Number of UT students using Blackboard's MyEdu solution on the rise
AUSTIN – MyEdu, the technology platform that helps University of Texas students create an academic roadmap and connect with jobs and internships, has seen a steady increase in users since its January acquisition by Blackboard, a global leader in education-related technology and solutions.
The number of student profiles has grown from 79,000 across UT institutions in January to now more than 106,000 – a 34 percent increase. Students can create online portfolios using Blackboard's Enhanced Cloud Profile directly within the company's market-leading learning environment, as well as on MyEdu.com.
“With the integration of MyEdu into Blackboard’s learning management system, the number of users continues to grow at all UT academic institutions,” said Pedro Reyes, Ph.D., executive vice chancellor for academic affairs at The University of Texas System. “I am particularly excited about the growth of graduate students using the system, along with our alumni, who find the ability to network with potential employers through the platform very valuable.”
Roughly half of undergraduate students across UT academic institutions are now using the company's professional competency tools to help with degree planning, credit management, workload tracking and access to job and internship opportunities. In addition, about 11,500 graduate students are now using the platform, which is nearly 30 percent of all graduate students system-wide. Nearly 16,000 UT alumni are also users.
Blackboard, best known for its market-leading management system, Blackboard Learn, focuses on new applications and services that drive student success. In May, MyEdu was integrated into Blackboard Learn through the Enhanced Cloud Profile. This allows students to access the tools through the main navigation bar when performing routine tasks, such as checking grades and assignments.
The Enhanced Cloud Profile provides UT students an opportunity to create their first professional profile, which can help showcase the institution they attend, classes and projects, work experiences, membership in organizations, and skills and competencies. UT expects to see students graduate at higher rates and find employment sooner given they have been exposed to job opportunities early in their college career.
“These are the types of enhancements we envisioned when MyEdu joined the Blackboard family,” Reyes said. “MyEdu has enhanced student success by providing UT students the tools they need to navigate college course and degree planning. Now they have new tools at their disposal with even greater potential.”
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. To that end, UT institutions collaborated with MyEdu, providing extensive information about courses and degree programs, allowing MyEdu to create a customized experience for UT students.
As part of the acquisition, Blackboard is honoring 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 is already delivering new opportunities to work together on behalf of UT students.
Blackboard has also developed a fun, interactive career application called JobGenie. The app, which is free and available on iTunes and Google Play and online, is designed to minimize student anxiety around the job selection process by helping them explore potential career paths and options for college.
“There are a number of new features planned that all focus on student success both before and after graduation,” Reyes said. “We’re excited to provide these for our students and extremely pleased with the increase in numbers of those taking advantage of this valuable resource.”
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 an 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 $15.6 billion (FY 2015) including $3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With about 90,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.