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CU Online reaching new heights with support from UIS

UIS is helping CU Online marketing, recruitment and student retention support efforts to reach peak potential through many projects to aid the Office of Digital Education’s (ODE) work across all CU campuses.  

UIS has partnered with ODE since May 2020. This partnership is in alignment with the CU-wide initiative to expand the university’s online learning capacity. The key partnership between UIS and ODE is valuable to seeing this goal realized. 

Expanding online learning opportunities represents a key long-term goal for the university. Developing a greater breadth of offerings and customizable learning experiences provide flexibility and greater accessibility for Colorado residents. It also invites students from across the nation and the world to benefit from access to CU’s programs.  

“Since creating a partnership with UIS, I’m continually amazed by the responsiveness, speed and quality that comes from this in-house team of experts,” said Courtney Borton, Head of Marketing & Recruitment – Office of Digital Education. Some ways UIS has supported ODE include: facilitating CU Online’s move to a new platform, implementing a new phone system, deploying a chat feature, optimizing Salesforce and providing major data integrations between all four campuses. 

“All of these projects were in efforts to make the CU Online prospective and current student experience better. I’m thankful for this innovative partnership and the work that goes into making CU Online better every single day,” Borton said.  

The first phase of the Salesforce optimization focused on data sharing unlike anything CU has seen before. 

Salesforce Education Data Architecture

The first release of the Salesforce Education Data Architecture (EDA) project, which began in April 2020 and completed in Jan. 2021, focused on creating a clear, standardized account hierarchy within Salesforce. The hierarchy emulates the university’s structure, showing each campus, school or college, and department, as well as all academic programs and program plans to which a constituent may be affiliated.

This critical foundational work will allow Salesforce to accurately model the many ways each constituent affiliates with the university and blazes a trail for future Salesforce development in recruitment, admissions and student success.

Total Leads

Since this phase’s completion, ODE have seen a marked increase in leads for all programs represented within the CU Online website:

Click to enlarge image

Total Leads by Month

Popular Programs

With these new leads, these programs piqued the most interest among prospective students:

The project’s next phases will include tracking student enrollments within Salesforce, as well as modeling the full student journey through constituent affiliations.

EDA’s implementation supports the efforts of the Transformation & Innovation Program (TIP).

Prospect Clearinghouse

Developing the Prospect Clearinghouse, the integrations database for prospective CU Online students, not only saves time, but also delivers more up-to-date and accessible data.

The UIS integrations team, partnered with the Salesforce and Student Services teams, released the Prospect Clearinghouse in fall 2020. This functionality aggregates and standardizes admissions data for online students. Leveraging ODIN, which is available 24/7m that data is passed to Salesforce. Having seamless access to admissions data across all four CU campuses and from 7 different systems, allows the ODE enrollment navigation team to provide detailed support to applicants across the CU System.

Prior to this enrollment integration, ODE spent on average an hour a day loading data into CU’s systems. These integrations automated this practice, saving approximately 250 hours annually.

Students identified based on course types

Additionally, the UIS CU-SIS team created a data identifier to tag incoming student application records. The data identifier tags a student’s program application as “In Person” or “Online.” This will streamline reporting, which allows ODE to identify students intending to take online programs and better assist them.


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