Wednesday, January 15, 2014

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UT System Partner MyEdu Acquired by Blackboard; UT to Benefit from Expanded Services

MyEdu, the technology platform that helps University of Texas students create an academic roadmap and connect with jobs and internships, has been acquired by Blackboard, a global leader in education-related technology and solutions.

More than 80 percent of undergraduate students at UT Austin and about half of undergraduates at all UT institutions use MyEdu to manage their academic careers, and hundreds of new students are adopting the system daily.

System-wide, the ratio of advisors to students is 1-to-341, and MyEdu’s services to students have played a critical role in augmenting counseling services to more than 116,000 students. In addition, thousands of students are using the job search capabilities of MyEdu.

MyEdu will continue to offer products and deliver new services and student users still will visit www.myedu.com to access their profiles.

“MyEdu has enhanced student success by helping UT students navigate the complex world of college course and degree planning,” UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa, M.D., said. “Our students will not only continue to benefit from this strong platform, but the acquisition by Blackboard will boost these efforts with even greater resources. Blackboard is committed to student success and we’re excited about this new partnership and the potential for many new tools designed to help students reach their goals.”

In 2011, the UT System Board of Regents invested $10 million in a five-year product development and services agreement with MyEdu to fund new and improved student success tools customized to UT institutions. While the UT System received a warrant to purchase common stock in MyEdu in connection with the original services agreement, there will be no financial return to the UT System as a result of Blackboard’s acquisition. 

A number of priorities were targeted in the agreement, including degree planning, credit management, workload tracking and access to job and internship opportunities for UT students. To that end, UT institutions collaborated with MyEdu, providing extensive information about courses and degree programs, allowing MyEdu to create a meticulously customized experience for UT students. 

Almost three years into the agreement, the majority of the initiatives have been completed, and another 10 have been added, including a student profile system that allows students to highlight their skills and ambitions and connect with employers. Additionally, thousands of students from Texas and around the country interested in attending a UT institution now use MyEdu to research UT campuses and their degree programs as well as individual courses.

As part of the acquisition, Blackboard will honor the agreement between MyEdu and UT on a cost-free basis through Sept. 30, 2016. Blackboard will continue to provide the existing MyEdu solutions, and new opportunities to work together on behalf of UT students are already being discussed.

“Joining the Blackboard family of solutions is an incredible opportunity for MyEdu and the UT System,” said Michael Crosno, CEO of MyEdu. “Blackboard is best known for its market-leading learning management system, but more than any other educational technology company today, they are focused on new applications and services that drive student success. 

“MyEdu’s products have a lot of synergy with Blackboard’s businesses supporting online courses, enrollment services, financial aid, retention services and cross-campus systems integration. Becoming part of Blackboard will allow our Austin-based organization to tap into more resources and have an even greater impact on UT students and students around the world.”

About The University of Texas System
Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking research and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States, with nine academic universities, six health institutions and a fall 2013 enrollment of more than 213,000. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates two-thirds of the state’s health care professionals annually and accounts for almost 70 percent of all research funds awarded to public universities in Texas. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $14.6 billion (FY 2014) including $3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With more than 87,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.

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