The Student Experience: Access, Mobility, and Success

Core Team Lead was Shannon Goodman. 

What was considered during this planning session

  • What services will best support the student experience?
  • What technologies should characterize the UNLV environment?
  • How can technology help UNLV be most competitive in attracting students?
  • What student centered processes can be strengthened through technology?
  • What are the key initiatives either underway or planned that will strengthen student support?

Summary of session

The student session was the largest worksession of the ones held to date with over 20 participants. A large portion of the meeting focused on how the IT Master Plan could improve student-centered processes and identifying what tools would strengthen communications with students. In addition, we discussed the results of a meeting with members of the Student Technology Advisory Board (STAB) held the week prior that discussed a number of key concerns that students voiced.

Issues addressed in the April 3 meeting included but were not limited to: the need for “single sign-on” and “fewer passwords” for students to manage; more mobile access to information and the need to create some type of student “dashboard” that could better personalize the UNLV experience. Students also voiced their desire to better understand the full scope of IT resources available to them and the campus community regardless of whether they are a graduate, residential, or online student (or all of the above).  

Students are seeking more online services and the following specifics were brought up: calendar-based registration; the ability to manage parking online; more advising services through better availability such as some type of 24/7 help line for student advisement. Finally, students need more collaborative workspaces beyond the library.

Key outcomes identified to inform the IT Master Plan

  • What services are critical to students?
    • Help Desk. Students want one stop help and the “non-traditional” student is traditional at UNLV. That means that help desk support needs to reflect the 24/7 demands that some students have.
    • Wireless infrastructure needs to be reliable, consistent and everywhere they are on campus.
    • UNLV needs to focus on communication tools that supports student success. Better services for advisement and streamlined processes that make it clear what steps a student needs to complete to get the courses they are seeking. Many UNLV students are first generation and technology could be a tool to improve their retention if properly leveraged.
    • A specific frustration point for students is email. The email vehicle is fine, but an overall lack of coordination amongst UNLV departments and services (both academic and administrative) leads to what students consider an excessive amount of email that makes it difficult for them to identify what is important.
    • Developing more self-service applications will also help some students, but it should not always be expected that this will substitute face to face communications and guidance from staff and faculty.
  • How can technology help attract students to UNLV?
    • It needs to be reliable, consistent, and supported
    • Mobile technologies are critical to students today. It is considered a basic must have.
  • What student centered processes will be strengthened by technology?
    • Degree advisement
    • Scheduling
  • What are key initiatives under way or planned that will improve student support?
    • Degree mapping
    • Creation of a degree database
    • Improved processes and infrastructure that support ID management

Another key point to remember is that although today’s student is technology dependent and expects to have access to mobile technologies and information on a 24/7 basis, the human factor remains central and paramount to the UNLV student experience.