How Workday Student Is Transforming the Student Experience

Matt Sherman, our general manager of Workday Student, shares highlights about our student system and the momentum we’re seeing as more and more higher education institutions look to transform and elevate the student experience.

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The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is transforming higher education. From responding to the shift in remote learning to finding new ways to keep students engaged, institutions need to become more agile than ever to keep up with evolving student needs. Guided by our core value of customer service, Workday supports organizations in being more flexible in the face of constant change. That’s why I’m excited to share that 18 higher ed institutions have successfully gone live on Workday Student in the past year alone—all through virtual deployments. 

As general manager of Workday Student, I wanted to take a few minutes to share some of the highlights of the conversations I’ve been having about our student system and its impact on the student experience as more and more higher ed institutions are looking to transform. 

How is Workday Student helping higher ed institutions?

There is often a combination of factors that prompt higher ed institutions to make a change, but ultimately they’re looking to elevate the student experience and receive insights to help them improve their educational offerings and connection with their students. As a cloud-based system, Workday Student supports universities in being more flexible and reliable, providing visibility into the data and information they need to make informed decisions about the future. 

For example, a college concerned about international enrollment would have the advantage of collecting and maintaining its enrollment and financial data in a single system, so it can track student admission trends and how that affects overall tuition revenue. And, as a solution that maximizes student engagement, Workday Student equips institutions with the tools to improve student retention rates and enable academic success.

What differentiates Workday Student from other student information systems (SIS)?

A majority of institutions use student information systems that are at least 20 years old—older than many of their students. These institutions are struggling with outdated systems, and want to move to a cloud-based solution that offers a consistent, user-friendly digital experience with more personalized engagement—enabling students to register for courses, track their work study hours, manage financial aid, and request an advising appointment, all through a mobile device. We’re truly able to meet these students where they are—a benefit more crucial than ever before. 

I’m excited to share that 18 higher ed institutions have successfully gone live on Workday Student in the past year alone—all through virtual deployments.

What are some recent product innovations in Workday Student?

Because our focus remains on delivering a student system that puts the student first, we’ve prioritized new innovations to deliver a simplified, mobile-first user experience. We continue to innovate with Workday Student, with more than 1,100 product enhancements over the past year across admissions, advising, financial aid, academic records, and student finance, aimed at automating and streamlining student operations, while delivering an engaging student experience.   

With easy access to information and tasks across advising, academic planning and registration, student records, and financial services, we’ve enhanced the experience with two new Workday People Experience hubs: academics and finances. For example, i​n the academics hub, students have access to a variety of information and tasks—such as academic progress, advising appointment summaries, and registration activities— which enables them to edit their academic plan and update course selections from any device.  

Can you share some examples of how Workday Student customers have digitally transformed?

Organizations such as Brandeis University, California College of Arts (CCA), Furman University, Palm Beach State College, Tallahassee Community College, and Wellesley College have deployed Workday Student to derive better insights on student engagement, increase productivity for the academic staff, and remain nimble to adapt to change. Let me give a few examples: 

  • In spring 2020, CCA used Workday to track student engagement when learning was pushed online as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. CCA was able to blend academic and financial information from Workday Student, with external data sources using Workday Prism Analytics, to receive a holistic view into a student’s academic activity while they were engaging with course content remotely. 

  • At Furman University, students use Workday Student to make counseling or tutoring appointments, access transcripts, and register for courses. With Workday, Furman reduced the average course registration processing time from several weeks to 15 minutes.  

  • With native reporting and analytics available in Workday Student, Tallahassee Community College is able to more effectively elevate the student experience by identifying the reasons why students are requesting advisor appointments, and making processes—such as enrollment—more efficient.     

We’ve seen great traction with Workday Student, with many live and happy customers who are seeing measurable results. But the work doesn’t stop there—I look forward to continuing to work with our customers to innovate the product to meet their needs and help ensure their students' success, and I’m excited for the opportunity that lies ahead.

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