• Cutting Edge

UMass leans on hybrid orientation to fuel student success

Chris Misra, chief information officer of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, joins the Cutting EDge podcast to talk about how the school’s new hybrid student orientation program is driving data and information to help students even before they get to campus.

Misra, who has been at UMass since 1996, says the university now uses a customer relationship management tool to visualize and analyze data about how students are interacting with campus programs like new student orientation. If, for example, university leaders can see an example where a student may not have engaged with any orientation programing — online or in person — it prompts a “last chance” for advisers to check in and help students avoid challenges like melt and stopping out.

In the news this week:

Educause’s director of cybersecurity programming has left his post. Brian Kelly stepped down from the role this month and joined Compass IT Compliance as a virtual CISO. Educause is seeking his replacement.

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona says that lists of college rankings are “a joke.” Cardona says universities should use their resources to improve student success metrics, as opposed to trying to rise to the top of arbitrary rankings. The secretary also called on universities to embrace a new vision of college excellence based on data analytics. 

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection is warning college students against the threat of scams from cybercriminals. The division says students are often targets for identity theft or financial loss attacks, and that students should be mindful of what they post on social media and to be wary of free software downloads and unsecured Wi-Fi networks.

Hear more from the higher education information technology community every two weeks on the Cutting EDge podcast. Listen here.

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Cutting Edge


Every two weeks, the Cutting EDge Podcast will bring you the latest in higher education technology news and analysis. The program will explore trending topics in depth and highlight news across the campus IT landscape. Each episode will feature conversations with top executives across higher education on things like hybrid learning, emerging technology, cybersecurity and modernization.

Hosted by Jake Williams

Jake Williams is the vice president of content and community for StateScoop & EdScoop at Scoop News Group. Williams has spent nearly a decade in the government IT market, covering the ins-and-outs of state and local government as well as higher education. Williams started his journalism career in regional journalism in his native Pennsylvania, and also worked as a reporter for Campaigns & Elections magazine.