Beth Hollenberg emphasized that higher education is at a crossroads, but has a chance to emerge better.
“While the world tries to find its way, we are not as lost as people may feel during this great disruption,” said Hollenberg, Co-Founder and President of the online educational company Everspring.
As coronavirus has shut down campuses nationwide, with students’ return dates still unclear, Everspring is providing expertise and vital near- and long-term solutions for colleges and universities across the nation.
Chicago-based Everspring, founded in Evanston eight years ago, delivers innovation to its educational partners, which include William & Mary, University of Kansas, Santa Clara University, Tulane University Law School, Yeshiva University and numerous other colleges and universities across the United States.
Everspring’s solutions feature powerful technology and services that deliver high-quality, engaging educational experiences for students and faculty and integrate seamlessly with institutions. Everspring’s engagement model allows the business to design the most effective long-term solution based on each university’s unique needs and optimize that solution over time, as its capabilities grow.
“We didn’t see this type of disruption coming. That said, we did have a sense that at some point higher education would be upended by the availability of high-quality online learning and student demand for that option,” said Hollenberg. “When we founded Everspring it was clear to us that the existing ways of doing things were not going to best serve where higher education was going. We knew that online education can deliver great – and in some cases superior – learning experiences when delivered with expertise. And we knew that there would be a huge benefit to students – the ultimate educational consumers -- to move portions of education online, and benefits to universities of building their online capabilities. So we saw digital disruption on the horizon. Coronavirus was the accelerator.”
To support universities in building their capabilities in this period of “acceleration,” Everspring is making its product broadly available. Specifically, in the coming weeks, Everspring will be launching a solution called “CourseBuilder” that will make the company’s sophisticated technology and support quickly available. Professors and faculty will be able to create and activate online courses within hours instead of weeks.
Jeff Conlon, Everspring’s Co-Founder and CEO, said the company can implement online platforms and courses “within weeks” for universities who want to mobilize immediately and help them embrace online education moving forward.
“The universities that embrace this disruption are the ones that are going to win,” said Conlon. “The ones that don’t, many are going to go out of business. There are ways to use technology to help universities with their core mission of learning.”
Hollenberg and Conlon noted that three key things have changed because of coronavirus, which has rendered leading institutions’ main functions – to lead, to teach and to protect – entirely ineffective:
- Universities must urgently develop a digital capability that is custom, wide-reaching, in depth, and fast
- Faculty must be able to teach, lead, and guide their students online more effectively than ever before
- Consumer behavior has changed, and students are expecting leading institutions to have a digital presence that they don’t currently have readily accessible
Everspring, they said, solves each of these challenges, by:
- Multiple product and service solutions, tailored to the university’s needs
- High-quality courses, technologies and solutions
- Cost effective
- Total transparency and ability to build universities’ these capabilities, and transferring them in-house
In higher education, effectiveness, administrability, and student outcomes are the ultimate indicator of success. These require more than just an Internet connection – they require specific skills and expertise.
“Most of our leadership team has decades of experience running online and hybrid learning systems,” said Hollenberg, who has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stanford and is a Stanford Law School alumna.Said Conlon, who has a bachelor’s from Brown and an MBA from Northwestern: “We’ve spent years perfecting the technology required to have online programs student- and faculty-centered. The universities that can do this well – or engage partners who have spent their entire careers developing these capabilities – are the ones who will succeed, who will fulfill their promise of good outcomes for their students, faculty and administrators.”
For more information on Everspring, visit https://www.everspringpartners.com/