Education Summit Session Recaps’s Education Summit 2021, formerly known as Higher Ed Summit, was global and virtual celebration of the education community. Team DemandBlue shares our findings from some exciting sessions. Read on to learn how the six tracks for Education Success panned out at Education Summit 2021.

Education Summit Mainstage

Education Summit Mainstage kicked off the global event by engaging these incredible speakers and experts to share their insights of education success!

Changemaker Bryan Stevenson, lawer and social justice activist, kicked off the mainstage with his thoughts on how we can build a better, more inclusive society. Building a truly equitable future, requires us to get proximate to the vulnerable people in our society to understand and uproot the systemic issues holding these entire communities back.Equal justice means providing the poor, neglected, marginalized in our society stake and equal opportunities – one way is with education. Empowering children and learners in all stages of life with education is a start to creating a more inclusive future.

A man of many titles, one of the world’s most known intellectuals, historian and bestselling author, Professor Yuval Noah Harari joins the mainstage in a discussion about the future of education. In the new future of work with AI, educators have a new problem of predicting a very unknown society – what do you teach students in such an evolving world, what jobs will be needed in 20 years – in education predicting the world of 2040 requires knowledge of adaptable students, with the ability to reinvent themselves to new roles of work in the future. Technology is a friend to education to keep teachers, students and learners engaged and empowered to unlock the hidden potential of the human mind!

An inspiration, Michelle Obama, Former First Lady of the United States, joins Education Summit to share her thoughts on the importance of education for the future of our society – children. Mrs. Obama shares her story of how from her childhood, it was fortified thru family, community, and education, in building an armor against a society that is consistently undervaluing and underestimating Black women and women of color “time, and time, and time again.” “Education is the power that young people need to survive in this world” Mrs. Obama resoundingly encourages us to teach every child to practice a positive mental loop, just as she had to, in teaching that they “are smart enough, good enough, work hard enough, more capable” than they even know. Teaching and practicing positive information for every child, lifting them up, to reinforce the positive loop in their mind, that they “are beautiful, special, capable and I see you” as Mrs. Obama does. Recognize that there is inequity, and empowering our youth is a step forward.

Alumni & Friends:UChicago's Implementation of Experience with UC Innovation

Faced with the decision of needing a new CRM and new constituent-facing website, the team at UChicago decided to lead with Experience Cloud to connect with their alumni and friends and as a result have increased engagement and positively influenced their CRM roadmap.

Listening to the team from UChicago sharing their experience, one of the big takeaways for us was the importance of putting the audience at the center of the work. From using alumni focus groups to help shape the user experience (UX) to using language that is relevant to the users of the site not their internal team they ended up with an experience portal that is more engaging. As one of their alumni said, “I really like the refocusing of the Alumni Website on what Alumni DO versus what the Alumni Office does.”

Another takeaway from this session was how UChicago Review utilized the Content Management System to consolidate articles, research, and learnings from 28 sources across campus and deliver it to a centralized portal. While the content is available publicly, UChicago encouraged users to log in to gain access to enhanced features like the ability to save an article to read later and personalized content recommendations. From account management and updating or renewing their giving preferences to finding local alumni clubs and events the new portal literally puts the power into the hands of their alumni to be able to access the information when and how they want. The portal also allowed them to offer new services like tax receipts and viewing of their giving history, pledges, and planned giving adding more value to for their alumni and friends.

In the end, the new Experience Cloud portal provides more opportunities to engage their alumni and friends as the early results show. By focusing on the Experience Cloud ahead of their CRM efforts, the team was also gained more familiarity with the Salesforce platform, develop better requirements for the CRM, and determined the data improvements that would be needed when moving to the Salesforce CRM. Go visit to check it out for yourself.

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify. How an Online College Retooled Faculty Management

In this session by Laura Goff, Associate Dean of Excelsior College School of Undergraduate Studies, shares how they simplified their ecosystem to provide Excelsior staff and faculty directors with better functions to serve its hundreds of adjunct faculties and, in turn, keep a focus on student success. The team had a new vision for the Faculty Management System (FMS) after realizing their “Breaking Point”. They have a homegrown Student Information System (SIS), excel sheets and other sources that must be accessed just to be able to the day to day FMS work. It was very disjointed, cumbersome and things just got lost. They needed a new FMS. The work began with an internal review and formulized a new FMS to house key items such as Performance Reviews, Contracts and Teaching assignments. As a result of the new FMS, the team has saved an incredible amount of time. This had had a ripple effect in other areas about document storage & created a better vision of processes. The new Reporting Function has Faculty Evaluations & Teaching Assignments so they can see where everyone is and as a team how are we doing.

Laser-Focused on Mapping the Entire Student Journey from End-to-End

Due to COVID-19, Ivy Tech Community College hit 30,000 of its 50,000 degree certification goal. Schools were struggling, the data doesn’t lie as Matt Etchison, CIO and VP of Ivy Tech says in this session “Higher ed is great at collecting data but not at using it.” With Salesforce Education Cloud, Ivy Tech was able to take a deep dive into the data analytics to confront the challenges of a manual process to create a streamlined and optimized application, admission, and enrollment process for the student. The digital transformation took 18 months. Students went from 14 ways to apply to 1, staff went from 11 systems to use to 1, and the average time to apply form Health Care Programs is now 9 minutes. Talk about digital transformation! Now once a student is enrolled and taking courses, key metrics for student success are monitored and acted upon by faculty and staff to meet retention and completion goals. All of this is designed to assist the student at any point along the way with Salesforce.

Small Team, Big Enrollment Success: Using the Power of Salesforce and Marketing Cloud

Lebanon Valley College is a private college with 1600 Undergraduate and 225 Graduate students. 80% of the students are within 100 miles of campus. Highly regional. Recruitment efforts are aimed at the 12 counties surround the college and a few other pockets. Session Speakers, Jaime Rower – Director of Marketing and Molly O’Brien-Foelsch – Chief Communications Officer, acknowledged that LVC like many colleges they found they had data that was being held hostage in systems not used. Martech challenges included no strategy, siloes, learning curves, staff turnover and time. The team was spending $ on ads that did not offer a high return. The solution? LVC’s small-but-mighty team leveraged Salesforce and Marketing Cloud to contribute to big enrollment success. They launched new partnerships across campus in creating branding and collaboration across their units from Undergraduate Admissions, Graduate Admissions, and IT just to name a few. This yielded for an uptick in their 2019 - 2021 Undergraduate Enrollment Records and helped their 2020-2021 Applicant Pool increase by 18%.

Purdue Life: Trials and Tribulations of Mega Advancement Migration

Purdue University’s CRM conversion journey began with the need to have a central CRM that connected a Constituent Portal, Reports /Analytics, and Outbound Email connected. Project lead and session speaker Michelle Bates, AVP for IT, CRM and Data Analytics, Purdue for Life Foundation, explains the strategy, lessons learned and planned outcomes of this 14-month project of total organizational change management. Managing the “people aspects” of new technology and processes had 3 key areas: Communicate key messages, trainings, and support. Purdue was active in anticipating the “Valley of Despair” of user adoption. The team was ready for this to happen and prepared and after Go Live 80% of users were using Salesforce weekly. Education Cloud now helps Purdue manage gifts, prospect research, development, alumni relations, marketing communications and more within a single platform to connect data across their campus.

Creating a Mobile-First Admissions Experience

With over 160K students online and 3,000 on campus Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is known for providing a high quality, affordable education. Transforming their manual admission portal to a version optimized in our 5G world was made possible by using Salesforce CRM, Communities, Knowledge, and integrations with DocuSign. Session speakers Samantha Chouinard, Senior CRM Product Owner and Megan Strausser, CRM Product Owner; shared how their old and extremely manual process of applications. SNHU wanted to remove barriers with a self-service application process but not loose the guidance and support they offered. The new admissions portal provides clear action items, status updates on items submitted and extra features such as Finance Wizard. Ex, if you have a military background, knowledge articles would populate with an article about Veteran Benefits. They incorporated extra features to the mobile experience: chat from any page, click to call/click to email on several pages to make it easier for students. In just over 1 year during a pandemic, they saw 200K logins, 100K applicants submitted, app rates increased 33%, they saw an extra 5700 applicants per term and the average days from inquiry to application decreased by 58%.

Applying the Power of Partnership to Achieve Event Management Success

Partnership between Washington University of St. Louis' Olin Business School,, and Huron was shown in this session to achieve event management success. WashU uses Salesforce as their CRM platform with Sales and Marketing Cloud and a bevy of 3rd party applications for use by most departments within their school, including the graduate recruitment and admission centers – whose events are very important to strengthen ties between Olin and their constituents. Events are managed by event owners within each department and follow a plan of: Creating an Event, Promoting an Event, Accepting Registrations, Taking Attendance and Follow Up. These steps with use of the Blackthorn event management application, native in Salesforce helped WashU leverage robust marketing plans, ensuring consistent branding across a variety of different events, and tracked metrics to successfully prove ROI...all while increasing efficiency and streamlining processes.

Giving Students a 360 View of the Campus Experience

The University of San Francisco is a private institution that reflects the diversity, optimism and opportunities of the city that surrounds it. With 10K students and 230 undergraduate, graduate, professional and certificate programs – USF’s students, faculty and staff run on Salesforce. The Education Data Architecture (EDA) environment started USF’s journey with Salesforce to architect, build and launch their student hub – a platform developed with customized automations to connect students with campus resources as easy as 1,2,3. This vastly improved their students' digital experience, increased engagement, and built more connections within the University. All this great work needed to be secured and preserved with the help of OwnBackup, the #1 Cloud Data Protection Platform for Salesforce. In just a few minutes and clicks, USF’s entire org was automated for backup and enabled with a suite of smart alerts and solutions to keep their data and metadata of mission critical data protected

Thank you for reading Team DemandBlue’s recap of Education Summit 2021. We celebrate learning and community with our Trailblazers in this virtual experience and don’t worry about your report card, session recordings are available for your viewing pleasure. Click here to watch.