From recruitment and admissions to student success and reporting, the Salesforce.org Winter ’22 Education Cloud Release features a number of updates and optimizations designed to help make institution operations more efficient. Read on to learn more about how this release can positively impact your university.
Education Data Architecture
The core education data architecture (EDA) received a few new bells and whistles with this release. The first of which is the new Academic Certification object. With this object, institutions can now better track what achievements their populations are garnering, whether that be for diplomas, degrees, or certifications. This new feature will help better track the individual’s journey from prospect to student to alumni.
Another update to the architecture involves the Address object. This subtle change enables addresses to be marked as inactive without making the user delete the record. This will also sync with related records, such as accounts and contacts, marking them inactive at that level.
There is also a new gated release management location in EDA settings. Now administrators can ensure new features are tested in a sandbox before being actively released to production when the organization is ready, rather than a predefined time determined by Salesforce.org.
With each passing year, new generations of students are utilizing mobile-first features when interacting with technology. Fewer and fewer students are on desktop computers when browsing the internet and other media. This trend carries over to applying to programs in Higher Education. Taking a mobile-first approach to Experience Cloud will enable institutions to better serve their audience. Admissions Connect now allows prospective students to upload documents, directly input information to field sections, and submit their applications all from a mobile browser.
Once those applications are submitted, Admissions Connect staff users can now bulk assign application reviews from list views with the click of a button. This allows more flexibility than auto-assignment flows packaged out of the box with Admissions Connect’s first release. The bulk assignments will obey the existing rules where one reviewer can’t be assigned to the same application more than once, and a queue can’t be assigned more than there are members to that queue.
Financial Aid Chatbots have been rolled out with Admissions connect to help answer commonly asked questions related to FAFSA applications like deadlines, eligibility requirements, and they even have the ability to send proactive reminders to students. Rather than having to wait for open office hours with a school’s financial aid office, now students can get answers and the guidance they need when they need it.
Admissions Connect has also rolled out some new features that make it possible to leverage Salesforce’s enterprise territory management features by creating territories based on certain criteria and rolling key data points up to the account causing territory management to kick in and assign access to contacts and opportunities to the territories. Be sure to work with your CRM team or partners to plan how to take advantage of this. If using an open data model where all teams can see all prospects, Cloud for Good has its own Territory Assignment accelerator, designed to work in tandem with Admissions Connect, and allows tremendous flexibility in what records get ownership assigned to which teams, based on any field level criteria, with no reliance on the account object.
Student Success Hub
Salesforce is rebranding Advisor Link to better represent the product’s capability to help more than just student advising. The product roadmap is now more focused on retention and activities that support that goal and all aspects of student support.
With the new branding change, there is a newly redesigned Scheduling Wizard for students to take advantage of. This streamlined experience enables students to book appointments more quickly with their success team members or Support Pools (formerly advising pool) by taking fewer clicks and allowing students to search for their team. Taking advantage of the flexible support staff availability features from previous releases, these options can now provide maximum impact by providing more booking options to students. The student can filter appointment times based on location or topic to better get the support they need in the place they’re most comfortable with.
Admissions connect isn’t the only group getting a shiny new Chatbot. There is also now a Student Success Chatbot that you can deploy to your experience cloud site, SMS, or other digital engagement channels. This Chatbot can be set up to send reminders or ‘nudges’ to stay on top of their assigned success plans and tasks.
When alerts are assigned out to students in the Student Success Hub, support staff are now able to mass apply success plans and support cases from the Alerts list view. This new feature is called Alert Mass Actions. Previously these features were only available from the student (formerly Advisee) case view.
There are also new pre-packaged reports included with Student Success Hub which can help new schools get up and running with Student Success Hub even faster than before. These reports are built to provide insight to managers about their team’s capacity, support Success Teams, and better understand the needs of students across campus.
Tableau is a powerful tool that helps take your data and turn it into more actionable reports. Both recruitment and admissions and student success get starter dashboards in Tableau that enable organizations to integrate their CRM data more easily to tableau via workbooks for more comprehensive analysis. Some of the features include the ability to visualize application and retention trends across years, programs and geography, as well as geographic heatmaps that drill into locations by zip code, county, state, and/or GeoMarkets.
There is a wealth of new support and functionality to be found within the latest Salesforce.org Winter ’22 Education Cloud Release, and we’re incredibly excited to see how institutions harness this new technology to transform their operations heading into the new year.