Sharing best practices to improve equity and efficiency
Foothill-De Anza Community College District relies on shared technology to meet its goals
- Shared technology allows institutions to provide comparable services across campuses
- Collaborating with other schools can help with myth busting
- Sharing best practices streamlines workflows and drives efficiencies for students and staff
Joe Moreau, Vice Chancellor Technology, Foothill-De Anza Community College District
Some of our most important goals for our colleges and our district as a whole is really to improve student equity and student engagement. Certainly, within the Silicon Valley, there is great disparity of income and affluence among families across the valley. And providing them all with equitable opportunities to achieve higher education is a huge priority for both of our colleges and our district as a whole.
One of the ways that we really need to try to respond to that is to make sure that no matter what the student's background is, no matter what their socioeconomic status is—whether they're a first-generation student, whether they're an immigrant, whether they're a returning student—we need to make sure that they have a comparable experience with the services and resources that our district provides almost exclusively through technology these days.
Our approach to shared technology has really helped us achieve some of those goals in a couple of ways. One is, by teaming with some of our sister districts throughout the state, we can really discover what some of the best practices are in terms of how we operate our enterprise applications and make those services available to students.
A shared services approach has helped us with is what I call myth busting, and that is invariably, someone in our institution will say, well, we have to do it this way because the law says so, or the regulation says so or the policy says so. And as we're collaborating with our sister districts throughout the state, we can bring together peers and really compare notes and just say, well, do the rules really say that? And maybe sometimes they do and maybe sometimes they don't. And frequently, we find that they don't say that.
And there's opportunities for us to take friction out of the system, to drive efficiency and effectiveness, and to really improve the workflow of the things that we do for students, faculty, and staff.