Columbus State University (CSU), located just 100 miles southwest of Atlanta, Georgia, has more than 8,200 students and offers 46 undergraduate and 42 graduate degrees. U.S. News & World Report ranks the university among the top regional universities in the South.
As part of the 35-member University System of Georgia, Columbus State University is required to evaluate—and ultimately improve—undergraduate student retention, progression, and graduation rates to meet Georgia’s higher education completion plan, “Complete College Georgia,” which seeks to increase the number of Georgia’s young adults who obtain a certificate, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree.
In line with this initiative, the university must report retention, progression, and graduation metrics to the University System of Georgia on an ongoing basis. With the university’s legacy system, these reports took several weeks to produce and did not provide the desired analytical drill-down needed. To improve reporting accuracy and timeliness, while also focusing on the university’s personal goal—data quality and integrity—the university worked with Oracle Consulting to design and implement a business intelligence and data warehouse solution using Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition and Oracle Data Integrator.
With Oracle Consulting, the university could actively participate in goal planning—creating a partnership that led to a seamless and successful integration. The new business intelligence environment enables users to pull detailed retention, progression, and graduation metrics and reports using the real-time dashboard. Also, with access to 10 years of information, users can identify patterns and trends characterizing successful students, as well as drop outs, enabling CSU’s educators and administrators to make more informed decisions, better target troubled students, and enact changes to entice students to stay through graduation. Just days after system go-live, the university’s president gained valuable insight into student retention trends that belied earlier assertions.
Columbus State University had a great existing relationship with Oracle and knew only Oracle could deliver a robust solution that could grow with its needs. Further, Oracle Consulting offered the university a strong, reliable partner who understands how best to implement data warehousing and business intelligence solutions for higher education.
“Oracle was ingrained in our DNA as we were using multiple Oracle applications through state contract and running on Oracle Database 11g. It was natural to expand with Oracle, and Oracle Consulting’s deep expertise made this expansion possible,” said Abraham George, chief information officer, Columbus State University.
Oracle Consulting leveraged the Oracle Unified Method (OUM) implementation methodology and worked closely with CSU’s functional and technical staff, from requirements gathering, through design and implementation. Combining Oracle Consulting’s expertise with CSU’s staff provided a cohesive implementation team. The university implemented phase one—focusing on academic affairs and student performance—over a five month period, on time and on budget. The university is working on phase two, which will focus on finance, human resources, and predictive analysis.