Globally renowned university, located in the heart of North Carolina, Elon University has taken a student-centric approach toward innovation to improve the student experience on and off campus.
Elon is an award-winning, leader in student success, liberal arts university sitting with a comfortable 7,000 undergraduate students and 800 graduate students. U.S. News & World Report Rankings has Elon sitting at #10 for innovation, #1 for learning communications, #2 in teaching excellence, and many other impressive ratings. Elon’s approach to success has always focused on the needs and wants of their students. This tactic maintains their student retention rate well above 90% and their graduation rate within 4 years at 79%. AppsAnywhere is a solution that aligns with Elon’s strategic goals and has helped them bounce back efficiently since campus closures.
Like most colleges across the US, during the spring of 2020, when the pandemic hit and campuses had to close, IT departments were hard pressed to find the best solution to deliver software to their students. Elon University, however, did not have to scatter. Prior to campus closures, Elon implemented AppsAnywhere in computer labs across campus. Their journey toward innovation started small but grew quickly when the demands of their students grew as well. The Student Government Associate caught wind of AppsAnywhere and pushed for immediate change.
Elon University's AppsAnywhere Journey
As all universities do, Elon faced IT challenges long before the pandemic forced them to close their doors last spring. At the time, remote access was not possible. They were delivering their applications and software through traditional means such as imaging in designated labs. Some VDI was also being used, but it was not scalable due to cost. Given that 30-40% of students are Mac users, this proposed another challenge for their IT department: the inability to deploy software to student-owned devices. This was a huge obstacle when trying to support any BYOD initiatives.
Given these limitations, students were frustrated with when and where they could access software, which in turn influenced their student experience and a potential effect on outcomes. Pat Donohue is Assistant CIO and Director of Campus Technology support at Elon University. When tasked with creating a more innovative student experience, he turned to the students and asked them what they needed to be successful, not only did they request access to their software across campus, but they asked for AppsAnywhere by name.
"You need to be where your customers are, and our customers are our students. It is essential to keep an eye on the modern student so we can keep up with the latest trends in technology. When our students are happy, it results in their academic success”
A Recipe for Student Success
Since their implementation of AppsAnywhere, students have been able to access their coursework and university software with ease. Whether students are on campus, at home, or in their dorms they no longer need to worry about how they are accessing their applications.
Chemistry major and criminal justice minor, Hayley Clos (Elon class of 2022), describes AppsAnywhere as “a really cool and easy way to access class work. I am taking classes in various departments so having everything I need all in one place has made it convenient for me. I don’t have to go to different computer labs anymore which has made my life a lot easier”.
Students just want their tech to work. They don’t want to have to think about how they’re getting their software, they just want it. AppsAnywhere allowed us to give our students access to technology that works.
When it comes to the IT department, AppsAnywhere has improved their experiences as well. AppsAnywhere has helped their IT team with easier lab management and streamlined processes. The IT helpdesk has reduced its response time to only 5 minutes when assisting students with various tech problems. Most importantly, this solution has broken down the barriers to BYOD access.
With AppsAnywhere, we have enabled students to work from their own devices. When we had to send students home after spring break, they didn’t skip a beat when classes started up again. AppsAnywhere made classes accessible to students and professors.
Being Prepared for Remote Access
Elon has successfully kept their campus doors open to allow students to attend their classes in person. With about 90% of their students on campus, they altered their campus environment to abide by social distancing rules and regulations. For example, their computer labs allow for a 50% occupancy. Students are bringing their own computers to campus each semester. AppsAnywhere enables colleges to use that free hardware. Elon remains fully prepared for a hybrid, virtual, or in-person semester, at any point now or in the future. Equity of access to technology will continue to increase to keep up with their students’ demands. The future for Elon will continue to revolve around innovation.
AppsAnywhere x Elon University
More from Elon University
The importance of Equitable Access in Higher Education
Learn about equitable access and how AppsAnywhere provides equal access to education resources.
Make informed strategic IT decisions by understanding how students are consuming academic applications, including how, where and when.
Check out all the features on our AppsAnywhere platform specifically designed to help students and staff achieve better outcomes.
AppsAnywhere integrates with the software deployment and EdTech tools you already use, including SCCM, VDI, App-V, Jamf, Microsoft and Canvas.