Guided pathways, 3.8% increase in year-over-year student retention

educationdive | July 30, 2019

At Pearl River Community College PRCC, Mississippi first and oldest two year academic institution, modernization is playing a key role in helping students reach successful outcomes. Committed to improving student success and spurred by a state mandate, PRCC has combined the latest in higher education technology and evidence-based curriculum reform in the form of guided pathways. In its effort to guide more of its students toward successful outcomes— from degree completion to transfer to updated skills leading to gainful employment—PRCC has streamlined its course offerings into eight plans of study, or “meta-majors.” That has helped narrow down the huge array of courses and majors that can be overwhelming and hard to navigate. There are so many students who don’t know what they want to do,” says Martha Lou Smith, vice president for general education and technology services at PRCC. “Too many of them are not ready to make those kinds of decisions. So instead of saying to them, ‘You have to pick a major right now,’ giving them the pathway option helps them realize, ‘Oh, there are a lot of things I might want to do.’” To help students stay on track, the college strengthened its advising and degree-planning processes—two critical elements of the guided pathways model. To transform those services, PRCC implemented Ellucian Degree Works™, an online degree-planning tool that integrates with the college’s Ellucian Banner® student information system (SIS).

Spotlight

Home education is when a child is educated at home rather than at school. It's perfectly legal in the UK to educate your child at home and you don't need to be a qualified teacher to do so. Children who are home educated receive all their education from their parents or carers, sometimes with the help of outside tutors. If you decide to home educate your child you don't have to follow formal rules about how you teach or when you teach.

Spotlight

Home education is when a child is educated at home rather than at school. It's perfectly legal in the UK to educate your child at home and you don't need to be a qualified teacher to do so. Children who are home educated receive all their education from their parents or carers, sometimes with the help of outside tutors. If you decide to home educate your child you don't have to follow formal rules about how you teach or when you teach.

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CORPORATE LEARNING SYSTEMS

Cornerstone and EdCast Accelerate Innovation for People Growth at Work

Cornerstone | September 14, 2022

Cornerstone OnDemand, Inc., a leader in adaptive HR solutions, today announced several advancements to EdCast, the industry-leading Learning Experience Platform (LXP) acquired by Cornerstone in May 2022. New skills capabilities, deepened cross-platform integrations and more intuitive insights and dashboards top the list of the latest capabilities being delivered since the acquisition to help customers improve people growth and business productivity. In the past five months, we have made tremendous strides in strengthening the connections between the EdCast and Cornerstone offerings,” said Himanshu Palsule, CEO of Cornerstone. Our priority is to deliver more value to combined customers and their users, while ensuring the EdCast LXP is still open, independent and available broadly to any organization with different learning management tools. We are invested in EdCast and bringing to life innovation that revolutionizes the learning and development market. Some of the most recent enhancements to EdCast include: Enriched User Experience: EdCast customers can now take advantage of an updated user experience across products and channels based on a new design system. The new experience provides improved user experience consistency across the platform, visual design with more modern visual identity, improved accessibility standards and more seamless connection between mobile and desktop. Enhanced Learner & Manager Dashboards: Updates to EdCast’s learner dashboard allow employees to connect to one another more intuitively, track their progress, manage their skills profiles and further personalize their learning experience. Manager dashboards provide new actionable insights with a singular view of how their teams are learning, what skills they have and at what level, and assign new relevant and timely learning content to engage them as an active participant in their team’s development. New In the Flow of Work Integrations: The next evolution of the EdCast Integrations Hub includes an enterprise-level workflow automation platform with ready-to-use connectors across a variety of enterprise applications and content providers, and the ability to create customized connectors, ensuring customers can seamlessly incorporate learning into the platforms their people are already using. This includes EdCast’s latest integration with Zoom Video Communication, Inc., which embeds learning and training tools within Zoom Meetings to drive productivity and upskilling in the flow of work. Subject Matter Expert (SME) Empowerment: The EdCast platform now offers more power to internal SMEs so they can share their knowledge and skills with others across their organization. Employees can create their own learning badges to showcase and celebrate skill development and expertise. Employees can also share certification on LinkedIn to promote their skills outside of their organization.While Cornerstone is committed to keeping the EdCast product open and platform-agnostic, the company has also invested in deeper integrations with Cornerstone's existing learning and talent solutions. Together, joint customers will have improved end-to-end content experiences for learners regardless of where they consume learning via a native inline player. A new integration between EdCast and the Cornerstone Skills Graph opens up a taxonomy of over 53,000 skills to develop skill profiles and make skill recommendations based on job roles. Following its acquisition by Cornerstone, EdCast continues to receive industry recognition for its outstanding leadership in the market. Most recently, MyGuide, the Digital Adoption Product (DAP) offering from EdCast, was recognized as a major contender in Everest Group’s PEAK Matrix for DAP Technology. "EdCast is a critical part of our product portfolio at Cornerstone, and our team is diligently focused on doing what we originally set out to do when we launched EdCast: provide the best learning experience platform on the market,The amount of integration progress we’ve made in this short amount of time is astounding, and we have long-term plans to continue at this pace of innovation and transform learning at work.” Karl Mehta, Managing Director, EdCast by Cornerstone About Cornerstone Cornerstone powers the future-ready workforce with adaptive HR solutions designed to unite technology, data and content and inspire a work environment of growth, agility and success for all. With an AI-powered, skills-forward, experiential system designed for the contemporary workforce, we help organizations modernize their learning and development experience, deliver the most relevant content from anywhere, accelerate talent and career mobility and establish skills as the universal language of growth and success across their business. Cornerstone serves over 7,000 customers and 90M users and is available in 180 countries and 50 languages.

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TALENT DEVELOPMENT

Orenda Education Merges With Think Together to Create Scalable School Improvement Nonprofit

Think Together | September 13, 2022

Think Together, one of California's largest nonprofits serving K-12 schools today announced it has completed the merger with Orenda Education, a top school improvement and professional development consultancy. Upon the close, the combined organization will serve more than 200,000 students across the state with more than $150 million in annual revenue. Moreover, the organization will be better positioned to rapidly scale their impact. "We're thrilled to bring our two organizations together in our combined efforts to improve student success and close the achievement gap,This merger is the natural evolution of Orenda's existing relationship with Think Together and solidifies our joint commitment to ensuring that the more than 2 million California students that are performing far below grade level have the support they need during the school day and beyond to succeed academically." Think Together Founder and CEO Randy Barth Over the past seven years, Think Together and Orenda have had an affiliate agreement in place while the full acquisition builds the long-term financial and operational capacities for Orenda to continue to scale. Orenda's work focuses on transformingeducation systems, either across a school district or by cohorts of schools, providing professional development to all levels of district staff, around a specific data-driven but people-centric school improvement model. Think Together partners with over 60 school districts and charter management organizations to provide more than 900 direct-to-student academic and enrichment programs at more than 450 school sites across California, serving more than 100,000 youth. Orenda Education works behind-the-scenes with school district leaders and educators to identify inequities in schools and then transform their systems to ensure all students have access to a premium education. "Think Together has always been an incredible partner, infusing the infrastructure needed to provide an efficient model for changing the odds for kids," said Orenda Education Founder and CEO Dr. Robin Avelar La Salle. "Our two models have always complemented each other but now, we can efficiently scale our vision for all students to receive the premium education they deserve." The acquisition comes as both organizations experience tremendous growth due in large part to new and renewed state investments in education to accelerate learning recovery efforts and provide educators with needed support amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. "Now more than ever, teachers, school leaders and administrators need to think outside the box to address the issues impacting students including socio-economic biases, social emotional learning, and more," added Barth. "Providing these much-needed supports to educators means districts and schools can provide the skills they need to teach, lead and counsel during and following a period of great disruption during the pandemic. Recently the U.S. Department of Education reported a dramatic decline in scores from the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) known as the nation's scorecard. Two decades of growth for American students in reading and math were wiped away by just two years of pandemic-disrupted learning, according to national test scores released last week. And, the declines were much larger for students at lower performance levels, widening already-huge learning disparities between the country's high- and low-achievers. Orenda's approach to school improvement has proven to accelerate student outcomes, such as mastery of grade-level standards (measured by math and English language SBAC scores), improved A-G class completion rates, and improved graduation rates. They also provide administrative coaching, teaching strategies, and leadership clinics. To expand these services, Orenda was recently awarded a $4 million Education Innovation and Research grant by the U.S. Department of Education to digitize and distribute their school improvement approach through an online platform that is effective and highly scalable to schools and districts in any geography, and to those who require less in-person support. Think Together adds Orenda to their growing list of services that support student education in and around the school day. Think Together's flagship afterschool programs support students in underserved communities with homework help, enrichment, social-emotional learning and physical well-being, all to enable students to strive for college or a fulfilling career. To provide high-quality programs, Think Together partners with philanthropic organizations like the Joseph Drown Foundation. "Breaking down the barriers to opportunity, equity and access in education by keeping students and their success as the centered focus is one of the most meaningful investments for our future generations" said Alyssa Santino, Program Director of the Joseph Drown Foundation. "Ensuring the educators, leaders and structures around students are supported and inspired and effectively trained with research-based, proven and engaging strategies is imperative for thriving students and communities. We are pleased to partner with Think Together and Orenda Education as they excel in this space and continue to transform the trajectory of students and the schools they attend." Barth sees the combination of direct services to students through expanded and early learning, coupled with equity-based professional development, as an effective combination to supporting student achievement alongside their school district and charter partners. Dr. Paul Gothold, Superintendent of County Office of Education in San Diego agrees. His former district, Lynwood Unified School District, realized astonishing improvements when partnering with both Think Together and Orenda, including increasing graduation rates from 56% to 90.8%, and A-G college eligible rates from 18% to 53%. Orenda provides the technical expertise for true district turn-around. The systems approach and professional development modules to build staff capacity ensures all leaders have the tools and resources to provide a premium education for all students, said Gothold. "With Think Together's financial and operational support, Orenda is well positioned to continue providing much-needed education innovation to schools throughout the state and beyond. About Think Together For over 25 years Think Together has partnered with schools and communities to pursue educational equity and excellence for all kids. As a nonprofit organization, Think Together innovates, implements, and scales academic solutions that change the odds for hundreds of thousands of California students. Think Together's program areas include early learning, afterschool, school support services and leadership development for teachers and school administrators.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

University of Technology Sydney Gets Better Support and Security for Oracle Database by Switching to Rimini Street

rimini street | August 24, 2022

Rimini Street, Inc. a global provider of enterprise software products and services, the leading third-party support provider for Oracle and SAP software products and a Salesforce partner, today announced that the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) has switched from Oracle to Rimini Street for improved support and security of its Oracle database and technology platforms. In doing so, the University has slashed wait times for support requests, enjoyed improved service quality and innovative, advanced security to protect its database and application middleware. Rimini Street is also helping the University manage through the ongoing IT skills shortage by reducing the amount of IT labor required for support and instead, allowing resources to focus on the rapid transition to hybrid learning. UTS is one of Australia’s leading universities, with around 45,000 students and 4,000 staff. The IT department employs around 300 staff and is responsible for the digital experiences supporting the people, processes, and culture at the university. The University faced challenges during the pandemic including a massive shift to online learning and remote work, and a growing IT skills shortage. The large decline in the number of international students enrolling in Australia has also seen IT budgets shrink. Because of these limitations, UTS needed to refocus its strategic resources more efficiently. “UTS, like all universities in Australia, has had to rapidly transition to a hybrid learning model that includes classroom and online service delivery. There are many innovations and technologies needed for the transition to hybrid learning; budgets are tightening across the board and the quality-of-service delivery expectations remain the same or higher, “Students can now log into their online classes from almost anywhere in the world which adds a new layer of complexity for the IT team. Fast, reliable, and secure systems are needed to keep up with the changing world and to remain a leading provider in the education market.” Daniel Benad,group vice president and regional general manager,Australia,New Zealand and Oceania,Rimini Street Focusing on the big issues with more time and money to spare Maintaining their Oracle database landscape was draining on the university’s IT budget and internal resources. Support tickets were often slow to be resolved by the software vendor, preventing IT staff from completing other system maintenance and responding quickly to new IT challenges. Staff were preoccupied with keeping databases operating properly in a rapidly scaling up environment and had little time to focus on university initiatives to support growth and innovation. “Skilled staff are only getting more expensive to hire and retaining these employees just to work on support and operational tasks for our enterprise software is no longer sustainable,” said Brian Kelly, Head of IT Operations at UTS. “We’ve had to really maximize the resources we have to keep our IT services growing, improving and meeting the needs of the university.” In addition, as UTS increasingly moved towards a hybrid learning model for its students, and a remote working environment for its staff, cost, capability, supportability, and flexibility were key to guaranteeing robust and reliable IT services. The rapid move into the remote workspace also opened new avenues and risks for cybersecurity attacks and breaches. As the number and location of users increased, so too did opportunities for unauthorized access. As such, the University was conscious it needed to increase the security of its Oracle software, particularly as routine patching was a costly and time-consuming endeavour for its IT team that did not necessarily provide the fastest protection model in the case of a discovered vulnerability. “UTS is relatively new to the hybrid working and learning space, and it’s important to be mindful of risks from such a rapid transformation,” said Kelly. The University began to look at ways to get improved support, better security and reduced operating costs for its Oracle Database landscape while also reducing the resource drain on its IT team. UTS turned to Rimini Street’s enterprise software support and security solutions. Lowering Costs and Response Times Each Rimini Street client benefits from the Company’s flexible, premium-level enterprise software support model, including its industry-leading Service Level Agreement of 10-minute response times for all critical Priority 1 cases. All clients are also assigned a Primary Support Engineer with an average of 20 years’ experience in enterprise software and backed by a team of functional and technical engineers. In addition, Rimini Street’s Database Management Services provide UTS with new expert skills from skilled and responsive engineers. Since partnering with Rimini Street, resolving support tickets is easier and quicker, with expert engineers available to respond to challenges at any time. “Being able to shrink how much time is spent on routine work has really allowed us to prioritise the bigger picture, and Rimini Street gives us time back in our day,” said Kelly. “The team is no longer worried about how long a patch or upgrade will take, how long it’ll take to get issues resolved, or how many hours they’ll have to dedicate to something routine. Rimini Street has taken care of that for us, and having such a quick turnaround for support has really eased up our workload. “Rimini Street gives us high-quality support for these business-as-usual activities without breaking our budget. Being able to be flexible with what senior ICT staff we hire means we’re putting a microscope on what our team actually needs, rather than allowing necessity to dictate it.” Rimini Street Protect - Proactive Security Having the time and resource availability enabled UTS to develop and deploy additional enterprise security enhancements. Further, Rimini Street’s security solutions gave UTS peace of mind that it would be secure and remain live while it implemented the additional security enhancements. “Completed security enhancements include secure identity management and access controls,” said Kelly. “Thanks to Rimini Street, we now have time and budget to spare and we are now looking at developing and deploying additional security measures utilizing a cloud-first strategy. We’re also working on automating service management and migrating to the cloud anything that improves the quality of user experience.” “UTS is yet another example of an institution that has benefited from Rimini Street’s comprehensive and effective database support and security,” said Benad. “As international borders continue to open and students choose Australia as an education destination, UTS’ improved service delivery and flexibility supporting a hybrid education model will play a huge part in improving the student learning experience.” About Rimini Street, Inc. Rimini Street, Inc. (Nasdaq: RMNI), a Russell 2000® Company, is a global provider of enterprise software products and services, the leading third-party support provider for Oracle and SAP software products and a Salesforce partner. The Company offers premium, ultra-responsive and integrated application management and support services that enable enterprise software licensees to save significant costs, free up resources for innovation and achieve better business outcomes. To date, more than 4,200 Fortune 500, Fortune Global 100, midmarket, public sector and other organizations from a broad range of industries have relied on Rimini Street as their trusted application enterprise software products and services provider.

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