eLumen and Coursetune Partner to Provide Comprehensive Curriculum Development Resources

Minneapolis / Salt Lake City – April 17, 2019 – eLumen, the world’s first ever fully integrated curriculum and assessment management software provider, announced today their partnership with Coursetune, a blueprinting software for visualizing curriculum design. This partnership provides eLumen partner institutions with an interactive way to identify curriculum gaps and alignment at-a-glance and provides Coursetune institutions with comprehensive curriculum and catalog workflow management fully integrated with outcomes assessment, strategic planning, and student engagement.

“From the time we started at eLumen, we have believed that the foundation of a great learning experience is a well-designed curriculum. Partnering with Coursetune allows our institutions to deepen their engagement with backwards design and constructive alignment while leveraging the power of eLumen to support sustainable continuous improvement and program development (and review),” said Joel Hernandez, eLumen CEO. “This opens doors for collaboration and transparency that just haven’t been available before—we couldn’t be more excited about what this makes possible for our institutions.”

“The ability to provide customers with an end-to-end system for designing curriculum, cataloging, and assessing, is exactly the type of big-picture goal we aim for at Coursetune. We are pleased to see this goal come about in our partnership with eLumen, which has been successfully championing this vision around the world, with quality higher education solutions,” said Dr. Maria Andersen, Coursetune CEO. “The more we can help educators ensure high quality curriculum design and continuous improvement of that curriculum, the better the value and outcomes for students.”

To learn more about Coursetune, visit http://www.coursetune.com.

About Coursetune

Coursetune provides highly visual blueprints of the requirements and strategy behind quality course design. Planning first in Coursetune helps teams identify curriculum gaps, prepare for accreditation, communicate program vision, and create higher quality learner experiences. Coursetune enables educators and administrators to collaborate effectively on the complex alignment process necessary before creating syllabi, lessons, activities, assessments, or multi-media content, for face-to-face, online or blended learning.

About eLumen

eLumen is the first ever fully integrated system to support curriculum and catalog, assessment and program review, ed planning, badging, career pathway maps, and more! eLumen workflows feed performance and disaggregated data to those who need it – academic leadership, institutional research, faculty, and students. Only eLumen can help manage all these processes in one platform that also connects with your SIS and LMS, allowing you to accomplish what you need to do so you can focus on what you want to do. eLumen supports some of the most innovative colleges and universities across the globe.

Questions about this partnership?

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes: Turn and Face the Challenges of Change Management in Higher Ed

Karen Rothstein, PhD
eLumen Vice President of Strategy and Research

April is Community College month, and I kicked off my celebrations by attending two very different conferences: The RP Conference and The HLC Conference. Though region, focus, and attendees were quite different, one theme reverberated…change. AACC’s Community College Daily recently had a short and powerful article on what happens when institutions, whether academic or business, ignore change. The opening line says it all, “Colleges do not fail because of competition, environmental changes or even declining or changing student demographics. Colleges fail when leadership ignores warning signs and becomes paralyzed by tradition or ignorance” (Sygielski, 2019).

Having now had many hats in education…instructor, dean, researcher, and now VP in the private sector…I find myself asking all the time, “Why is change so hard?” Sure, change can be scary but also exhilarating; it’s a potent moment of opportunity and growth. Though for many it is also a gaping chasm of possible mistakes and regret: “What if I’m doing it wrong?” “Will I get fired?” “What if the way it was is better than the way it will be?”

So, here’s the thing. It’s rarely as great as you remember it…those glory days. Like an 80s glamor shot, we often smudge the lens in our strolls down memory lane. While a picture taken with your pink Le Clic camera may capture a moment of unbridled happiness, one data point does not a trend make. Lucky for us, we have decades of educational data that show the good old days weren’t always good (equity gaps anyone?) and tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems.

As we have heard again and again, there are aspects of higher education that need to change. Closing opportunity gaps. Increasing completion rates. Streamlining the student experience. Most would agree that these changes will help students, but rarely are faculty, classified professionals, and administrators given the training necessary to implement change. I know for some of you a deep understanding of change management may seem like a “duh” moment. But I can tell you from my own experience, and what I hear from colleagues in the educational system, there is a struggle with how to implement change…any change. If this is you, please read on for a quick summary of Kotter’s (2019) eight steps of change management through an education lens. If you already are a pro at change management, awesome…and please share the love with your colleagues!

Kotter 8-Step Change Model

Create a Sense of Urgency and Build a Guiding Coalition

For many institutions, especially community colleges, creating a sense of urgency has been taken care of by events like legislation or funding formula changes. Urgency…check. And if you hold an “informational” meeting, you’ll find your coalition of the willing as well as those who were voluntold relatively easily. So far so good.

Form a Strategic Vision and Initiatives

Well, the institution vision is already there in the form of an Educational or Strategic Master Plan. The initiatives are often also in place due to legislative urgency. But here’s where things start to get tricky. People may not agree with the initiatives. They don’t feel heard. They don’t understand why things are changing. They feel that the changes are a direct attack on the hard work they do every day. This is where constant, consistent communication is key. And it must be bi-directional, active, and widespread: newsletters, updates at any and all meetings, brown-bag lunches, and professional development seminars. Any time a group of employees meet, make updates about change a priority. In addition, a transparent process to collect feedback, process it, and send a response out to the college is also crucial. It’s fine to have opportunities for individuals to speak, but if nothing happens or there is no acknowledgement of their voices, the process is hollow and insincere. You’ll know you’ve done it right when someone in a meeting says she didn’t know about something and several people say, “Oh…it was in the email. I’ll forward it to you.”

Enlist a Volunteer Army and Enable Action by Removing Barriers

Your well-oiled communication machine is humming. It’s time to grow the choir. Institutions often stumble at enlisting the volunteer army and removing barriers. The assumption may be that you have told everyone what you are doing in multiple formats, so let’s hop to it. This is what we need to do so let’s just get it done. Nope, there is still work to do to create compelling reasons for individuals to volunteer as well as acknowledgement of barriers. Ensuring that all members of the college community can participate actively in the change is one step. This may mean offering professional development activities multiple times so faculty who are teaching or classified professionals who are scheduled to work can have the opportunity to attend. Have the choir bring a colleague to an event to help grow your base. If a college sees certain constituent groups are not attending events, do a formative assessment to gather data on why and make changes accordingly.

Generate Short-Term Wins

This is another area where institutions can flounder. There is often such a focus on the long-term goal that people are frustrated by the slow pace. In that frustration, people fail to acknowledge the daily good work and the incremental steps large-scale change requires. So, widely distribute and celebrate the wins…increases in fall to spring persistence, calling 500 students and having them avoid being dropped for non-payment, the beautiful new landscaping in the quad; the amazing handout the History department developed outlining their program road map. It’s easy to point out all the ways something is not going the way you planned…but it’s also just as easy, and infinitely more inspiring, to highlight all the ways things are going right. Create a culture of celebration!

Sustain Acceleration

So you have this great momentum going, the boulder is starting to roll…how do you keep it going? This is where deep, thoughtful, meaningful evaluation is so important. Evaluating the efficacy of changes you’ve made, reflecting on the data, and then continuing to fine tune or apply your success to a different area. Always with an eye on how progress can be implemented institution-wide. This is where assessment and program planning are key tools. Collect data from formative assessments and modify as you go along. Move from retroactive assessment to in-time “remediation” for the institution’s interventions and programs. Colleges want to offer timely assistance to students when they hit a bump in the road, with the right tools, you can do the same thing for your institution.

Institute Change

And once you have the data from assessment and documentation from program reviews and curricular changes, the college is ready to grow the change. What worked? What didn’t? What can we make bigger? What do we let go? This is the good stuff…the opportunity to see the progress you’ve made, honor the work that’s been done, and focus on the excitement of the future. Change goes from a place of fear to a place of celebration.

So that’s it…my Cliff’s Notes for change management. As a former English teacher, I find that analogy a smidge distasteful, but if the yellow-covered pamphlet fits…

Sygielski, J.J. (2019, April 4). Failure is a choice we make. Retrieved April 11, 2019, from https://www.ccdaily.com.

Kotter International (2019). 8-Step Process. Retrieved April 11, 2019, from https://www.kotterinc.com.

Email: karen@elumenconnect.com
LinkedIn: karen-rothstein-a5629160/
Facebook: karen.rothstein.7
Instagram: klrothstein/
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eLumen Employee Spotlight – Megan Blevins

Megan Blevins
eLumen Customer Success Manager

Based in Atlanta, Megan Blevins has been with eLumen since 2015. Having utilized eLumen as an Instructional Technologist at Hartnell College in Salinas, California, Megan was excited to join eLumen’s team of innovators with a shared vision of enhancing education practices designed to improve student success. What really spoke to her was – having been a 13+ year military spouse and moving around a lot – the idea of student engagement resources such as badging, portfolios, and extended transcript so she could easily demonstrate learning outcomes and skills attainment for teaching certification when moving from state to state. As a member of  the eLumen customer success team, Megan works with a number of partner institutions on adoption, implementation, and ongoing use of eLumen.

What are 3 words you would use to describe eLumen?

  • Dynamic – we’re at the forefront of trends in education and driven by student success
  • Comprehensive – our solution supports a continuous improvement cycle and getting to the goal of successful students and showing the work that schools are doing to meet this goal
  • Supportive – eLumen really takes all the components of cycle and gives you the tools you need all in a single system, and has a rock star customer success team!

What three words would you use to describe your role?

  • Mentor
  • Teacher
  • Guide

How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?

My family and I love and adore being outside – camping, hiking, fly fishing, mountain biking, rock climbing. We have three small kids, and we’re are trying to raise them as digital natives that are disconnected from their technology; we are a limited screen time family that strives to unplug and go outside. We actually spent a couple months living the “Tiny House” life in our camper, traveling around Utah and the Grand Canyon, home schooling the kids. It was an amazing educational experience!

What is your biggest achievement to date?

Aside from raising three tiny humans, I would have to say summitting Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams, back-to-back, with a 20-mile bike ride in between, while pregnant! Although, I was only a month pregnant and didn’t know it at the time.

What are you currently reading?

Building Better Families: A Practical Guide to Raising Amazing Children by Matthew Kelly.

What is your go-to Karaoke song?

Journey’s “Can’t Stop Believing.”

What is most rewarding about your job here at eLumen; what makes it all worthwhile?

I love it when I’m working with a school and as they get excited about using the software, they realize they now have support for something they didn’t have support for before and can now reach their own goals. 

Blevins Family at Delicate Arch at Arches National Park, Utah

New Perspectives on Students as Customers: It’s Not Just About “The Customer Is Always Right”

Karen Rothstein, PhD
eLumen Vice President of Strategy and Research

Customers. More specifically…customers and the business of education. There I said it. Wait…don’t leave…Don’t click on that video of the autotuned cat just yet. Give me a chance.

I recently attended the American Council on Education (ACE) Conference in Philadelphia. While the video I took of the room where Alexander Hamilton attended the Constitutional Convention thrilled my son (thank you again Lin Manuel-Miranda), I was quite inspired after attending a session entitled “The New Student Is Taking Control—Are You Ready?” Jon Connolly, President, Sussex County Community College (NJ) Maura Devlin, Deputy Chief Learning Officer, The American Women’s College, Bay Path University (MA) and Scott Jaschik, Editor, Inside Higher Ed, had a lively discussion on the intersection of academics, business practices, and student success.

What exactly does it mean to apply business practices to student success? At one school, the due dates of assignments are used as part of a retention intervention. In all online classes, the first assignment is due the Thursday of the first week of classes. On Friday, the school reaches out to students who are enrolled in the online class but have not submitted the assignment to remind them that they can submit the assignment by Monday to stay enrolled in the class. This reminder engages the student, showing that the college cares that she missed her first assignment and will check in on her. If the student has not submitted the work by Monday, the student is dropped from the class and does not risk missing the deadline for drop or incurring fees for a class she did not intend to take. While some faculty may find the idea of a mandatory deadline for assignments an infringement on academic freedom, consider the task being asked of colleges…put in place policies and procedures that help students succeed. How do you balance the purview of faculty with a zero-cost policy change that has huge potential to help students?  

Another conversation on many community college campuses is how do you incentivize students to take 15 units rather than 12. One institutional obstacle is the cost of the additional units, since financial aid kicks in at 12 units and students may not be able to afford 15. So, what is the business practice solution?  Don’t charge students for the additional three units…that’s the policy of one panelist’s school. Of course, this is easier said than done, and a school must navigate the process, but the pay off in time saved for students and potential increases in attainment rates should be enough to make it a strategy worth exploring.  

As is my way, when it came time for questions my hand shot up, and I asked about the dreaded phrase “customer service” and why there is so much tension around that concept. The panel clarified the negativity around the idea of customer service in that it is often synonymous with “the customer is always right.”  Visions of disgruntled students inundating a faculty member’s or dean’s office flooded my brain as I imagined what would happen if a school adopted that type of customer service. To me, customer service is about doing your best to help an individual solve the problem at hand. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can’t…but you try your hardest. It never occurred to me to think of customer service as the customer always being right. It reinforced the importance of sharing common definitions and understandings of concepts. I certainly would have ruffled fewer feathers in my time as an administrator if I made myself clearer.

In the end, the “C” word isn’t all bad. There are practices and policies schools can adopt and adapt from business that will help them best serve their students including streamlining processes and increasing integration of student services and academics. I’d be happy to share examples of how I’ve seen this approach work at schools and specifically how the eLumen platform can boost institutional “customer” support. And if colleges want to effect institutional change, they may want to look to other industries for inspiration. As we often say of our students…we don’t know what we don’t know. I believe both the autotuned cat and Hamilton would agree with me.

Email: karen@elumenconnect.com
LinkedIn: karen-rothstein-a5629160/
Facebook: karen.rothstein.7
Instagram: klrothstein/
Twitter: klrothstein  

eLumen Employee Spotlight – Melissa Kibrick

Melissa Kibrick, PhD
eLumen Customer Success Manager

Based in the LA area with her husband and two daughters, Melissa Kibrick has been with eLumen since 2014. With a background in mastery-based learning and a keen interest in education technology, Melissa was drawn to the innovative solution eLumen provides to support integrated processes to advance student success and continuous improvement in higher education. As a member of our Customer Success Team, Melissa works with a number of partner institutions in the U.S. and Mexico on the adoption, implementation and ongoing use of eLumen. Prior to joining eLumen, Melissa earned a B.S. and B.A. in Cognitive Science in Human Cognition and Human Development at University of California, San Diego, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Education at University of California, Irvine.

Before working at eLumen what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

In high school my very first job was a junior tax preparer. At 17-years-old I was doing other people’s taxes!

How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance? 

Our whole family does Karate. I have a black belt in Tang Soo Do, which is what Chuck Norris practices. Currently I have a 1st degree black belt and am hoping to achieve 2nd degree in March 2019.  Our older daughter is a blue belt. We’ve been practicing Karate for almost 9 years. Our oldest daughter started before she was 3-years-old, and my youngest just started. I’m so proud of how hard they work and the strength and confidence karate helped them develop.

Do you have a special talent?

I have gotten very flexible practicing Karate. I can now cross all my fingers and all my toes!!

What is your go-to karaoke song?

“Summer of ‘69,” Bryan Adams.

What are 3 words you would use to describe eLumen?

  • Innovative –our solution allows for innovative approaches for supporting student success initiatives at each individual institution
  • Fast-paced – we are moving at breakneck speed to stay abreast of changes in higher education
  • Systemic – our platform supports systemic needs in higher education

What is most rewarding about your job here at eLumen; what makes it all worthwhile?

I get to figure out workflow solutions every day, and that’s always been something that I’ve loved doing – puzzle solving. When a client comes to me with a great idea, I love figuring out how to make it happen in eLumen.

Melissa and her family in California

You make how much???

Karen Rothstein, PhD
eLumen Vice President of Strategy and Research

KarenRWhen I first became a teacher, during the 90s tech boom, some people were incredulous at my starting salary…an amount that was probably 1/10 a typical annual bonus. I could see the look on their faces…Why on earth would you go into education? And then I would ask, “Tell me about your favorite teacher.” Without missing a beat, she would launch into a fond tale about Ms. Stacey, who always found a way to make algebra fun using silly voices or Mr. Jennings who would pepper his history lecture with anecdotes about his own trials as a student.  The fact that 30 years later a former student may regale friends with stories of her crazy English teacher Ms. Rothstein who would crawl under a desk to illustrate prepositions and recite Shakespearean soliloquies so dramatically that even Linda Evans would be impressed. That’s why I went into education.

After being a high school teacher, an adjunct professor, an institutional research analyst, and a Dean, I’m now asked…Why on earth would you become a vendor?  Without missing a beat, I launch into my experience in meetings where we would discuss all the wonderful things we wanted to do for students and how we need to become a student-ready college.  The “what” was exciting and inspiring. The “how”…well…um…yeaaah…we’re not quite sure how. How do we let students know their progress along their educational journeys? How do we provide accurate information about programs and course requirements? How do we let students know they are learning? How can we let potential employers know the skills our graduates have? Then I learned about a company that can help colleges answer all of these questions and empower students to make informed choices. That’s why I joined eLumen.

One of my “duties as assigned” is to write an ongoing blog.  As a former English teacher and parenting blogger, I’m very excited to use this part of my brain once again. Please check back regularly to discuss what’s happening in the California Community College system as well as educational systems across the country. I’ll be sharing my thoughts and hope you will as well. There’s quite a bit of change afoot and plenty of fodder for rich discussion. Pathways, promises, and funding…oh my! Plus, I use words like “afoot” and “fodder,” that’s got to be worth something?

eLumen Announces New Director of Strategic Partnerships, Eastern US

Minneapolis, January 15, 2019 – eLumen is pleased to announce that Bill White has joined the team as Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Eastern US. Prior to joining eLumen, Bill served most recently in the role of Strategic Account Executive with Blackboard and was responsible for overall account management and strategy for higher education in the state of Florida. Before that, Bill was the Vice President for Information Technology and CIO at Valencia College for 17 years. In this role, Bill provided strategic and operational leadership for Valencia’s information technology services and initiatives supporting multiple campus locations in central Florida.

Prior to Valencia College, Bill was a CIO at SunGard Education and served as Director of the Computer Center at Rockford College. Bill has also provided leadership to and has served on a number of state, regional, and national organizations, including EDUCAUSE, the Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC), the Florida State College CIO Council, the Florida Association of Educational Data Systems (FAEDS), and the Florida Society for Information Management (SIM). Bill graduated from Rockford University, majoring in Computer Science and Business Administration. 

In his new role at eLumen, Bill will be responsible for authoring and executing on our regional go-to-market strategy; most importantly, Bill will be working with institutions in the evaluation and subsequent implementation of our integrated platform for curriculum management, outcomes assessment, program review, and digital catalog. 

eLumen Announces New Vice President of Strategy and Research

Minneapolis, December 14, 2018 – eLumen is proud to announce that Dr. Karen Rothstein will be joining the executive team as the Vice President of Strategy and Research. With a career in education that spans more than 20 years, Karen believes in the power of education to transform the lives of individuals. Her professional background includes educational administrator, research analyst, college professor, and high school English teacher. Most recently, Karen was the Dean of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Moorpark College and served as the President of the Board of Directors for the RP Group, the professional organization for Researchers and Planners in the California community college system. She received her PhD and MA from UCLA in Education: Human Development & Psychology and her BA from SUNY Geneseo in English.

Karen is deeply passionate about student equity and the urgency of shifting the paradigm from “college-ready students” to “student-ready colleges.” Her extensive experience in team leadership, strategic planning, and developing programs and services across educational segments positions her well as a collaborator with eLumen partner schools in ensuring feature sets align with practical application. With a “yes and” attitude and a high-touch approach, she strives to understand what outcomes institutions are trying to achieve and how to build the program that gets them there. Additionally, in her role as Vice President of Strategy and Research at eLumen, Karen will track and define education trends around curriculum, assessment, co-remediation, competency-based education, and guided pathways, and develop and deepen relationships with regional, national, and global education associations.

Contra Costa Community College District Selects eLumen

ContraCosta_no_marginseLumen, the leading provider of software and services built to power student learning and success, announced today that the Contra Costa Community College District (CCCCD) has selected eLumen to provide an integrated solution to help the District with accreditation, curriculum and catalog, program review and planning, and student learning outcomes. eLumen was CCCCD’s choice thanks to its seamless integration, consistent interface, and easy data interchange and exchange, allowing the District to address emerging needs for Guided Pathways and Chancellor Oakley’s Vision for Success while eliminating inefficiencies resulting from non-integrated systems.

Dr. Fred Wood, Contra Costa Community College District Chancellor,  explained why eLumen was their choice for student and institutional success by stating, “As a complex organization of three colleges with similar and yet unique needs, we wanted a partner that would help us with the challenges from such initiatives as AB705, Guided Pathways, shifting funding formulas, etc.”

We were seeking a single solution to encompass all of our needs from Program Review, Student Learning Outcomes and the Course/Scheduling approval processes. eLumen stood out as the only provider that could address all of these needs in a single platform. — Mojdeh Mehdizadeh, Executive Vice Chancellor

CCCCD’s colleges, Contra Costa College, Diablo Valley College, and Los Medanos College, had been laboring through manual processes and disparate systems to manage college and district level curriculum and student learning outcomes assessment management, strategic program planning and review and reporting processes. The colleges and district look forward to integrated workflow processes within eLumen’s platform, saving time and resources so that more focus can be spent on making informed decisions on program improvements and student progress.

“We were seeking a single solution to encompass all of our needs from Program Review, Student Learning Outcomes and the Course/Scheduling approval processes. eLumen stood out as the only provider that could address all of these needs in a single platform,” says Mojdeh Mehdizadeh, Executive Vice Chancellor, Education and Technology at CCCCD.

About Contra Costa Community College District

The Contra Costa Community College District (CCCCD) is one of the largest multi-college community college districts in California. The CCCCD serves a population of 1,019,640 people, and its boundaries encompass all but 48 of the 734-square-mile land area of Contra Costa County. The District is home to Contra Costa College in San Pablo, Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, as well as educational centers in Brentwood and San Ramon. The District headquarters is located in downtown Martinez. For more information visit http://www.4cd.edu/default.aspx

About eLumen

eLumen is a globally recognized innovative curriculum and assessment management platform that supports integrated workflow across multiple academic processes. Whether workforce alignment, accreditation demands, or curriculum redesign, you need to start the design of your courses and programs with competencies and learning outcomes in mind. eLumen lets you build your curriculum around your learning outcomes and integrate them seamlessly with outcomes assessment and program review, letting you “close the loop” like no other partner can. Our configurable course and program design workflows let you manage every type of curriculum, while also designing Guided Pathways, Transfer Programs, and other important curriculum management functions.

Additionally eLumen’s catalog module works in tandem with curriculum management to provide seamless updates to approved courses and requirements for online catalog posting via a robust curriculum map tool, eliminating the manual work of catalog updates—and opening the possibility of ed plan and advising integration. Our Catalog feature integrates with labor market data so students can make informed decisions on course selection; additional student engagement resources include badging, portfolios, and extended transcripts. For more information visit www.elumenconnect.com