Jacksonville State University
A Comprehensive Approach to Student Success
How Impact Award winner Jacksonville State University transformed student success throughout the educational journey.
The annual Ellucian Impact Award recognizes higher education institutions that use technology to solve challenges, operate more efficiently, and create better student experiences. Jacksonville State University (JSU), a public institution in Alabama and a 2023 Impact Award winner, leveraged a comprehensive portfolio of Ellucian solutions in their ambitious Student Success Initiative.
The Challenge: Enabling End-to-end Student Success
JSU aimed to transform support throughout the student journey, starting with admissions. Students, families, counselors, and administrators need clear and timely communication throughout recruitment. Without it, key steps could be missed, impacting JSU's enrollment funnel.
Enrolled and prospective students alike need an integrated network of resources to succeed, which is why JSU leadership opened a dedicated Student Success Center focused on learning support while switching from faculty-led advising to a centralized team of full-time professionals. This reimagined staff is working toward holistic student support, including academic advising, career development, disability resources, supplemental instruction, and more. But to make advising efficient and unified, they need the right tools and integrations.
Financial aid processes also needed to be seamless and streamlined. JSU's previous financial aid delivery times were significantly lengthened by verification processes, professional judgements, and SAP appeals, potentially disrupting enrollment and retention. And even when students did receive their financial aid information in a timely and understandable manner, few completed their net price calculations to have a full understanding of their financial needs.
Finally, JSU needed their systems and processes to help students graduate on time, with as little debt as possible. Direct paths to completion are a priority for all students, but especially at JSU, which serves a largely low-income and first-generation learning community.
With these four goals—clear recruitment communication, centralized advising, seamless financial aid, and direct paths to completion—JSU identified the technology they'd need to enhance student success at every stage.
The Solutions: An Integrated Approach to Technology Transformation
To optimize admissions communications, JSU integrated a texting solution into CRM Recruit. With this, admissions staff can send over 400,000 text messages in a recruitment cycle ranging from personalized touchpoints to timely, task-oriented pushes. And thanks to intuitive automation, staff can refocus their time on following up with students individually to make the greatest impact.
Previously, JSU had only six professional advisors for the entire university, but with their new centralized advising model, there are now 24 professional advisors divided among JSU’s five colleges. JSU also integrated EAB Navigate and Degree Works to equip staff with the tools and data they need to advise students effectively. Since implementation in the summer of 2022, all first-year students have been advised within their respective colleges, enabling advisors to build effective, personalized relationships from the beginning that will continue throughout the student journey.
To streamline financial aid, JSU leveraged a suite of CampusLogic solutions. JSU implemented StudentForms to transform paperwork into direct, digital workflows while reducing compliance risk. Within the first month, JSU saw a 400% increase in file processing, enabling staff to deliver financial aid packages faster than ever before. They also saw a 90% decrease in students seeking help on or near their payment deadlines, and thanks to same-day processing, the wait times for students have shrunk from an hour to mere minutes. Additionally, with VirtualAdvisor, students now have access to personalized, data-driven financial aid guidance anytime, anywhere, as well as an intuitive real-time net price calculator through ClearCost, which has resulted in a 27% increase in net price calculator completions. These solutions all come together to help keep students on track and moving toward financial success.
Finally, to better guide students on direct paths to completion, JSU implemented Degree Works and Transfer Equivalency Self-Service. Students now have a clear understanding of their degree progress and can more effectively plan their coursework to stay on track. Since implementation, JSU has seen a 325% increase in completed degree evaluations, demonstrating how quickly the student body has adopted intuitive, empowering self-service.
JSU's Student Success Initiative is making an impact on every member of their campus community. And because of their modern, agile technology, they're prepared to continue adapting to meet the evolving needs of students now and into the future.