3 Key Education Cloud Updates in the Salesforce Winter ’20 Release

Education Cloud Winter Release (2020):  Admissions Connect, Advisor Link & Student Success Hub

This year’s education cloud winter release focuses on 3 core areas of success in higher education learning. launched in March 2018, the Salesforce Education Cloud is a platform that offers higher education institutions a complete set of solutions to recruiting and admissions, student success, and advancement. It also gives users access to valuable products such as HEDA, Salesforce Advisor Link, and gift processing capabilities – all designed to empower educational institutions to become connected campuses to transform the student journey. Over the past two years, Salesforce added several other useful features to the Education cloud to support families, faculty, and staff. In 2020, specifically, features such as Giving Pages, Payment Services, Engagement Hub for Education, and Accounting Student Self Check-in were added, creating a solid foundation for digitization. Salesforce is adding even more features this year to make the Education Cloud a one-stop-shop for tech-first higher education institutions that wish to fast-track their digital transformations in the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic.

1.      Admissions Connect Provides a Unified Application Experience

The first major update to the Education Cloud is Admissions Connect targeting recruitment and admissions teams. This new application and decision-making product utilizes the Education Data Architecture (EDA) and is purposely designed to ease educational institutions’ admission workloads. Admissions Connect provides a unified experience for both applications and admissions teams. It drives applicant engagement, streamlines application management and review, and allows admissions teams to work smarter with 360-degree visibility and insights. However, the three key features that excite users most about Admissions Connect are automation, operational efficiencies, and reading. Action Plans are used within the Admissions Connect environment to automatically assign tasks and checklist requirements to the student based on student type, program, and other factors. This makes it very easy for admissions to automate action plans and application review assignments to users or queues. Education cloud winter releaseThe new feature also comes with a built-in PDF reader that lets operations teams review checklist documents (including transcripts and recommendation letters) without leaving the Salesforce screen. This, and the fact they’ve made the app compliant with accessibility standards, are massive advantages for admissions teams.

2.      Advisor Link allows for quick and flexible student support

Up to now, educational advisors needed access to multiple systems and paper files to get a full view of a student’s life to provide the right advice. This lack of structure can result in time wastage. It also makes it very difficult to give the right kind of support. Students may also face a similar challenge. A student may need help and support services but not know where to seek the help they need. Since student information exists in solos, the advisor may also fail to discover that the said student needs help. The ’21 Winter Release creates a Salesforce Advisor Link to address this problem specifically. With Advisor Link, advisors finally have a single data source to consult. Students also get a clear, mobile-friendly communication channel to the advisory network. The featured is powered by the Education Data Architecture and the Salesforce Service Cloud. Essentially, the student provides students with a single link to all their advisors, known as their success team. The success team may comprise financial aid advisors, health advisors, career advisors, the register, and more. The student can view and reach out to any member of the success team who, in turn, can see whether the student has met other success team members and recommend follow-up appointments as necessary.

3. Education Cloud Winter Release: Student Success Hub to Champion the Whole Child

The last in this year’s Education cloud winter release, is the Student Success Hub, a powerful tool to help schools build a holistic approach to supporting their student needs. Student Success Hub gives education managers a 360-degree view of the whole student. You’ll be able to see grades, attendance, household information, and behavior, to mention just a few. The best part is that this information is contained in one place and visible from a single dashboard. Users can add information to a student record over time by adding notes or tasks relating to that student’s progress. Management can also track support activities to ensure that every student is getting the support, academic or otherwise, needed. Teachers, counselors, aids, etc., can all view the information and report student support progress. Remember that you can collaborate with the necessary team member to give the student the best help while also limiting the information each member can view. For instance, you can assign tasks, share notes, and refine success plans while restricting access to sensitive information to those who explicitly need to know.

Learn More

All three major updates in this year’s Education cloud winter release, i.e., Admissions Connect, Advisor Link, and the Student Success Hub, are valuable features that can help any educational institution transform its student experiences for better learning outcomes. If you haven’t done some yet, consider reaching out to an expert to discuss what you should do next.