New Jersey Institute of Technology was awarded a 2021 Ellucian Impact Award for its successful digital transformation initiatives, which allowed the university to pivot quickly to support students during the pandemic.
The university will receive a $25,000 grant as part of the recognition.
The annual Ellucian Impact Awards celebrate visionaries who are inspiring others to push the boundaries of higher education technology and innovation. The announcement was made during Ellucian Live, the industry’s top global technology conference.
This year, Ellucian recognized six institutions that represent excellence across the categories of student well-being, innovation and digital transformation. NJIT won in the digital transformation category.
The other winners include Community College of Baltimore County, University of Southampton (U.K.), Ajman University (United Arab Emirates), University of Hartford and University of the West Indies – Cave Hill (Barbados).
Ellucian is a leading higher education technology solutions provider.
Fadi Deek, provost and senior executive vice president of NJIT, said the award shows the impact of the school’s efforts to be a global university.
“NJIT’s pursuit of a global classroom experience under our converged learning model requires innovative technological and logistical preparation,” he said. “We have been diligent and strategic in the utilization of Ellucian technologies that have ranged from inventive classroom delivery models to digital support services for both faculty and students.”
Prior to the pandemic, NJIT created a new delivery model for several classrooms to blur the lines between online and in-person learning experiences. When the pandemic hit, this Converged Learning Model was immediately expanded to facilitate socially distanced attendance for the Fall 2020 semester.
The onset of the pandemic also brought opportunities to improve online service delivery and create a global campus supported by a synchronous experience like that of the CLM. As a result of these innovations, 44% of all classes were offered in the CLM and more than 70% of all undergraduate students had an in-person experience that still provided social distancing for students and faculty.
In addition, NJIT was able to minimize the spread of Covid on campus: NJIT’s positivity rate never reached 2.5% and was well below 1% for most of the semester, while the surrounding city of Newark had a positivity rate of 19%.
NJIT also successfully maintained its enrollment, with the undergraduate population increasing in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021, and student academic performance remained comparable to prior semesters.
All student support — including advising, psychological counseling and student events — is available through online and digital services. NJIT will continue the digital options for students as part of the global campus, whether they are on campus or attending remotely.
Ellucian CEO Laura Ipsen said she was thrilled to see how her company’s technology has helped during the pandemic.
“It has been inspiring to see how these Ellucian customers are using technology to operate more efficiently, overcome challenges and offer a unique student experience,” she said. “This year’s Impact Award Winners truly exemplify what it means to be a transformational, digitally focused and student-centered institution.”