Career & Technical College
Beckley, Martinsburg, Princeton, Online
Valley College Prepares for Enrollment Growth
Only a few years ago, if students wanted to take an online class at Valley College in West Virginia, they had to apply on campus. That’s right; even though the medium for instruction was the Web, online students had to enroll at the ground school.
For a school with visions of growth, expanding into new territories, and the borderless potential of online education, requiring that students drive to campus just to sign up for an online course wasn’t good for business or students.
Matt Jenkins, Vice President at Valley College, recalls this time as an example of why even a small school with 100 students needs to consider the scalability and flexibility of its technology from the very beginning.
“With the opportunities for growth through online education, we were looking at going into markets such as Ohio, Virginia, and the Carolinas, but there was no way we could consider expanding without reconsidering our processes and technology.”
Replacing Legacy Student Information System with Cloud-Based Platform
Six months after purchasing the school system, the new owners had a next-generation student information system in place, Campus Management’s CampusNexus Student. This provided the necessary framework for growth and increased efficiency, and was in marked contrast to the way the institution used to operate across departments and its three campuses: Beckley, Martinsburg, and Princeton.
Achieving Results Across the Valley College Campus
4x Enrollment Increase Across Campuses
25% Increase in Retention & Placement Rates
3x Growth in Student Financial Aid Packaging with Less Staff
Transforming Recruitment and Admissions
Prior to deploying CampusNexus Student, if an executive wanted to see the results of recruiting efforts across the three campuses, that information would have to be requested from each campus and sent to directors by email with an attached spreadsheet. Today, executives, faculty, and staff have single sign-on access to the student information from any location.
Streamlining Financial Aid Processes and Empowering Administrators
Before implementing CampusNexus Student, financial aid directors had no remote access to financial aid processes. They used local computers to link up with EdConnect and EdExpress to process financial aid. As a result, the school was struggling to package 30 students per campus. Today, Valley College processes over 100 students per campus, and spends less time with administrative processes and more time helping students.
Gaining Visibility into Student Progress and Issues Earlier
Prior to the new system, Valley College maintained hard-copy progress charts and attendance logs for students. Executives had very little visibility into academic progress. If students or faculty members were having issues, there could be a month or two delay before directors would know about it,” says Jenkins. “Today, the college has real-time visibility into student performance. Administrators and advisors can open the portal and run GPA reports and access them remotely.“
Enabling Flexible Academic Terms
In the past, students would take two or three courses at a time over a six-week period at Valley College. Today, they take one class over a three-week period. For the college, this means that students can start programs and enter the system at almost any time and focus on one course at a time. “The old way of doing things wouldn’t have allowed for this flexibility and accelerated pace,” says Jenkins.
Increasing Student Retention and Success
The college has also created a unique retention tool in the system. Any staff member can create what’s called a Distressed Student Activity that triggers a message to the executive director and additional campus staff members if a student is having an issue inside or outside of school. “This will prompt an all-hands-on-deck effort to help the student, including the campus director and the lead instructor for that program,” says Jenkins.
Improving Reporting and Compliance
Valley College has an intensive regulatory reporting schedule. “If we had an audit coming up, it took us days and weeks to gather all the information. We now have all this information in several clicks: reports on student population, financial aid, finance for IPEDS and FISAP, which we then compile into formats and tools that facilitate that reporting,” says Jenkins.
Driving Enrollment Growth
In three years, Valley College has nearly quadrupled enrollment across its three campuses and online programs, and while the college has added instructors, it only had to add minimal support staff. “This is a student service business,” says Jenkins. “What makes us successful is having staff spend time with students, admissions, and faculty, instead of researching files, and that’s what CampusNexus Student allows us to do.”
About Valley College
Valley College of Technology is a West Virginia Corporation first established in 1979 by Control Data Corporation. The Martinsburg and Beckley campuses were founded in 1983, and the Princeton campus in 1986. Valley College objectives are to provide quality training, utilize the latest technology, provide career-oriented programs, meet the educational needs of the community, meet the professional needs of the community, to help students succeed.