52: Building Student Service Hubs at Lynn University w/ Gareth Fowles

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Gareth Fowles, Vice President for Enrollment Management at Lynn University, discusses why higher ed needs to follow the lead of customer-service oriented companies from other industries when it comes to student support.

It's incumbincent upon a highereducation to ensure that we are providing that level of service to ourstudents that they've come to expect over the years and in today's everchanging Global Multifessitov Day society, you're listening to enrolment growth,university from Helik Education, the best professional development podcastfor higher education leaders looking to grow in Roman at their college oruniversity, whether you're looking for fresh and Roman growth techniques andstrategies or tools and resources. You've come to the right place. Let'sget into the show, welcome back to anroman growthuniversity, a proud member of the connect Evu podcast networkimerigolsome AVP of marketing at helics education and were here today withGarreth fowls vice president for in Roman management at Lynne, universitygarreth welcome the show, thanks for Ery much for having me Eric, reallyexcited to chat with you today about...

...why high red needs to follow the leadof customer service, oriented companies from other industries. When it comes tostudent support, before we dig into that Garreth, can you give thelisteners a little bit better understanding of both Lim Universityand your role there sure Lin University is located in Bocereton Florida, so wean a great part of he, the country here in south Florida we are relativelyyoung institution. We are founded in one thousand, nine hundred and sixtytwo we've gone through three name changes and we became Lin University,ine thousand nine hundred and ninety one. We an independent institution witharound three thousand students and we attract students from all over theworld. But twenty four percent of our students come from foreign countriesand they within their twenty four percent. We have about a hundrednations that are represented and we attract students from forty four statesas well, so a geographic reaches a for reaching and we are very in progressiveforward thinking and Innovativ the university that has been named anairport distinguished school for a...

...number of a years now and my rowe hereat the university, as vice prison for enrolment managements. I have thefortunate pleasure of overseeing our undergraduate programs ar graduateprograms and our online programs, as well as student success here at theuniversity awesome. Let's dive right into why those distinguishedrecognitions of innovation for Lyn are true. I know some in higher educationkind of Balk at the idea of calling students customers, but talk about thenecessity of bringing customer service Best Practices from other industriestoo high red. I think you definitely correct the Eric. I think the wordcustommen highe education for many years has almost been taboo, that a Ithink, more and more institutions nowadays are actually talking aboutcustomer service and ther. We incorporating an into language, that'sbeing used and thought about, but I think it's more about defining who ourcustomers are.

I think in today's Day and age, its notjust traditionally seventeen or eighteen year old, withonline programs with graduate programs, we have faculty, we have staff, we haveparents or that fit into the realm of what it is that we do here withinhigher education, and I think, in today's Day and age, where customerservice is integrated into every sector, whether it's the retail sector, whetherit's a transportation arena, hospitality, arena, entertainment arena,customer service is extremely important and as students they have come toexpect a high level of service, no matter what a line of the work or industry thatstudents may be looking to go into, and I think it's incumbintent upon a highereducation to ensure that we are providing that level of service to ourstudents that they've come to expect over the years and in today's everchanging Global Multifessitar DA...

...society. In order to provide that kindof high level of experience that they are experiencing elsewhere in the world.Let's talk specifically about the genius bar ask student services hubthat you're currently developing at Lynd and the one stop shop, you're,hoping it to be. For current students sure so here at the university, our president has reallyencourage Ol senior leaders, as well as our faculty administrators staff andstudents to look at a different type of education and we are providing aneducation to our students that is very progressive and very innovative and thenumber of years ago we unveiled a program here at the university where weprovided all of our students with a IPAD, and it wasn't the device that wewere particularly enamored with, because we knew that apple being theorganization that they are, that the IPAD would constuantly go throughvarious iterations. But it was more the ecosystem that went along with that,making sure that students were on a...

...platform that was a uniform and that our faculty memberscould actually start creating our own textbooks and loading those up ontoitune Yu. So we have developed a really close relationship, as we do now withAppole, and we started looking at organizations that are sort ofindustried leaders, such as apple in a the technology space such as the richculture and the hospitality arena, Amazon on the retail side, Netflix on ethe entertainment side and started looking at these types of organizationsthat are really providing a high level of customer service and engagement fromtheir customers. And when we looked at apple when you go into a airport store,no matter what your need is it really serviced very well and we looked at thevarious levels of services that we provide to our students, whether it heacademic, adbising, the registraers offers financial services, students,affairs and so forth. We started...

...looking at all these services thatstudents make use of an a regular basis and started thinking. How can we betterincorporate those services into a centralized entity that would make thecustomer service the students experience that much more seemless andeasier for our students to navigate their experience here at the university?So we trying to incorporate that, and we've recently developed a task forcehere at the university. It's forty members that really all encompassingacross the entire university community and we've brought those individuals toGe that you start looking at what the students experiences like here, EtlinUniversity, with the mindset that we want to further engage students in theacademic experience. We want to expand the programs and services that areavailable to students, and we want to elevate that students experience whilethey're here with us, with the ultimate goal of improving our etention ratesand graduation rates, love it Garreth.

What are some other ways that you andyour colleagues are trying to implement this kind of design, thinking elsewhereacross campus, from updates to architecture, to other initiatives,sure design thinking has become a big part of a who we are as an institutionas we look forward to to the future. So design thinking has been a practicethat has been accommodated and incorporated into a number of different,a initiatives that we are embarking upon here at the university one of thebiggest initiatives that weve really adopted. This mindset is through theunveiling of Ouruw Strategic Plan. We recently completed a strategic planthat was launchedin two thousand and six, and it was a fifteen year plan. Itake that back was actually launchin. Two Thousand and five ot was a fifteenyear plan to be completed in two thousand and twenty and tin true Linfashion. We completed this plan two years ahead of schedule, so we'veactually just unveiled a new stoteatic...

...plan, which is quartel in twothousandand. Twenty five just rally shortened that a their time frame andwithin unveiling that new strategic Playn we adopted e, the principal isincorporated in design thinking and various discussions were had here oncampus among a wide variety of constituent groups. We had sessionswith OU board of trustees, we had sessions for senior executives, facultyand staff students and alumni to say to them. This is where we are looking togo and really incorporate their feedback into the type of institutionthat they believe that the new linuniversity should morphinto and awhat type of curriculum we should be looking to offer and h. We firmlybelieve that we've inincorporated the voices of a multitude and Briath of a diverse constituent groupsthat we believe will lead the...

...institution to much continued successin the coming years through this new strategic Lan care. Tha Lot of ourdiscussion today has been about improving the oncampus experience. Howare you attempting to replicate this focus on customer service for youronline audience sure? So the online audience for us is a somewhat of arelatively new audience that we are targeting and and servicing being arelatively young stue student population, a young institution with arelatively small student population of around three stars and students. Mostof a the experience that we provided as been targeted at the residencal, theexperience for our undergraduate students, but over the last five or sixyears we really made a concerted effort to start targeting graduate students,we've provided a considerably larger number of courses and programs offeredonline, and we now have what we call an online program for the nontraditionallearner, where they can completethe degree online. So it's a space thatmany institutions have been in for many...

...years, but sometimes the level ofexperience that students have on the online arena could be different from aresidentious students. But we are really very invested in making surethat that experience is similar to what our students on campus have so thosesame programs and services and departments that I alluded to beforeregister as office financial services and alike. We looking to take thoseservices and make those services easily available to students online. Onceagain, as an institution, we have a far reaching arena where we are tractingstudents from so how do we ensure students that are in California that eare taking a graduate program or one of our bachelor's programs online isevequately, served and feels that the same level of customer service thatstudents on campus would be experiencing or provided to them online,because at the end of the day, the...

Livin of th education, that a studentreceives online compared to on ground here is the same offering, and sothat's customer service needs to be edequately, prepared and availed tostudents online as well Gareth. Any final next teps advice for otherinstitutions looking to upgrade their current students, service experience oror customer experience. If you will, I'm not sure that it's necessariyadvice Eric, but what we found here at the university is given in changingdemographics of students at the high school level. We know that there'sgoing to be a decrease in the number of high school graduates from now and tothosant and twenty three that the population that will be going tocollege in the coming years, we'e going to see more first generation students,more students of color and more LOWR associte economic families coming toour respective campuses. We know that it's more expensive to attract estudent, then it is to retain a...

...students and keep Er students. So withthat shrinking pool of students at all these fourousand plus institutions herein the United States, is a going after. It becomes that much more incumbatantupon us as institutions to ensure that the students hat we have attracted toour respective campuses. We are servicing in the appropriate andedequate manner in the minds of our customers, that being students at theend of the day, otherwise they're going to seek services from otherinstitutions, and I think hig education is in somewhat of a PRECURIOUSAAposition. Unfortunately, there are institutions that have been around formany years that are going through some interesting times and, as we've seen,some institutions have had to close their doors and some institutions willbe merging with other institutions. So we as an institution are very mindfulof the national landscape and making sure that the investment that studentsand families make in a Lim University...

Education is one that is going to besound for the respect of families and ultimately yield the return oninvestment that they are making and edequately prepare them for life afterthe university and while they are with us that they have been engaging andenriching and dynamic experience that theyill be able to use that educationfor a thei professional careers. Kara thanks so much for sharing both yourtime and your thoughts with us today. What's the best place for listeners toconnect with you if they have any follow of questions, I can be easilyreached a here. Etlin University. My email address is g fowls at LYN DOT ED.You awesome thanks against so much for doing a Stdak gearth. My pleaserythanks very much for having me on your show attracting today's new post.Traditional learners means adopting new enromant strategies. Kelics educationsdata driven enterprise, wide approach to enrolment growth is uniquely helpingcolleges and universities thrive in...

...this new education, landscape and Helexhas just published the second edition of their enrollment growth playbook,with fifty percent brand new content on how institutions can solve today's mostpressing enromant growth challenges download it today for free at Heloks,Educationcom playbook you've been listening to enromentgrowth university from helicks education to ensure that you never missan episode subscribe to the Showin Itunes or your favorite podcast player.Thank you so much for listening until next time.

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