Customer Story
Higher Ed

Increasing Equity for All Students With Class

Salt Lake Community College switched to Class amid the pandemic, but stayed with Class to ensure accessibility for students and success for staff.

SLCC AT-A-GLANCE

158th

Rated among America’s Best Online Learning Schools

18:1

Student to teacher ratio

25

Average student age

58%

of students are enrolled part-time

salt lake community college logo

Contents

The ChallengeSupporting a diverse student population

image of the salt lake community college campus
“We have 10 campuses and are definitely the most diverse college in Utah. We have more students and less funding, so finding the right tools and technology to impact our students is incredibly important.”
photo of gavin harper at salt lake community college
Gavin Harper, Director of Online, eLearning Services & CBE, Salt Lake Community College

As the only community college in Utah, Salt Lake Community College serves students from all kinds of backgrounds. “Our students are generally single mothers, veterans, students who are first time, or first generation college students who are coming to our online courses because they know SLCC reflects who they are. Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion at SLCC is because of the student populations who attend here. It’s part of our mission and values,” says Gavin Harper, Director of Online, eLearning Services & CBE at SLCC.

To support their diverse student population through the pandemic, SLCC needed to find an online learning tool that could help them continue their education remotely.

The SolutionAdopting an equitable online learning experience

SLCC switched to Class during the pandemic, but chose to stay with Class once they realized how valuable and equitable the online learning tool was for their students. “Right after the pandemic, we all expected this modality to go away and no longer be supported. But our students were still signing up for these online synchronous courses first. So we recognized that we really needed to continue this for them,” shares Gavin. “We might have stumbled into it during the pandemic, but based on registration, our students were really telling us, ‘Please make sure that Class doesn’t go away’.” Corey Stevens, Assistant Director of Teaching and Learning Technology, adds, “we have a lot of people who are really excited about this!”

Ethical accessibility standards

After a thorough Accessibility Review, SLCC found Class to be an excellent fit for their diverse student population.

SLCC conducted a Technology Review and determined Class’s tech infrastructure to be secure and compliant, leading to an easier adoption.

With Class, SLCC students can still connect and interact with their peers and professors as they would in an on-campus course.

Class’s online synchronous learning environment empowers SLCC students to balance their education and personal responsibilities.

The ResultEnsuring equity in an online environment

By adding Class to their existing web conferencing software, SLCC delivers a more equitable, accessible, and successful online learning experience for a staff distributed across 10 campuses and the most diverse student population in the state.

“I think we’re having such high adoption rates because we took the change management very seriously,” shares Stevens. “It’s an almost formulaic process where we plan on how to communicate and build FAQs, how-to articles, and knowledge base articles. I think our careful implementation has set ourselves up well to affect positive change and foster excitement about Class.”

“And what’s really important to us is we’re advocating for a positive experience for our students,” adds Gavin. “So Corey and I would not be doing all this work [to rollout Class] if we didn’t recognize that this was something that students were benefiting from as well. I hope other people can see the value of Class for their students and institution too.”

With Class, SLCC is:

Improving accessibility for students

“Online synchronous courses really offer accessibility and equity of experience. We can educate more students better because we have tools like Class to make that education better for them. So really it’s an important part of the toolbox in all of the different modalities that we have,” shares Corey.

Increasing staff adoption with effective training

“An incredible milestone was when I overheard one faculty member convincing another to use Class. Word of mouth was happening between different faculty. It wasn’t just an announcement or an email from me. It was their department meetings and water cooler conversations that got them here,” boasts Corey.

Named one of the best online institutions

“This year, we were ranked in Newsweek as one of the best online institutions in the country, and we take that responsibility very seriously. There were only two other Utah institutions on that list. So when my team is building online courses, the technology that we choose reflects that kind of quality at the same time,” says Gavin.

Ready to see what Class can do for your organization?

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