5/21 Regular BoT Meeting Post 7

Meeting reconvenes at 9:43pm

Call for motion on: 7B3b

Item 3B On-line Steps-to-Enrollment Software tool

Presentation by Earl Dowling.

I urge you to accept this recommendation. I will answer any questions.

Mazzochi– It says there was an RFP. But I have not seen it so I cannot determine if it was properly crafted.

Dowling: We sent it to 12 vendors.

Mazz: How was it crafted?

Dowling –I will have to get back to you on this.

Mazzocchi: Is this new?

Dowlng — It is new. We are requesting $60,000 to purchase and implement this software. It is new.

Mazzocchi: Basically this software has how to videos for on-line enrollment.

Dowling: It does a lot more than that. Gone are the days when students enroll 9-5. This allows us to have registration 24/7. Our students can go on-line. We bought some other software last year — since then 35,000 students are using the software we bought that answered questions about registering on-line.  100 students chat a week on-line. This is what our students are wanting. It is a student-driven tool. It allows us to connect with students 24/7. It fits well with our student success council. Engaging with students early permits our students to be more successful.

Mazzocchi: What does this software actually do?

Dowling — A student receives a piece of paper. They get a form with a getting started checklist and financial aid checklist. But as much as we send papers to students, they often do not read it. What this software does is allow the student to take a time-out, and then come back to the software. So the student stays engaged in the enrollment process. It is managed. The student does not fall through the crack. The student stays connected. Now they complete the process and are ready for classes.

Mazzocchi: 90% of our students already enroll on-line.

Dowling: But it varies from 74% to 90% because the 90% number drops off because of some internal procedures we have, We have to help the students engage in the entire enrollment process so they don’t have to leave their work or their home. They can enroll in classes when they want to do it, not when we want them to do it.

Mazzocchi: But what does this software actually give them? I’m not getting information as to what this tool is supposed to do so I can evaluate if this is going to add a genuine value? Have you surveyed students? Do we have survey results about what students want.  It’s a very vague thing you are saying.

Dowling: Here is Jane Smith to explain.

Jane Smith — We are talking about the segment of the enrollment that is prior — it is the prospecting part of the process, placement testing, prerequisite checking — there are steps before they get to the registration process and then paying. So we have students complain about having to come to campus more than once. They find out that they come, then have to come back. What this tool does is much more engaging. That has been found by colleges who use it now. It is explained in an upbeat way and makes it more engaging.  In the meantime, it allows us to track them from the prospect stage as well as once they have already applied. If we see people who are not able to finish the process, we can intervene. We already do that in our support center — we see people who inquire but do not actually register.

Bernstein — Are we talking about a package form a company or are we talking about designing it?

Smith — It is a company that offers a package but the company comes in and brands it and customizes it.

Bernstein– So have you told the company what your specifications are? And what about maintenance?

Smith — $2500 a year for general support and $1800 for additional customization.

Smith — We will be trained on how to make changes ourselves so we can update general information. So lets say that if they need to redo a video then there would be a charge to update. But I think I can project that we will be good for about 2 years.

Smith — Students now get what they can from the website but they often come in very confused.

McGuire– They can already enroll form the website. So this makes it more attractive?

Smith — this allows us to see it even before they apply.

Napolitano- Today they can enroll on-line soup to nuts if they want. You already have a process to reach out to them if they abandon this process somewhere along the line. Is there a cost-benefit analysis to this? How will this benefit?

Smith: Right now we offer several programs on how to become a student at COD by coming to campus. This allows them to get the overview on-line without having to come to campus.

You might be confused about registering, which is a final step. There is a lot that happens before that. We are talking about all these steps involved that lead up to when a student can actually register.

Napolitano — Will this save any operating costs?

Dowling — It is not intended to save money. It is intended to generate. If students who start this process express an interest in COD don’t register, we’ve lost that individual. This would allow us to reach out to the student who may have inquired but doesn’t complete the process.

Mazzocchi: But you don’t have any data or hard evidence that if you have a tool like this it will bring that student. If somebody is not coming to COD because of something like that I’m struggling to see how a tool that gives them some on-line videos will bring them to campus?

Birt: Shouldn’t we be considering the convenience of the students?

Mazzocchi: I’m not getting that this tool is going to reduce the trips the student makes to campus. It seems it is going to track the student that might inquire about COD but then drops off. But then the tool offers some quirky tools that might attract.  I think they should be able to get all the information they need form the website?

Dowling — Well, we do this every day. We know that the slightest barrier can keep the student from coming. Today we don’t know who this individual is. Today with this software tool we know who this individual is.  In my ideal world, every student would see a person. That’s not realistic in today’s environment. We are building something for today’s student, To serve them in the environment they want.

Mazzochi– 60,000 is a lot of money for you to get some data.

Birt– What do you think, Student Trustee.

Roark: It’s not about saving money, it’s about helping the students.

Mazzocchi: That’s what I want to know — how is this going to help students in a real way, not a theoretical way.

Smith: We do call them and find out that they can’t keep coming back to campus. We did a research project 2 years ago where we got feedback form students about streamlining things.They can do this form there home, anytime day or night. It could even replace an on-line orientation session.

Bernstein: Do you have any references?

Smith: We have testimonials.

Bernstein: What do they say?

Smith — They wouldn’t know what they would do without it. They say it’s engaging. I have a list of community colleges that use it.

Napolitano: You were provided references but didn’t call them?

Smith: Correct. We have testimonials, but not references.

Napoiatno: Nobody called the references?

Smith: Correct.

Hamilton calls the vote:

Roark yes, Berstine yes, Birt yes. Mazzocchi: No. McGuire. No, Napolitano: No. Wozniak: No. Hamilton. Yes.