Via Makes it Easy to Get the Data it Needs for Open Doors and More
When Michigan State University’s Office for Education Abroad switched to Via, it got much easier for Hope Kroll to get the data she needs—when and how she needs it.
“It’s a helpful tool that allows me to pull the relevant data for the projects that I work on,” says Hope, the office’s Student Success Coordinator. “It also helps me manage my program portfolio by allowing me to update program brochures, students’ application statuses, deliver real-time admissions decisions, and then also communicate with students.”
Via also helps Hope get quick updates to faculty and answer any of their questions about program enrollment. And she likes being able to identify—and isolate—key data points and export that data into Excel where she does a lot of her work.
“Having that feature built into Via is really, really helpful,” she says.
Via is particularly valuable for helping MSU complete the Open Doors® survey, Hope says. That data is used to show the latest trends in international student enrollment and the number of U.S. students going abroad. The MSU Office for Education Abroad specifically reports the latter for the Open Doors report.
“The Participation Report certainly dazzled me at first,” Hope says. “It has a lot of potential to help me pull some of the data that I need to respond to the Open Doors survey.”
Hope Finds Data “Interesting”
In school, Hope says math was always one of her favorite subjects so she wasn’t surprised to find she enjoyed working with data at MSU.
“I think data is really interesting,” says Hope, who joined the Office for Education Abroad at MSU in 2019. “Data helps to inform and shape the education abroad field overall. It helps us identify trends like the evolution of student mobility, the prevalence of certain program types, and where there may be accessibility and equity gaps amongst various student groups.”
The data shows MSU what it’s doing well. And what it’s doing well is a lot.
“MSU was one of the first offices to largely implement and roll out faculty-directed programming. I don’t know that we necessarily invented it, but we certainly are a national leader in having faculty take students abroad and offer credit-bearing experiences to our students,” Hope says. Michigan State has been a leader in education abroad programming since the 1970s.
International education is such a high priority at MSU that all 17 academic colleges at the university provide study abroad opportunities for students.
“Our faculty and partners are educating our students to become globally engaged citizen leaders. They are supporting our students’ intercultural skills development, academic focus, professionalism, and personal growth,” Hope says.
When she first started working at MSU in 2016, Hope primarily supported international students—at Michigan State and with 47 academic institutions around the world. Through that work, she saw first-hand how transformative and life changing an education abroad experience could be for students.
After having the experience of working with inbound students, she’s enjoying the experience of outbound students.
“You see how similar student outcomes are when you talk about the benefits of international education in terms of academic and personal growth.”
While she hadn’t planned on a career in international education, Hope is enjoying her role at MSU.
“While I do love working with the office’s data, nothing is better than connecting with students upon their return and learning about the positive impact our programs have on their lives.”
Like Hope Kroll at Michigan State University, Via believes global experiences will change our world. That’s why we created traveler relationship management and travel risk management software, which helps universities and study abroad program providers to empower global experiences. If you want a true education abroad partner, turn to Via.