staff were plagued with data related challenges due to legacy systems and siloed information.
The IT team at the college selected Salesforce knowing they wanted a technology solution that could address their immediate recruitment and admissions pain points and eventually scale campus-wide. They chose Salesforce to help turn insights into action—to recruit the best-fit students, make smarter admissions decisions, give every student the personalized support they need, and ultimately help these prospective students become a Cloudie!
Recruitment & Admissions
Cloudy College worked with a consulting partner to implement a new recruitment solution in several phases. As an institution, they prioritized the need to build brand awareness and engagement among prospective students through strategic social and marketing campaigns. They implemented Marketing Cloud’s Social Studio with Salesforce to be able to engage with students anywhere, deliver targeted communications about their college, and automate student-lead capture via their website and social media channels.
As they rolled out Salesforce, the project team also created a Salesforce Center of Excellence, which included organizational stakeholders from across campus business units. The group started by documenting a clear vision for the college’s use of Salesforce. They worked to put into place clear standards for their ongoing implementation and then set up a regular process to prioritize the backlog of enhancements and feature requests.
In part two of the implementation of their recruitment solution, Cloudy College launched Pardot, a marketing automation tool from Salesforce, to enable recruiters to build data-driven campaigns to fill their pipeline with qualified student prospects, target best fit applicants with automated scoring and grading, and ultimately, boost recruiter productivity and increase yield. Cloudy College also developed a custom recruiting application for mobile devices using App Cloud so that their recruiters could work effectively on the road and at events.
Having all of this recruiting data integrated with Education Cloud also made it easier for their IT team to deliver a seamless, mobile-friendly experience to students when they decided to apply. The IT team implemented Community Cloud and created an immersive student community where prospective students could update and submit their application, receive real-time chat support, and connect with student ambassadors.
And because data is now unified in Salesforce, Cloudy College staff can leverage Salesforce Einstein artificial intelligence (AI) tools to unlock immediate, real-time answers to the data questions they spent weeks chasing in the past. Einstein is the superpower that facilitates engagement because it enables recruitment teams to focus their efforts on the students most likely to apply and enroll, and to have real-time student data at their fingertips when interacting.
After the successful launch of phase one of their connected campus roadmap, Cloudy College identified student services as the next priority in their journey to transform into a more student-centric organization. The Salesforce Student Experience helps institutions to drive retention and increase graduation rates by powering them with the tools needed to maximize student engagement, streamline services, deliver unified advising and unlock access to careers.
In this first implementation phase, the IT team worked closely with their consulting partner to integrate Salesforce Service Cloud, a customer service and support product, with their already existing Community Cloud implementation to create a one-stop student service center.
Using Service Cloud, the ever changing student success team was able to respond and take action on student inquiries quickly and consistently by accessing a case console and an internal knowledge base. The team now documents every student interaction, and is able to analyze data and spot trends that inform the continuous improvement of their programs. From their initial application through graduation, Cloudy students now have one place accessible from any device to get answers, schedule appointments, add or change meal plan subscriptions, and lots more.
The project team at Cloudy College feels like they have just scratched the surface of what’s possible for student success with Education Cloud and they’re currently evaluating Salesforce Advisor Link as a solution for their advising needs.
Advancement & Alumni Engagement
The dean of Cloudy College is deeply invested in the connected campus vision for their campus, and departments are working collaboratively to realize that vision in phases. Because Salesforce scales easily, it has allowed the college to invest in building their system over time. The advancement department needs to be involved in the next implementation phase, but they’ve been dragging their feet. The staff is uneasy about moving off of the current system which they’ve had for more than a decade.
The Vice President of Advancement recently nominated Rachel Noble, one of their most successful major gift officers, to sit on the Cloudy College Salesforce Center of Excellence team. She’ll see firsthand how Salesforce and EDA will help manage the donation cycle from pledge to payment, facilitate moves management, build their pipeline, and strengthen donor relationships. Rachel is especially excited at the ability to connect with alumni, track those engagements, and see live results from the road.
The Alumni Relations and Engagement staff is working closely with the Cloudy College IT leads to define their current pain points and requirements. One of their biggest challenges has been keeping in touch with students after they graduate. As such, the Cloudy IT team is exploring the idea of extending their use of Marketing Cloud to access student and alumni data from the Salesforce Platform (a single source of truth) and be able to develop engagement journeys for alumni across multiple channels including social, email, and text.
They’re also considering extending their Community Cloud implementation to create an alumni portal where alumni can update contact information, track their gifts, register for events, connect with other alumni, and assist current students with their career development.
Although relatively small, Cloudy College is realizing a big vision and can compete with larger institutions because they’ve implemented Education Cloud. In the next unit, we’ll spend a little more time talking about the unique benefits of working with Salesforce.org.