From varsity to virtual with Teachers College, Columbia University
How Teachers College, Columbia University welcomed back over 2,000 students through virtual campus-life events on Traction Gather
Like all Higher Education institutions right now, Columbia University is reinventing how they serve their students by providing virtual solutions for today and helping them plan for tomorrow.
For 140 years, Teachers College - Columbia University has drawn together visionaries who aspire to make the world a better place for all. In anticipation of the upcoming fall semester during COVID-19, the school was challenged to foster that innovation in a new way. They turned to partners Traction Gather and Salesforce to help them engage students and provide a safe way to connect with their community.
Keeping school spirit alive: campus life during COVID-19
When Teachers College was ready to open to students in a COVID-safe way, they had to reimagine campus life. Beyond the day-to-day of classrooms, they needed to put a strong focus on starting the fall semester off with their regular school spirit intact.
In a very short timeline, Teachers College required a virtual solution that could handle new student orientation functions and events that happen at the beginning of the year—enter Traction Gather.
Traction Gather and reimagining online engagement
Built on Salesforce’s Experience Cloud, Traction Gather enabled Teachers College to effortlessly bring all their virtual events, live streams, classes, programs, tours, and on-demand content into one digital engagement hub.
“Traction Gather fits like a glove... the team is excited to make it a central feature in our strategy going forward.”John Lombardi, Deputy Chief Information Officer
With the help of our Traction on Demand team, Teachers College was able to implement the solution in under ten days, to host their multitude of regular in-person events in a secure, authenticated portal environment with embedded Zoom web conferencing.
Almost 90% of students gave positive feedback on the digital engagement and, of that group, over 40% said it exceeded or significantly exceeded their expectations.
In only a few weeks, Teachers College hosted:
- Three days of virtual meetups across ten different departments
- Doctoral event including keynote speakers with panel discussions
- Resource Fair for new students
Incredibly, Teachers College welcomed over 2,000 students back to campus through these virtual experiences. Nearly 90% of students gave positive feedback on the digital engagement and, of that group, over 40% said it exceeded or significantly exceeded their expectations.
Building resilient, eager to learn, and engaged students
By leveraging the Traction Gather engagement platform, Teachers College are able to use powerful data-driven insights to continually iterate and improve their engagement with students and community:
For the Teachers College team: Interaction data collected through Traction Gather and Salesforce provides a better understanding of their students and how they engage with programming at the college.
For international students: Prior to Traction Gather, international students had no hub to virtually collaborate with local students. Now, students can participate in virtual breakout sessions and collaboration rooms, regardless of their geographic location—greatly improving student engagement and inclusion.
"The Traction Gather product fits like a glove in the community and the team is excited to make it a central feature in our strategy going forward.”
- John Lombardi, Deputy Chief Information Officer
A place to gather
Whether you’re a commercial organization, nonprofit, educational institute, or just trying to organize virtual events, Traction on Demand’s online community and engagement hub, Traction Gather, is here to help you get geared-up digitally, so you can thrive in this new normal.