Proactive technologies enable supportive campuses

Greg Kovich
April 28, 2023

Digital technologies provide a foundation with the tools for students and staff to connect, communicate and collaborate.

Mental health in EDU blog 2 image
As I talked about in my previous blog, educational institutions, globally, are battling a mental health crisis that has been brewing for the last couple of years. Tackling it will require changing how we do things. Traditional approaches like counselling services alone, will no longer cut it. And while the benefits of one-on-one, face-to-face meetings shouldn’t be disregarded, they can’t be the only means to turn the tide.

Addressing mental health issues on campus must be part of every academic institution’s core strategy for student success. And while technology solutions can offer new ways to provide a proactive approach to deliver the support that students and staff need, implementing technology for technologies sake will not address the issues at stake. Technology decisions must be made in the context of student and faculty needs.

To address today’s challenges and support the goals for student success, I believe institutions should:

• Identify the issues and acknowledge the extent of the problem

• Create the resources to support students who are struggling

• Provide a safe, non-judgemental digital community to deliver services

• Offer a safe learning and working environment for everyone on campus

Build a foundation

A smart, campus-wide network is essential to deliver student-centric services. The network foundation must be secure, robust and flexible, and work seamlessly across the campus to reliably deliver the services students and staff depend on.

The network must include Wi-Fi solutions to support communications and collaboration across thousands of students and staff. It must be automated to simplify deployments and operations. It should leverage Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies for predictive network management. And, to ensure confidence in the institution it must have unified security policies and robust, granular cybersecurity mechanisms to protect any sensitive personal information students might communicate.

Connecting is key

Communications and collaboration solutions that make it easy for students and faculty to quickly reach out to one another are foundational for addressing mental health issues on campus.

Today, technology can enable a secure, all-in-one platform that connects people, machines and processes, so that students, faculty and staff can easily collaborate using voice, video and text. Channels can also be created for each community within the school, such as academics, extracurricular activities and support services.

To keep connected, the platform can be used to deliver digital nudges to help students stay on track and feel valued. And information gathered through data analytics can help faculty identify student who are missing classes, missing assignments and doing poorly on exams. These tools can help faculty members create communications tailored to address student’s unique academic and mental health challenges.

Additionally, a contact centre solution can provide students with fast, easy access to a single point of contact to address all types of needs. Students can also engage in interactive chat sessions with mental health professionals and chatbots. And for a generation that’s grown up texting, it’s probably one of the most natural ways to reach out for assistance. Texting can also provide students a way to engage on topics they might not feel comfortable sharing through voice, video or face-to-face conversations.

And finally, ensuring ‘there’s an app for that’ gives students and faculty, anytime, anywhere access — in the palm of their hands — to the online communities they participate in, helpful nudges and alerts and support resources.

Your resilient campus

A robust and secure network with easy-to-use communications and collaboration solutions that span the entire campus, ensures everyone can access the people and services they need to maintain their mental health and achieve greater academic and career success.

At ALE, we partner with academic institutions around the globe to provide the digital platforms and secure networking technologies to create a safer, more supportive and nurturing campus community and achieve their goals. For example:

• At Loughborough University in London, England, our Rainbow™ by Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise unified communications and collaboration platform is helping postgraduate students work alongside industry leaders to develop real-world solutions that address real-life challenges.

• At University of Sriwijaya in South Sumatra, Indonesia, our highly available and secure networking solutions provide an agile, world-class network for all four campuses and two data centres, ensuring students and staff have the high-capacity, high-quality Wi-Fi they need to learn, teach and work.

• At West Liberty University in West Virginia, U.S.A., our efficient and powerful networking solutions enable students to reliably connect to the network, and enable faculty to implement new teaching tools and take teaching outside the classroom.

Today’s proactive technologies can provide the ability to connect, communicate and collaborate, through a comprehensive support system that intuitively reaches out and interacts with students before they reach crisis levels.

Learn more about how we can help address on campus mental health challenges with digital technology solutions.

Greg Kovich

Greg Kovich

Global Sales Lead, Education Vertical

Greg Kovich leads global sales for ALE’s Education vertical.  Greg has overseen or created several Education solutions including “The Fundamentals of Communications” – a vendor neutral course on digital network communications; “Safe Campus” – a solution uniting emergency alerts with first responder collaboration and mass notification; “Secure Campus” – a solution that allows instructors to limit student network access to determined sites; and “Pandemic Education Continuity” – a solution that enables classroom instruction in the event the institution is closed due to health or environmental crisis. 

He is a 1992 graduate of Indiana University with over 20 yrs experience in Information Technology.

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