Strategic Change through Student Experiences

Thursday, October 28 | 3:00PM–3:45PM ET | Board 412, Poster Area, Exhibit Hall A, 200 Level
Viewing Location: Philadelphia
Session Type: Poster Session
Delivery Format: Poster
Customer experience is a foundational aspect of digital transformation, and the accelerating pace of change since the pandemic underscores the urgency of meeting the needs of students in this new era of teaching and learning. We believe that understanding the student experience is one of the most fruitful ways to create meaningful change initiatives to propel institutional strategies in higher education. The Innovation and Technology Services (ITS) team at the University of St. Thomas began experimenting with a design thinking approach to customer problem-finding and problem-solving several years ago. We have since matured and grown these practices, leading cross-functional, student experience workshops aimed at critical student journeys. Working directly with students and other stakeholders, we have explored student journeys such as “paying for college” and “taking online courses.” In these workshops we have identified and prioritized gaps in the student experience and outcomes, and have collaborated on solutions to close these gaps. In this session, we will share the strategic frameworks underlying digital transformation efforts, while highlighting the importance of customer experience and design thinking to these kinds of initiatives. Then, we will share the tools, practices, challenges and lessons learned from our experiences, along with specific examples from our campus. You will take away ideas and tools for kick-starting customer-centric journeys on your campus.


  • Steve Ackerson

    Manager - IT Project Management Office, University of St. Thomas
  • Maria Brendel

    Associate Vice President of Projects, Processes, I, University of St. Thomas
  • Ed Clark

    CIO and Chief Digital Officer, University of St. Thomas