AHEA

Case Study

CHALLENGES

  • Inefficiencies of dealing with disparate SIS, CRM, and LMS systems
  • Lack of a unified, intuitive, and modern EdTech solution
  • Internationalization increasing in priority, but no tool to support it

SOLUTIONS

  • InspirED
  • ConnectED
  • BlendED
  • CollaboratED

RESULTS

  • Provides the only cloud-based platform with a fully-integrated SIS, CRM, and LMS
  • Delivers the world’s first professional engagement platform for higher education
  • Fosters academic networking, development, and collaboration across the globe
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Meet The Client

The American Higher Education Alliance (AHEA) is a non-profit located in Boca Raton, Florida. The organization is dedicated to enhancing the learning community and contributing to the development of future leaders worldwide. AHEA seeks to support colleges and universities by lowering barriers to education and making a difference in their students’ academic and career success.

CS-AHEA-Laptop

Meet The Client

The American Higher Education Alliance (AHEA) is a non-profit located in Boca Raton, Florida. The organization is dedicated to enhancing the learning community and contributing to the development of future leaders worldwide. AHEA seeks to support colleges and universities by lowering barriers to education and making a difference in their students’ academic and career success.

Challenges

When international education entrepreneur, Zhanjun Niohuru, founded AHEA he sought to build an international network of institutions to enhance students’ learning experiences through academic diversity, cross-cultural interaction, and critical thinking. He recognized the imbalance in pursuit of international education and desired to create a solution. Statistics back him up. In the 2017-18 academic year only 5.5% of the higher education population in the United States was comprised of international students. Yet, for every three of those students, only one American studied abroad.

To compound the issue, the global economy and technology are both evolving, and the job market is changing rapidly. The McKinsey Global Institute estimates 60% of all occupations could become automated in the future thanks to advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, and machine learning. This will impact $15 trillion in wages across the global economy. With machines assuming many of the duties previously completed by humans, several of the higher-level tasks that remain will require employees to network and collaborate with cohorts on the other side of the world. This is where, as Niohuru envisions it, intercultural communication, compassion and understanding for diversity come into play. The internationalization of higher education institutions is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s a must.

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We needed a way for international students and faculty to learn, network, and collaborate using a single, unified solution.

— Zhanjun Niohuru, Founder and Chairman of AHEA
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Attempts to internationalize campuses across the United States have been met by varying degrees of success. Lack of infrastructure, budget, processes, and direction are partly to blame. However, the real challenge lies in the absence of a software solution that’s intuitive and versatile enough to use at institutions around the world.

From the onset, AHEA’s executive team realized they’d need to have custom software built to meet its vision of providing education for all. “We needed a way for international students and faculty to learn, network, and collaborate using a single, unified solution,” says Niohuru.

In 2017, AHEA’s leadership began the search for a technology partner that would best fit the organization’s specific criteria. They wanted to collaborate with a team of technology gurus who were nimble, entrepreneurial, and equally passionate about AHEA’s mission.

Most software companies who serve EdTech have been around for 25+ years. We wanted to partner with a real trailblazer.

— Ben Shank, CEO of AHEA
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For AHEA to successfully build an international learning community, it needed a solid and versatile platform to help colleges and universities address their biggest challenges. This included facilitating internationalization, improving enrollment management and student success, and enabling faculty engagement – a need often left unmet. The solution also had to be intuitive enough to foster cross-collaboration with institutions around the world. Enter Tower Education Technologies.

Tower knew the challenges higher education was facing. They also understood the steps AHEA wanted to take to eliminate these hurdles and build bridges. They responded with InspirED, the only cloud-based platform with a fully-integrated SIS, CRM (ConnectED), LMS (BlendED) and a professional engagement platform (CollaboratED).

Insipred-Group-Clouds
Insipred-Group-Clouds

For AHEA to successfully build an international learning community, it needed a solid and versatile platform to help colleges and universities address their biggest challenges. This included facilitating internationalization, improving enrollment management and student success, and enabling faculty engagement – a need often left unmet. The solution also had to be intuitive enough to foster cross-collaboration with institutions around the world. Enter Tower Education Technologies.

Tower knew the challenges higher education was facing. They also understood the steps AHEA wanted to take to eliminate these hurdles and build bridges. They responded with InspirED, the only cloud-based platform with a fully-integrated SIS/CRM (ConnectED), LMS (BlendED) and a professional engagement solution (CollaboratED).

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FACILITATING INTERNATIONALIZATION with InspirED

Institutions are steadily prioritizing internationalization on their campuses to provide students an enriching and rewarding educational experience. As a result, these learners are broadening their perspectives, bolstering their soft skills, and challenging their identities, cultural understanding and assumptions. All in a quest to become global citizens. That’s where InspirED thrives.

“Deciding to partner with Tower was an easy decision. They understood how crucial it was to deliver one all-inclusive platform. Currently there’s a consortium of institutions toggling between 48 different technologies to engage in online learning. That approach is costly and inefficient and just wouldn’t work for us. We knew there had to be better way,” says Shank. “Tower stepped up and delivered the InspirED platform.”

InspirED_Cloud-2

FACILITATING INTERNATIONALIZATION with InspirED

Institutions are steadily prioritizing internationalization on their campuses to provide students an enriching and rewarding educational experience. As a result, these learners are broadening their perspectives, bolstering their soft skills, and challenging their identities, cultural understanding and assumptions. All in a quest to become global citizens. That’s where InspirED thrives.

“Deciding to partner with Tower was an easy decision. They understood how crucial it was to deliver one all-inclusive platform. Currently there’s a consortium of institutions toggling between 48 different technologies to engage in online learning. That approach is costly and inefficient and just wouldn’t work for us. We knew there had to be better way,” says Shank. “Tower stepped up and delivered the InspirED platform.”

IMPROVING ENROLLMENT MANAGEMENT with ConnectED

AHEA and Tower Education Technologies believe technology should improve teaching and learning, not just manage student records. That it must support skills development and graduate employment, not just degree attainment. “Look around you. The education landscape has changed. Institutions can no longer afford to pigeon hole students into four-year degree programs. Not when their goals are obtaining a certificate, continuing their education, or up-leveling their skills,” says Shank.

In response to AHEA’s desire to enhance student learning and improve outcomes, Tower developed the first of three solutions to comprise the InspirED platform. ConnectED is the only lifecycle management solution that natively combines student information, CRM, analytics and artificial intelligence applications. The result is an innovative solution that drives growth, efficiency, and outcomes for institutions and exceeds students’ expectations for their education experience.

CollaboratED-Cloud

IMPROVING ENROLLMENT MANAGEMENT with ConnectED

AHEA and Tower Education Technologies believe technology should improve teaching and learning, not just manage student records. That it must support skills development and graduate employment, not just degree attainment. “Look around you. The education landscape has changed. Institutions can no longer afford to pigeon hole students into four-year degree programs. Not when their goals are obtaining a certificate, continuing their education, or up-leveling their skills,” says Shank.

In response to AHEA’s desire to enhance student learning and improve outcomes, Tower developed the first of three solutions to comprise the InspirED platform. ConnectED is the only lifecycle management solution that natively combines student information, CRM, analytics and artificial intelligence. The result is an innovative solution that drives growth, efficiency, and outcomes for institutions and exceeds students’ expectations for their education experience.

INCREASING STUDENT ENGAGEMENT with BlendED

Today’s students are juggling multiple priorities, including work, family, and life. It’s difficult for institutions to keep them on track, let alone engaged. To keep pace with students’ learning styles and needs, faculty must blend a variety of teaching methodologies, tools, and opportunities to support their on-ground and online classes.

To meet this challenge, Tower developed BlendED, the modern learning management solution that integrates pedagogy with technology. It also removes the technical challenges associated with disparate systems and eliminates geographical boundaries for students. The solution gives students the flexibility of accessing 24/7 learning. Best of all, by utilizing the chat, SMS, and video functionality, students can share their “a-ha!” moments in real time with classmates and teachers.

BlendED-Cloud

INCREASING STUDENT ENGAGEMENT with BlendED

Today’s students are juggling multiple priorities, including work, family, and life. It’s difficult for institutions to keep them on track, let alone engaged. To keep pace with students’ learning styles and needs, faculty must blend a variety of teaching methodologies, tools, and opportunities to support their on-ground and online classes.

To meet this challenge, Tower developed BlendED, the modern learning management solution that integrates pedagogy with technology. It also removes the technical challenges associated with disparate systems and eliminates geographical boundaries for students. The solution gives students the flexibility of accessing 24/7 learning. Best of all, by utilizing the chat, SMS, and video functionality, students can share their “a-ha!” moments in real time with classmates and teachers.

FOSTERING COLLABORATION with CollaboratED

Core to AHEA’s mission was providing a solution that fostered academic networking, engagement, mentoring, and collaboration across the globe. Yet no technology existed to promote global, professional interaction for faculty and academic administrators. That’s why Tower developed CollaboratED, the first professional engagement platform for higher education.

CollaboratED promotes professional growth and global engagement by providing guides and standards developed by accreditation professionals so faculty can collaborate on research, peer review pedagogy and lessons, and co-author scholarly articles. “The desire and goal are to enable a professor in the United States to easily co-create a course on microeconomics with a partner faculty member in Malaysia, for example,” said Niohuru. “The CollaboratED platform has essentially removed the hurdles of geography, multiple time zones, and languages. It also provides a reliable tool to those institutions that lack resources, support, or the necessary infrastructure needed to engage in online learning.”

ConnectED-Cloud-2

FOSTERING COLLABORATION with CollaboratED

CollaboratED promotes professional growth and global engagement by providing guides and standards developed by accreditation professionals so faculty can collaborate on research, peer review pedagogy and lessons, and co-author scholarly articles. “The desire and goal are to enable a professor in the United States to easily co-create a course on microeconomics with a partner faculty member in Malaysia, for example,” said Niohuru. “The CollaboratED platform has essentially removed the hurdles of geography, multiple time zones, and languages. It also provides a reliable tool to those institutions that lack resources, support, or the necessary infrastructure needed to engage in online learning.”

“AHEA brings a wealth of knowledge in higher education. As a primary partner, their collective insight, global network, and CEO’s philosophy enabled us to partner seamlessly,” says Debra Siler, CEO of Tower Education Technologies. “AHEA provided the nuances to the process that our company needed to solve serious problems through technology. It was a natural fit because each organization believes in education fiercely and can see a global landscape where education is accessible to all.”

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Today AHEA is avidly growing their international higher education network. Tower Education Technologies stands right alongside them. Together with the InspirED platform these organizations will support their strategic partners around the world, including Malaysia, China, Serbia, Chile, and North America.