Switchboard Updates

Want to Better Serve Students? Design With Empathy: Reflecting on ListenUp EDU 2019

Want to Better Serve Students? Design With Empathy: Reflecting on ListenUp EDU 2019

Did the last conference you attended have a dance interlude? How about an artist in residence? A jazz musician? Was every session interdisciplinary and interactive?

I could go on, but rather than list all the things that set ListenUp EDU, the conference we hosted two weeks ago with Campus Sonar, I suggest you browse the #ListenUpEDU hashtag on Twitter and Instagram yourself.

ListenUp was about, well, listening—listening to students, to alumni, and to our teams in higher education in order to better serve our constituents and create change within our institutions.

If you’re interested in hearing about what’s in store for Listen Up 2020, sign up for the mailing list on the conference site and we’ll keep you posted. For the benefit of those who didn’t make it to ListenUp this year, I’ve tried to summarize the conference in four points.

What We Taught—and Learned From—Our New Partners at the University of Alberta

What We Taught—and Learned From—Our New Partners at the University of Alberta

Since we started Switchboard in 2013, we’ve learned that platforms are not a panacea, and that we need to train people and change processes to make even the most effective software work. That’s why we now require our partners to undergo on-site training with our team before launching Switchboard. We completed our largest training yet with our new partner the University of Alberta last month and wanted to share.

Higher Education Innovation Fellows First Workshop Recap

Higher Education Innovation Fellows First Workshop Recap

Our Higher Education Innovation Fellows had their first onsite workshop here at Switchboard HQ in Portland, Oregon last week. I have never seen an audience that engaged, so I thought I'd share some of the insights from the five HEIF faculty members who presented to the fellows across those two-and-a-half days.

These faculty will be returning in June to lead the first workshop for our summer cohort of fellows.

Announcing Switchboard's New Higher Education Innovation Fellows Program

Higher Education Innovation Fellows

We talk a lot in higher ed about how to better serve our students, alumni, and other constituents. But we seldom focus on how to better help the professionals who serve them.

That’s why Switchboard is launching the Higher Education Innovation Fellowship program.

The Higher Education Innovation Fellowship (HEIF) is a year-long program where fellows will learn from leaders across disciplines (e.g. technology, behavioral economics, nonprofits, and higher education) and practice innovation in higher education.

The fellowship includes six months of curriculum, nine days of innovation workshops at Switchboard HQ in lovely Portland, Oregon, and a six-month applied campus innovation project where fellows will put one of their ideas into action with the one-on-one guidance of a coach.

This program is designed for ambitious emerging leaders in higher education who want to learn best practices to scale innovation at their institutions. Professionals from all experience levels are welcome to apply. With a focus on constituent-facing leaders, the fellowship is designed for professionals who serve  current students, alumni, parents, and friends of their institution.

We know that improvement and innovation in higher ed requires that institutions invest in the people who serve students and alumni. Higher ed is the key to economic mobility for many students and families we serve; they deserve us at our best. We’ve designed the fellowship to that end.

Learn more.

One Well Timed Email Can Increase Your Userbase by 35%

One Well Timed Email Can Increase Your Userbase by 35%

Building robust online communities isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean it has to be complicated. Santa Clara's recent engagement campaign is a prime example of one effective way to do this work.

Santa Clara's Switchboard first anniversary coincided with the start of their academic year. They wanted to connect with the broader community around the start of the new academic year, and they had the idea to showcase their Switchboard's first-year milestones as a means of generating buzz and providing proof that their Switchboard was worth the community's time and attention.