Technology as a Strategic Advantage

By James Tagliareni, CIO, Piedmont Community College

Piedmont Community College is a small community college located in Roxboro, North Carolina, with big ambitions. It has invested noticeably in technology as a strategic advantage in recent years, reaping numerous benefits and placing it as an authority figure in the realm of a community college education.

The college is investing in technology by upgrading its network infrastructure, including new servers, storage systems, and network equipment. This investment in network infrastructure has many advantages, such as greater reliability. By having a reliable network, Piedmont Community College ensures its students and faculty can access their required resources when needed. Particularly for online learning, there will be no downtime or connectivity issues to hinder the learning process.

It also offers improved security. Firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and other security measures can help protect sensitive data and information from cyber threats, preventing unauthorized access or data breaches.

Piedmont Community College needs a well-constructed network infrastructure to support todays and future technologies and applications sustainably. For the successful use of mobile devices and cloud-based apps, a powerful network infrastructure is essential.

Piedmont Community College is investing in technology by giving students free access to Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). This desktop virtualization solution allows Piedmont Community College to securely deliver and manage virtual desktops and applications from a single location.

VDI technology provides enhanced accessibility and flexibility for students and faculty. By making virtual desktops accessible from anywhere, it is beneficial for non-traditional students who have other commitments. Furthermore, with VDI technology, users can access their desktop environment on any device, whether it is a laptop or mobile device. This enables them to work on coursework or projects on the go and boosts productivity. These features provided by Piedmont Community College empower students to be job-ready and able to compete in the job market.

As a student focused institution, Piedmont Community College is investing in technology-enhanced classrooms to provide students with an interactive and modern learning environment. Technology-enhanced classrooms integrate technology into regular classrooms, providing instructors with multiple tools to enhance education.

Technology-enhanced classrooms provide a number of advantages for instructors. They utilize 4K interactive large display monitors, which make presentations engaging and effective. Through this medium, instructors can explain intricate concepts and constructively engage students. It also opens up access to multimedia resources such as videos, images, and simulations, further strengthening the learning process.

They also allow for collaboration and group work. Students can use online resources like online whiteboards, wikis, and chat rooms to work together on projects, even when they are far apart. This boosts their critical thinking skills and provides them with workplace experience, as teamwork is often crucial for success in the real world.

To improve the student experience, Piedmont Community College has invested in technology that enhances student development services. This includes a chatbot that provides 24/7 support to students. It can answer FAQs, provide info about college services, and help with website navigation. This tech has proved beneficial by lightening the workload for college staff and getting students the information they need immediately.

Piedmont Community College has invested in retention software to encourage student success and boost graduation rates. This platform uses data analytics and predictive modeling to recognize students who are at risk of dropping out, as well as provide targeted interventions to help ensure their success.

Predictive modelling is a powerful tool used to detect potential issues early, allowing advisors and faculty to provide necessary interventions and resources for students. Real-time data and analytics enable advisors to recognize any emerging trends or patterns in student behavior and engagement. With this data, custom interventions and support can be applied and tailored to each student’s individual needs.

Piedmont Community College has invested in technology to support research and institutional effectiveness. The college is introducing a data analytics program that enables administrators to analyze outcomes and effectiveness. With this technology, Piedmont Community College can make data-driven choices that better student success and college operations.

Piedmont Community College is leveraging technology as a strategic advantage. It has made substantial investments in network infrastructure, classroom tech, student development services, and research and institutional effectiveness. These investments are proving beneficial, with improved student results and a more efficient decision-making process. With technology becoming increasingly vital to higher education, Piedmont Community College is well-positioned to stay ahead of the curve in community college instruction.