Three Ways a Canadian Partner Delivers for Canadian Institutions
Is managing a Canadian higher education institution really that different from managing an American one?
In its simplest terms, the management of any college or university is the same, regardless of where you are. You need to create and manage programs, enroll students, serve them well, provide them opportunities to earn relevant credentials… none of this is earth-shattering.
But Canadian colleges and universities have specific demands and needs that generic providers struggle to deliver. There are unique aspects of tax form development, language management and data security that higher education leaders in Canada need to keep top of mind.
“Our colleges and universities have centuries-long experience teaching and driving innovation,” wrote Jackie Pichette, Director of Policy, Research & Partnerships at the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. “They are uniquely qualified to meet the needs of students at all stages of the lifelong learning model.”
Of course, actually executing on this vision requires Canadian colleges and universities
to establish infrastructures designed to serve lifelong learners effectively. And
since most technology providers were founded and evolved in the US, Canadian issues
tend to sit in the background… somewhat understood and rarely addressed.
Destiny One has been designed with best practices applying to institutions on both sides of the 49th parallel, but with specific enhancements and features that deliver unique benefits to Canadian institutions.
“The fact that Destiny One already has a stable of very reputable postsecondary clients was another distinguishing factor,” said Geoff Wilmshurst, Vice President of Partnerships at Camosun College in Victoria, BC. “We had an opportunity to talk to some of Modern Campus’ clients—major institutions in Canada and the United States—and their feedback on the Destiny experience was really positive.”
There are three major factors you should consider as a Canadian higher education leader looking for a system:
- Data Management
- Tax Form Creation
- Language Flexibility
1. Data Management
For Canadian college and university leaders, data management cannot be an afterthought. If you’re storing student data and analytics, you need to know where that data is being housed.
After all, while there are many data centers located across the United States, legal structures like the Patriot Act make data stored in the US vulnerable. As such, any cloud-based system serving Canadian higher education institutions must store Canadian schools’ data physically in Canadian data centers.
As a company headquartered in Canada, Modern Campus is intimately familiar with the needs of Canadian higher education institutions and ensures its SaaS, cloud-hosted software uses Canadian data centers for Canadian institutions.
“One thing that we really liked about Destiny One is that it’s a Canadian product,” said Wilmhurst, from Camosun College. “The data resides locally. From a freedom of information perspective, that’s really important to us.”
2. Tax Form Creation
There are two constants in life: death and taxes. But for leaders at Canadian higher education institutions, we really need to make sure we’re making tax season as easy as possible for our students.
As anyone who’s registered for a course at a Canadian institution knows, the T2202 form (which replaces the T2202A and TL11B) is critical for annual tax filings. The form certifies students’ eligibility for tuition, education and textbook deductions.
In short: it’s pretty important.
For many higher education institutions, developing and delivering T2202 forms can be an arduous, manual and incredibly frustrating experience.
This need doesn’t take Modern Campus by surprise. Intimately familiar with the realities of working with the CRA, Destiny One provides tools that enable the efficient creation and distribution of T2202 forms.
This means your students continue to receive the experience they expect, while staff are able to focus their time and energy on work that’s, frankly, more important than filling out paperwork for folks in Ottawa.
“Back-end efficiency provides the great product or the great experience and that’s what it’s all about; it’s about the experience of the student,” said Robert Wensveen, Associate Director of Continuing Education at the University of Calgary.
“Students expect efficiency," he added. “As customers, we all expect that our experience with any service we encounter is as smooth as possible. Higher education students are no different.”
3. Language Flexibility
For Canadian higher education providers, ensuring a bilingual website and system experience isn’t a nice-to-have. In many cases, it’s a legal obligation.
At some schools, delivering a world-class experience in two languages can be extremely challenging. One CIO at a Canadian university told The EvoLLLution that he has two full-time employees on his payroll whose exclusive job is to translate their ERP into French, and to re-enter those translations manually every time the system updates.
To avoid this situation, Destiny One offers robust Language Packs specifically designed to help higher education institutions deliver a front-end and back-end digital experience in English, French, Spanish, and any other language of your choice.
The system also delivers translation, so you can allow visitors and staff to set their preferred language and receive a truly bilingual experience.
"Destiny One's Language Packs make translation part of the workflow so that it's easier for staff and ensures everything is uniform for students," said Rosa Greco-Pepe, Manager of Finance and Operations at McGill University's School of Continuing Studies.
Language packs do more than ensure your institution can deliver the bilingual experience your students (and the government!) expect. They also make it easier for you to serve global audiences and newcomers in the language of their choice.
A Solution Tailored for Canadians
There is undoubtably a lot of cross-over between the delivery and management of higher education in Canada and the United States. But there are some aspects that just can’t be replicated.
Modern Campus is headquartered in Toronto. Destiny One was crafted to deliver online registration at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies, and has evolved from there to become the leading solution for non-degree program providers across North America.
But we never left our roots. We are deeply embedded in this country’s non-degree education ecosystem, and build aspects of the products specifically to serve the unique needs of Canadian higher education providers.
Want to learn more? Contact us to see if Destiny One would be a fit for you.
Last updated: February 28, 2021