LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 26, 2011) — Learning to think outside the box is something University of Kentucky professors ask of their students every day. It turns out the UK administrators and staff members who help recruit and support students have answered that call as well.
The UK Office of Enrollment Management (EM) recently implemented a number of strategies to help "ThinkUK 2.0." ThinkUK 2.0 is an initiative launched earlier this year that calls on faculty, staff, and students to think outside the box in order to come up with innovative solutions to help UK deal with continuing budget constraints.
"EM is very proud to be a part of Think 2.0," said Don Witt, vice provost for enrollment management. "As UK moves forward to be more efficient and resourceful, new technologies can have a very positive impact on the way we do business. Specifically, the incorporation of such can streamline processes and data decision making strategies."
Strategies developed by the EM team include:
- iPad strategies allow prospective students to give more information to UK in an efficient manner, and in turn, receive more information about UK to help them with their college search process. Students can use i-Pads on the road during preview nights and at the Visitor Center. Once they sign up for UK's see blue. VIP, they will see custom web pages based on their interests while their data is implemented into the Hobsons' Connect Constituency Relationship Management System which helps staff in communicating with prospective students throughout their college search process.
- A New Campus Events and Interviews Management system is used to facilitate registration for the Visitor Center and other recruitment events. This new system captures student information in a more timely manner and saves costs by producing e-communication to prospective students. In addition this system is integrated into the Undergraduate Admissions Hobsons' Connect CRM system, which centralizes student information and communication efforts.
- A newly automated book voucher process will allow students to use their myUK portal to apply for a Plus Account for purchasing books. This helps students who have financial aid and scholarship funds that are not available at the start of the semester. This also helps reduce foot traffic in Enrollment Management offices and reduces the hours of manual work staff had to devote to processing the requests for book vouchers.
- The online course catalog has new enhancements which let students search by the day of week and time of day as they plan their schedules. Because of the increase in distance learning courses, the online course catalog also lets students search for the specific course sections that are offered in a distance learning format.
- UK is "going green" and conserving resources through the creation of E-view books and E-bulletins. The move translates into a significant decrease in the consumption of the printed view books and bulletins, along with the costly postage fees associated with sending these materials to students.
- Enrollment Management now works together with areas of IT, the Office of International Affairs, and English as a Second Language to more efficiently recruit international students.
Witt says he is proud of how EM employees have stepped up to think outside the box to formulate innovative ideas.
"I feel the Think 2.0 initiative has been an excellent way for EM and UK to truly think creatively about new technologies and the incorporation of such in our strategic goals," Witt said. "I know our EM team feels empowered to embrace this initiative to enhance and evolve what we do on a daily basis – for now and the future."
For Witt, the positive impact the innovations have had on EM make him realize how important this initiative is for UK as a whole.
"Think 2.0 is good for the entire university because it helps to create a more dynamic and innovative atmosphere and in turn helps to support our UK faculty, staff and students in a more mission-centered manner," Witt said.
For a complete list and more information about these innovations, as well as current ThinkUK 2.0 innovations, from across campus click here.
If you have a ThinkUK 2.0 idea, click here.
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