Vanderbilt University Relies on UniHub for Campus-Wide Initiatives

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Situation

Vanderbilt University first came up with the idea for a university-wide immersion program back in 2014, developed by the administration, faculty, and other constituents at the institution as part of the Academic Strategic plan. “Immersion stemmed from the idea that students are already doing so much experiential learning and they were creating these wonderful projects for themselves, sometimes associated with their majors and oftentimes just following their passions,” said Carolyn Floyd, Director of the Office of Immersion Resources. “The idea was that we build a program with some structure, guidance, and support so that students can still follow those passions and create projects with a framework that involved faculty mentorship and guidance, along with the ability to get recognition and include the final project on their transcript.” This idea would eventually become Vanderbilt’s Immersion Program, a campus-wide initiative that involves everyone at the institution in an effort to create a better experience for the student and a more well-rounded, supported graduate. By 2018, a formal plan for the Immersion Program was created and Vanderbilt began their search for the platform that would make their vision a reality.

“We created custom reports and that helped us streamline our reporting process so that we can go in and grab the specific data we need instead of having to go to different places where data is kept and try to make sense of it. It's great that UniHub keeps it all in one place!"
 

Carolyn Floyd,
Director of the Office of Immersion Resources

Solution

Vanderbilt started the conversation with Symplicity back in early 2018 due to the fact that their institution already used Symplicity CSM to manage their career services programs and initiatives. “The needs of the Immersion Program were outside of what CSM could provide for us but then Symplicity told us about UniHub, their newest product at that time,” Floyd noted, “What we liked about UniHub was how customizable and flexible the product was. We knew we could sculpt it to match our vision for the Immersion Program. Additionally, I personally like how accessible and knowledgeable the support team was. I have always felt comfortable sharing my ideas and needs with Symplicity and it’s great that the support team is so responsive.” Vanderbilt went live with UniHub in August of 2019. As of March 2021, about 3000 students are part of the Immersion program and hundreds of faculty members interact with the system.

Success

UniHub has been critical for supporting the Immersion program and Vanderbilt as a whole, especially since the pandemic began. “It was a stroke of good fortune that we decided to go with a purely paperless system, not knowing that we would all be working from home less than a year later,” Floyd said, “Since the pandemic happened, it has been really helpful to have already implemented a university-wide platform with student record access where we could implement new services for students and ways of tracking communication with them.” The goals of the Office of Immersion Resources include continued tracking of student projects and proposals as part of Immersion Vanderbilt as well as increased overall student and faculty participation. Floyd added, “We’re working on how we can round out support at the university level so that we can continue communicating with students and tracking their path towards graduation by ensuring they have the best student experience.”

“UniHub is a great product. I love how flexible and customizable it is so I would recommend other universities check it out. UniHub is helping us implement our broad and unique Immersion program."

 

Carolyn Floyd,
Director of the Office of Immersion Resources

Student Services, UniHub, Experiential Learning, Student Engagement, Graduate Outcomes

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