Established in 1860 as a co-ed institution of higher learning, Wheaton College is a private, residential Christian liberal arts college. Wheaton strives to provide an authentic and rigorous liberal arts experience, with more than 40 undergraduate degrees and 20 graduate degree programs taught by top-tier faculty.
Leaders can often overlook how fundamental Information Technology is when planning for a successful student experience. Wheaton College recognized that excellent IT service would be critical in its competition to best meet the needs of their students, faculty, and staff by letting them access specific applications from wherever they were, rather than limiting them to specific locations.
Wheaton College’s journey with AppsAnywhere began with employee and student challenges to access the applications they needed to do their work. The IT team had been using a system configuration manager (SCCM) to deploy applications to student computer labs and office desktops. But the system was cumbersome for many reasons, including faculty members’ consistent need for last-minute software requests.
Early on, it became more common for students to own their own laptops. The IT department found that students were going to the labs more for the quiet than the technology and preferred to be place-bound when using applications.
“The goal for us is to improve how we deliver software to our students. We were looking for a way to run applications in one place where everyone can have access from anywhere, and that is when AppsAnywhere came to the game.”
Addition of AppsAnywhere
Thankfully Wheaton College had learned of AppsAnywhere at an EDUCAUSE conference and from nearby current customer Michigan Engineering College. Wheaton considered other solutions, but one of the major selling points for them was that they could use AppsAnywhere could as part of a larger digital toolkit.
We looked at a number of solutions. They were very expensive and, among other issues, had large and clunky servers. We liked the fact that Michigan used AppsAnywhere for a large number of applications integrated into its SCCM.
Changes to Campus Life
Since Wheaton College implemented AppsAnywhere there have been a number of changes to campus life, particularly during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their innovative addition of AppsAnywhere to their existing digital toolkit provided a seamless solution for their sudden transition to temporary distance learning. With AppsAnywhere, the IT department saved countless hours by not having to update rows of computer labs manually, allowing them to use their time elsewhere.
From the students’ point of view, they now have the freedom and flexibility to do their work around their own schedules. They can fit their studies around their part-time jobs, sports, and social activities rather than having to stick to a strict schedule influenced by computer lab availabilities.
Our students love it. We look at the statistics and they’re using it all over the place. They do like being able to use it from the dorm room. None of them have ever said, hey, we want to go back to a lab environment! That's the one thing we have never heard.
We’ve had no end of compliments on the flexibility, such as from homesick students who are studying remotely out of the country. They said it’s wonderful that they can access all the software they need to do their work.
Tradition and Innovations at Wheaton College
Wheaton College has stood proud for over 150 years, embracing both their traditional values and modern-day innovations. By creating and maintaining a cutting-edge digital toolkit, Wheaton College have been able to continue their work by providing world-class education, even through a global pandemic. By doing so they have simultaneously made their IT department more efficient and kept their students on track!
Here at AppsAnywhere we like to create partnerships rather than the standard customer transactions, and we’re thrilled to see that Wheaton College feel that partnership too.