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CVCC Technology Plan

The 2017-2022 CVCC Technology Plan

CVCC Technology Plan 2017-2022

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» CVCC Technology Plan 2017-2022 (PDF)

Introduction

Effective use of technology will be critical to the successful implementation of the CVCC 2017 – 2022 Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan initiatives include providing technology to support academic excellence, enhancing community engagement through technology, and providing a technology-rich college environment. The Strategic Plan also requires development and implementation of a comprehensive technology plan that adequately supports the college’s programs and services.

The following tactical plan is intended to focus our technology efforts and technology resources on the development and delivery of technology services which will facilitate and support achievement of the Strategic Plan.

Each planned phase is contingent upon available funds for each academic year. CVCC Administrators will prioritize spending according to need and available funds. All unfunded phases are listed as (Contingent upon funding).

Teaching and Learning

  • Competition for students will continue to grow from other higher education institutions: locally, nationally, and internationally.
  • The Technology Services Division and Educational Technologies must collaborate to identify the instructional needs of the college and how information technology can support these needs.
  • CVCC will increasingly use a hybrid approach to delivering courses to students with on-campus activities used for some elements and off-campus, technology-based activities used for others.
  • Distance learning will become increasingly important to CVCC as the college strives to meet the expectations of students seeking to access education in convenient and flexible methods.
  • CVCC will continue to have group-based, instructor-led, face-to-face instruction in a majority of courses.

Core Services

  • There is increasing demand for CVCC to provide access to computing, technology and information access resources at various locations 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.
  • End user expectations and demands far exceed the ability of current CVCC Technology Services Support staff to meet the needs.
  • There is an increasing need for technical support services college-wide. To meet these increasing demands, additional operational costs must be allocated.
  • Response time to trouble calls should be based on established and clearly communicated priorities/criteria.
  • Demand for library and information access services will continue to increase over the next three to five years.

Information Access

  • Students, faculty, staff and members of the community will increasingly want and need access to external resources (people, databases, etc.).
  • Information that students, faculty and staff receive from CVCC information databases must be up-to-date, accurate and available at all times.
  • CVCC must have adequate hardware and software to support the students with disabilities program.

Fiscal Resources

  • Requests for technology acquisitions at CVCC exceed the dollars available by a 3:1 ratio. This scenario is not likely to change. Expenditures need to be prioritized on the basis of need and appropriate planning.
  • CVCC will need to creatively craft a fiscal strategy and program that will provide adequate resources for continual upgrade of technology so that the college can remain current.
  • Alternative resources need to be identified and pursued to enable CVCC to provide the type and level of technology support required college-wide.

Organization

  • Catawba Valley Community College is a single college with multiple campuses, learning centers and students learning at a distance through the use of technology.
  • There is no limit on the number of campuses; sites or locations CVCC must be prepared to serve with/through information technologies.
  • There is no agreed upon model for the delivery of college-wide services to locations or learners at sites remote from the Hickory, Alexander and Newton Campuses.
  • The Catawba Valley Community College organizational culture is supportive of and fosters innovation.
  • Even though CVCC is viewed as an innovative organization, there are still pockets of resistance to change.
  • CVCC will continue to develop joint efforts with high schools, our sister colleges, the universities, and business and industry, some of which will focus on the shared use of information technologies or information technology facilities.
  • In order to reach our goals of improved access and service to students, many current "business" processes and procedures will need to be reengineered.
  • There are many external regulatory organizations that impact CVCC 's ability to be as flexible and nimble as possible in order to meet the changing and evolving needs of students, faculty and staff.
  • The highest level of technology support can best be achieved with individual technical support personnel working within the departments (decentralization).
  • At the present time, efforts geared toward researching and investigating new technologies on an ongoing and continuous basis are fragmented college-wide, with no one department responsible for concerted research and development activities.

Technology

  • Staffing levels within the Technology-based Departments are inadequate and there are limited dollars for new staff.
  • The rate of technology change will continue to be exponential and CVCC must plan for obsolescence.
  • CVCC faculty, staff and students need the latest technology.
  • CVCC must remain on the "cutting edge" of technology.
  • Due to budget constraints, CVCC will continue to use technology (hardware and software) beyond its recommended "life cycle" or "life expectancy."
  • Any strategy for the replacement or upgrade of information technology at CVCC must assume a phased or evolutionary approach rather than 100% replacement at any one point in time.
  • CVCC will use information technologies as one means to extend "common" or "core" services to all campus locations and/or learning centers.
  • CVCC will take a systematic approach to the growth of its internal voice, data and video networks with expansion based upon need rather than technology availability.
  • The average general-purpose workstation purchased by CVCC will be at the 75% of industry average configurations
  • Expanded use of the Internet, the CVCC Intranet and the World Wide Web is driving many of our decisions, acquisitions, programs and services.

 

Technology Plan

Policies

Review technology related policies and update as necessary. Policies should address acceptable use of technology resources, security/privacy of sensitive information, and compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Develop processes/methods to ensure policies are effectively communicated to the college community and effectively enforced. The Chief Operations Officer shall be the person with primary responsibility for completion of this plan component. Additional funding is not considered a significant requirement for implementation of this plan component. (ongoing).

MyCVCC Portal Modules

MyCVCC Portal Modules
Phase Start Date - End Date Cost

Self-Service
(Student Finance Module)

Student Function – Allows students to pay online, track financial aid, track loans, and budget.

Spring 2017 – Spring 2018 $0

Ellucian Self-Service
(Planning Module)

Student Function – Degree tracking, Course planning, course scheduling, advising/approval workflows, and registration.
Staff function – Advising/approval workflows, analytics, planning and reporting.

Spring 2017 – Spring 2018 $0

 

Dashboard

CVCC has purchased the Informer Web Reporting Dashboard Component which is an add-on to the current system. This software component allows individuals to pull specific data into a user-friendly report. (Ongoing)

Classroom Display Equipment

Telecommunications wants to provide 100% coverage of classrooms with projectors and audio capabilities. Projection is the norm for the Education sector. Students need and expect visual and audio stimulation in the learning environments. As well as providing all rooms with this capability, we are in need of replacing about 1/3 of the projectors we currently have on campus due to age and poor performance. ($75,000, Contingent upon funding).
CVCC’s goal is to equip classrooms with the technology required for robust, state-of-the-art learning environments. Extensive research must be maintained to provide current technology to meet stakeholder needs. Such technologies include, but are not limited to, interactive high definition displays, BYOMD connectivity, as well as other specific needs to be determined by each department. Many classrooms already have state of the art technology however; there are still many classrooms that need displays attached to an instructional computer. More computer labs are also needed across campus and each must be maintained with the latest operating systems and hardware. This component should also include a plan for equipment life-cycle management. The IT Director, Chief Operations Officer and the Executive Vice President of Curriculum shall bear primary responsibility for implementation of this plan component. Additional funding will be a significant requirement for full/satisfactory implementation of this plan component (ongoing).

Bring Your Own Mobile Device (BYOMD) and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

Leading the way also means creating a BYOD environment. BYOD allows the stakeholder to walk onto any of our sites and be able to connect wirelessly with high access speed and connectivity. BYOMD Policy approved (2017).

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

Along with BYOMD we need to look at the future of VDI. VDI is the practice of hosting a desktop operating system within a virtual machine (VM) running on a centralized server. Which means whatever instructional desktop is setup on campus will be able to be accessed off campus; saving students, faculty, and staff the cost of purchasing software at home (Ongoing).

Computer Labs

CVCCs lab facilities on main campus are currently comprised of 37 seated computer labs, 3 labs of laptop carts, and numerous portable devices. On East Campus, there are 14 computer labs and 2 small carts of laptops. The Alexander Center and the Alexander Applied Technology Building have 8 labs (4 large, 4 small). Over the past 5 years expenditures have upgraded 70% of these labs to have at least an Intel Core 2 processor or higher. Budgeting is requested each year to try to create a computer hardware refresh cycle.

A 3-year replacement plan has been recommended for all labs in order to keep the machines as up to date as possible. This plan would move any machines that were at the 3-year stage to faculty/staff desktops for the 4th year and onto lower level labs for the 5th year. Funding would need to be secured in order to support this plan in an ongoing basis. With the timeframe proposed, 17 labs per year would have to be cycled in order to maintain the replacement plan. As of May 2017, state contract PCs, designed to meet the college’s needs, were $1000-$1200 per machine. Standard labs have 24 computers and 1 instructor station. With current sales tax rates, this would require a minimum expenditure of $27,000 per lab per year resulting in an ongoing purchasing budget of $495,900 for existing computer labs alone.

These are proposed plans which are contingent upon priority need and allotted funding. Each need will be evaluated within each year and funded according to the yearly budget.

Proposed Technology Timeline

Computer Replacement Goal 1
Goal Cost Timeline
Cosmetology $15,000 Spring 2018
CAD 317 Math Lab $45,000 Spring 2018
CAD 106 LAC $25,000 Summer 2018
LAC/LRC $100,000 Summer 2018
West Wing $150,000 Summer 2018

 

Computer Replacement Goal - Faculty/Staff
Goal Cost Timeline
Faculty/Staff $1,071,000 2017-2019

 

Computer Replacement Goal - CDC
Goal Cost Timeline
CDC - (grant funded) $100,000 Spring 2018

 

Computer Replace 3 Plus Years - Labs
Goal Cost Timeline
WW 116 $25,000 Summer 2018
WW 126 $30,000 Summer 2018
REP 202 $25,000 Summer 2018
REP 207 $25,000 Summer 2018
REP 208 $25,000 Summer 2018
REP 209 $25,000 Summer 2018
REP 276 $25,000 Summer 2018
REP 278 $36,000 Summer 2018

 

Cloud Computing

The IT team is looking at moving toward a “Cloud” solution. Cloud computing is a style of computing in which dynamic servers are virtualized. Resources are then provided through the Internet. Users need not have knowledge of, expertise in, or control over the technology infrastructure "in the cloud" that supports them. This will drastically reduce the amount of new computers each year as the software will reside in the cloud and not have to be loaded on newer machines. The servers will need to be updated each year but at a fraction of the $495,900 proposed for replacing labs (Contingent upon funding).

Update: Currently CVCC has not been able to replace all the older machines due to lack of funding. With no budget allocation, the computer refresh project is a plan that has yet to take place.

Technology Staff Training

Develop a formal training plan for technology services staff. This plan must include reliable estimates of funding needs for this training. The Director of Information Technology (IT) shall bear primary responsibility for implementation of this plan component. Some additional funding has been provided in the current year budget for this plan component. This plan component should include a recurring operational funding request. Currently the IT staff is enrolled in Microsoft Online Academy to increase their knowledge (ongoing).

Learning Management System/Blackboard

Catawba Valley Community College utilizes Blackboard Learn as the primary distance education delivery portal. The North Carolina Community College System Office pays for the base Blackboard Learn system and the institution pays for the Content System, Community System, Managed Hosting, and Managed Host Support services. The Content System allows for a centralized management of course materials and resources used across multiple courses and sections. External vendor resources can be distributed at the course level or across the entire system allowing access for instructors and students to textbook materials or other platforms, such as, e-text readers, Person MyLabs, Cengage Mindlinks, or McGraw-Hill Connect seamlessly and efficiently. The Community System allows for user-driven collaboration and sharing within and outside the institution through various modes including linking to popular social media websites. The Community System also provides an ever expanding document repository which grants the ability to instructors to store all types of files which can be linked back to any course without having to upload the document multiple times across sections. Managed Hosting provides the physical infrastructure which houses the institution’s Blackboard Learn production and testing instances on a server cluster of three physical servers with redundant links. The physical servers are housed in a secure location in northern Virginia and provide industry standard power management and failover procedures. Managed Host Support services provides continual and on-going support for Blackboard Learn and add-ins in the way of service pack upgrades and module updates. Support is available through a ticket system, email, or phone twenty-four hours a day / seven days a week by on-site triage teams. CVCC is in the last two-years of a five-year contract which began in 2014. For 2017-2018 the cost is $88,055, and for 2018-2019 the cost is $90,698.

CVCC utilizes Blackboard as its course management system platform. All courses, regardless of delivery method, contain a Blackboard component. Weekly training sessions are available for faculty and staff. Students receive Blackboard training during New Student Orientation. Blackboard is a vital part of CVCC’s educational continuity plan. Missed classes due to inclement weather, instructor illness, or some event precipitating college closure, are made up using the Blackboard.

OnBase Content Management System

OnBase captures documents in any format, manages the content, stores and organizes the documents then will deliver the documents as soon as they are needed so processes run fast and cost stay low. (Implemented in 2013.)

OnBase Content Management System
Start Date End Date Cost
August 2013 Ongoing $36,000 (ongoing cost)

OnBase Workflow Module

OnBase workflow module is an electronic document routing system that processes work more efficiently, quickly and accurately than traditional paper. Workflow streamlines business processes and is designed to accommodate change quickly. Documents can enter Workflow in a variety of ways, manually or via an electronic form completed via the Internet. Configurable rules and actions ensure that documents are distributed in a standard, controlled manner and that business rules and practices are followed.

OnBase Workflow Module
Start Date End Date Cost
January 2015 Ongoing $32,800 (ongoing cost)

Workflows listed below that are in process or are in the future.

Admissions Workflow

This workflow will import the application from the CrossConnect server to OnBase. The application will then be indexed by the records department, entered into Colleague, then routed to the counselors. The counselors will have the students sign the Welcome Letter with a signature pad. The application will then be routed back to records for final admission.

Admission Workflow
Start Date End Date
April 2017 September 2017

Signature Pad Interface

Signature Pad Interface
Product Cost
Software $6,000
Maintenance $1,200

This software electronically captures signatures, allowing users to sign documents within OnBase.

This will get the workflow going in Student Services. They want to use signature pads for the students so that they can sign the Welcome Letters. This Interface has to be purchased in order for the signature pads to be used.

SACS Workflow

This workflow will import transcripts into OnBase, send an email to the Deans/Dept Heads, and then route the form to Jessica – for her to input the information into Colleague.

SACS Workflow
Start Date End Date
June 2017 July 2017

(The reason this took so long, I was waiting on HR to decide who was going to index and enter information into Colleague)

Future Workflows

Travel, Payroll, Financial Aid, Ticket System and Security Audit

Mobile Access for OS/Android

Mobiel Access for OS/Android
Product Cost
Software $5,000
Maintenance $1,000

This software provides workers with easy access to OnBase documents and processes at their convenience while on the go. OnBase Administrators can unlock users; configure ad-hoc tasks within workflow queues.

Reporting Dashboards

Reporting Dashboards
Product Cost
Software $8,000
Maintenance $2,000

This software gives organizations immediate visibility into system and business health. Users can create and share dashboards – highlighting business data most important to them – without the need to engage IT resources. Dashboards present data in a variety of graphical formats including charts, graphs, scorecards, maps and more. Interactive features then allow users to easily monitor performance and analyze trends in real-time. Quickly view and interpret relevant data and make proactive business decisions with Reporting Dashboards.

Network Infrastructure

CVCC’s server farm is using Gigabit Cisco C3560X and Gigabit Cisco 3750 series switches. We have a Gigabit fiber connection from our core switch to each building. In places like CAD we have Gigabit fiber connection to each closet. In all our technology labs we have gigabit to the desktop. IT is looking at refreshing our switch infrastructure with HP ProCurve switches to save money by not having to pay reoccurring SmartNet contracts for older switches. ProCurve switches come with a lifetime warranty and support. Over the past year IT has installed Gigabit HP switches in CAD104, 204, 304, REP231, REP120, REP140, WW123, WW116, Student Services, and Student Center.

Power distribution - Installed one UPS back-up power supply per network closet to protect network devices and supply uninterrupted power to switches. CVCC is looking at the possibility of a generator to the main bank of servers. A dedicated IT Generator which is dedicated to CVCC Server Farm is needed – Cost $80,000 (Ongoing).

Internet Security

CVCC has a Sonicwall NSA E5500 which does firewall protection, web filtering, and packet shaping protocols.

Virus protection: Virus protection software is updated daily. Detected viruses are reported to the entire IT group via email. None this year, all blocked from entry.

Student Printing/Copying Services

CVCC uses a Print Management Software package from Systel, Inc. A total of 300 devices are implemented across campus. These devices include desktop printers as well as Multifunction Printer/Copier/Scanner at key locations throughout the campus as well as each building possessing a high speed, high volume MFP unit. Along with this purchase came 4 print/copy vending stations for student use. (Ongoing).

Campus Information Display System

CVCC installed 16 LED displays and a RiseVision information System across prime campus locations. The information displayed includes campus announcements, weather information, and security updates. Ongoing funding should be provided to increase the number of Information LCD Screens to new buildings and other designated entrances. The Chief Operations Officer shall be the person primarily responsible for completion of this component. Additional funding for software and professional expertise will be required to implement this plan component (continuing since Fall 2010).

Emergency Mass Notification/Security Camera System

Future needs (Contingent upon funding):

  • Cameras
    • (20) External cameras are needed in areas of low visibility. $30,000
    • (40) Internal cameras to monitor entrances and exits of main doors. $40,000
  • Network
    • (2) Terabyte Storage Drives for additional cameras. $2,000
    • (15) 60- minute, battery back-up. $30,000
  • Maintenance
    • Some components of the system are over 5-years old and will need to be maintained. The cost of an annual maintenance contract is now lower than the cost of replacement. Software updates are included in the service contract which will keep the system as efficient as possible. $52,000 annually
  • Alert System
    • 20 strobes are needed to fill in gaps of the current system. $10,000
    • 20 speakers are needed to fill in gaps of the current system. $10,000
  • Building Expansion
    • Manufacturing Technology Facility
    • Student Services
    • CVCC Alexander Center
    • East Campus (ongoing)

TV Studio/Cable System, Web Channel

Future plans for CVCC TV Studio located in the CAD Building will include connections throughout campus for dissemination of informational programming, a direct connection to Charter Cable Systems for Government Channel programming and facilities to originate any and all original programming. All phases are contingent upon funding.

Phase I – rewiring and new equipment for CVCCs Closed-Circuit System. This would incorporate the 16 LED screens, an include an information system and control software for each campus. Current cabling between buildings would have to be upgraded and eventually replaced with fiber optic cable. Funding Needed - $100,000

Phase II – equipment for the New CAD TV Studio. This would need to include, studio lighting, microphones, studio cameras, etc… Funding Needed - $400,000-$450,000

Phase III – fiber optic cabling and a laser modulator system to be in place in order to connect Charter Communications with CVCC’s TV Studio. Funding Needed - $25,000 (very low priority, no dates of implementation planned)

Wireless Access (WiFi)

Curent Access: CVCC maintains 3 levels of WiFi access: CVCC-Faculty Network, Staff Network, and a Guest Network. CVCC has a total of 3600 Aruba wireless controllers and 81 Aruba POE 802.11n WAPS. The majority of the access points are inside buildings and are spread for maximum coverage for the funds which have been made available to this point.

CVCC’s WiFi plan needs to accommodate the needs of CVCC’s clients (i.e. Students, faculty, staff and visitors). As the use increases, additional internal and external access points will be deployed to meet the needs of campus.

Wireless Plan
Goal Timeline
Aruba and MCNC will conduct an indoor and outdoor site survey Spring 2017
Upgrade CVCC’s current Aruba wireless control system Spring 2017
Replace Current 100mb Cisco POE Switches with HP Gigabit POE Switches. Spring 2017
Deploy 225 Indoor Aruba WAPSDeploy 225 Indoor Aruba WAPS Summer 2017
Deploy 10 Outdoor Aruba Antennae’s Summer 2017

Voice over IP (VOIP) Phone System

CVCC will continue to upgrade and add to the IP Phone system as the college grows and expands. The Director of Telecommunications shall be the person with primary responsibility for completion of this plan component.

Future Needs (Contingent upon funding):

  • Phone Sets: To grow and expand using the new phone technologies available to us we will need to look at purchasing newer phone sets to apply to the current system. This will allow us to take advantage of our Gigabit bandwidth speed and may allow us to introduce newer technologies.
  • Call Manager Upgrade: While our current system is adequate for our needs, an upgrade would provide us the ability to extend video capabilities to our employees through a single, unified communications infrastructure from the desktop to telepresence rooms, build productivity with comprehensive unified communications to help workers communicate and work more effectively, enable mobility with embedded unified mobility software capabilities to keep workers productive wherever they are, with any content type, on any device, and improve collaboration -simply click to begin an IM session, initiate a phone call, or easily start a video-conferencing call.
  • Migrate Away From Costly Analog Faxing: By using either our current scan to email capability or adding a cloud based solution we can do away with this waste of resources.

Full Rise Vision Hardware Deployment

Currently CVCC has five televisions with Rise Vision hardware. This provides a better signal as well as greater flexibility for displayed content. Telecommunications would like to deploy hardware boxes to every television on every campus. Though this will take some funding and collaboration with IT and Marketing, we believe this will provide an avenue of greater communication throughout campus. (estimated $12,000, contingent upon funding).

Recommendations

Carefully monitor and review systems, hardware, software, and other elements of technology. Emphasize planning to meet the programmatic and service needs of the college’s constituents.

Periodically review the financial requirements needed to implement this technology plan.

Enhance use of technology to communicate actively with business, industry, and student customers, including potential customers, about the opportunities provided by the college. This would include, but not be limited to, improved customer databases, kiosks, and use of electronic communication to actively distribute course announcements and schedules.

Develop a systematic technology training program for faculty and staff and ensure financial support for this program is included in annual planning.