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Public Community College Replaces Legacy System with Cloud-Based Platform to Transform Operational Efficiency

Public Community College
Aravaipa, Maricopa, San Tan, Signal Peak, Superstition Mountain, Casa Grande, Florence
CampusNexus Student
CampusNexus CRM
CampusNexus Finance, HR & Payroll

“Campus management has been committed to our transformation and success throughout the selection and implementation. They’ve made it clear they’re not going to allow us to fail.”

Chris Wodka,
Chief Financial Officer,
Central Arizona College

Transforming Student Engagement to Meet Enrollment Goals

For decades, Central Arizona College had struggled with a legacy student information system that was unable to keep pace with its evolving constituencies and needs.

Chris Wodka, the college’s Chief Financial Officer, traced the issue back to the original implementation. “The system was robust, but the original setup, configurations, support services, and training weren’t aligned with our needs. So over time as we added campuses and looked to the future, it became clear that the current system wasn’t going to work.”

With our old ERP vendor, we were a small fish in a big pond...

Cameron Sanders,
Director of Enterprise Application Services,
Central Arizona College

Improving student engagement and outcomes

“Our main goal was to be more efficient for our students, faculty, and staff,” says Veronica Duran, Dean of Student Enrollment at CAC. “But with the setup of our legacy system, we were often turning to our IT department to create the workarounds and reports we needed to gain greater transparency and efficiencies.”

Enabling new academic delivery models like competency-based education

Central Arizona College has been experimenting with competency-based education and needed a modern system that could also support nontraditional programs.

Utilizing modern CRM tools and degree-audit capabilities

“Our legacy system didn’t have the modern CRM tools that our recruitment department needs to improve engagement,” says Cameron Sanders, Director of Enterprise Application Services at Central Arizona College. “We also didn’t have degree audit capabilities that would allow students to track their progress in our programs.”

Gaining a True Partner in a Higher Education Cloud Provider

CAC created an ERP Selection Committee that included representatives from all the key areas across the institution, including enrollment, student services, financial aid, finance, HR, faculty, and module users. This would not only ensure that the technical and business requirements were met, but would promote cultural adoption across the institution.

After a competitive selection process, they chose to replace its legacy system with the full CampusNexus solutions suite, which includes CampusNexus Student, CampusNexus CRM, and Campus Nexus Finance, HR & Payroll. The entire solution is built on the Microsoft technology stack and Azure Cloud.

Focusing on the Community College Mission: Student Success

"Moving to the cloud was a no-brainer for us because it addressed a lot of those issues we struggled with previously,” says Cameron Sanders, Director of Enterprise Application Services at Central Arizona College.

“We were able to go from six servers to two, with four virtual servers now managed by Campus Management. As importantly, four ERP functional analysts who used to be database programmers are now physically located in frontline business offices. They assist directly as needed to get a feel for what’s needed,” Sanders added.

Looking ahead as higher education and student needs evolve

With an open and flexible platform in place, CAC plans to leverage other modern tools of engagement, such as Occupation Insight. The workforce analytics solution will enable CAC to align academic programs and student skills with the needs of the workforce.

The solution will also empower students to choose courses that will make them more competitive in the marketplace when they graduate. CAC also plans to move more of their existing systems and processes to the CampusNexus Cloud, including their learning management system, Blackboard.

We’re going to grow it into more areas. I can see us using it on more and more fronts.

Cameron Sanders,
Director of Enterprise Application Services,
Central Arizona College

Importance of Finding the Right Higher Ed Technology Partner

The right partner anticipates your needs and gets to know where you are and where you want to be. With Campus Management, we get to think strategically.

Chris Wodka,
Chief Financial Officer,
Central Arizona College
Valley College

About Central Arizona College

Central Arizona College opened its doors in 1969 to bring higher education to Pinal County. CAC serves and educates the diverse communities of Pinal County. From students of Hispanic and Native American descent to participants in the lifelong learners program, the institution’s diverse college community values the power of innovation, continuous quality improvement, and the contribution of the individual.

With five campuses and three centers located strategically throughout the county, CAC provides accessible, educational, economic, cultural, and personal growth opportunities for those of all ages.

The College’s talented and innovative faculty and staff is dedicated to fostering a spirit of learning.

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