Tartle Best Data Marketplace
Tartle Best Data Marketplace
Tartle Best Data Marketplace
Tartle Best Data Marketplace
Tartle Best Data Marketplace
Tartle Best Data Marketplace
July 22, 2021

The Future of Data Analytics in Higher Education - Special Guest: Dr. Aeron Zentner

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Data and Coastline College

Aeron Zentner is an accomplished leader in the world of analytics, supply chain management, research and a couple dozen other things. Currently the Dean of Institutional Effectiveness at Coastline College, Dr. Zentner has helped in the completion of thousands of research projects and has been published dozens of times. In his spare time, he works as an editor and author for SAGE Publications and McGraw Hill.

Aeron first started to get into analytics back in 2008 when he practically fell into a research analyst job. At the age of only 29 he became a Dean and not long after was asked to teach analytics to people who did not have a major in it. To do that, to teach analytics to people who were not necessarily steeped in it, he developed an experiential learning program with SAGE. He worked with twelve other experts around the U.S. to develop the program which will be coming out soon. 

Teaching others about the importance of data is a genuine passion for Aeron. He sees it as a bridge that will help us achieve a greater understanding of the world around us. This can help people, regardless of the field they are in to get beyond mere intuition and gut reaction that is based on immediate observations and provide a bigger picture of what is going on beyond what they directly experience. It helps actually provide the ‘why’ to what they are seeing and experiencing. The data then can be the bridge that will help people utilize their available resources more efficiently, to get the most bang for their buck. 

How does one stop bias from creeping in though? Bias after all is a part of the human condition, we naturally see things in a way that is favorable to ourselves. The first step is to actually take a hard look at the questions that we are trying to use data to answer. Is the question itself biased? How is it being framed? It is also worth looking at what is influencing us. How much is based on our interpretation of customer behaviors and how that will affect our activity going forward? Finally, any company should check itself against its mission. Is your personal bias, or even the success of the company in a particular area influencing decisions in a way that is contrary to the mission? That mission becomes a standard by which the company can measure itself. 

So, not to put too fine a point on it, how does Coastline College measure up? Does the college and its students live up to Coastline’s own high standards? Does the college produce students who are competent to analyze data? One thing the college is doing is tracking students post-graduation to see how they themselves are actually performing according to their own goals at the time of graduation. And of course they go directly to the students when they come into the college as well. Surveys ask them why they selected Coastline and the particular courses they did. What are their goals? What do they hope to get out of their time at the college?

All of that data helps the college be a lot more flexible than other similar institutions. It also helps that they are small, which allows them to more easily tweak their classes, how they are constructed, how long they are and to make changes to the overall college experience if they identify a problem.  

With such a focus on getting direct data from their students, Coastline College is setting itself up to be a true beacon of the next stage of the digital age, one that will be instrumental in getting people to better understand the changing world.

What’s your data worth?

Feature Image Credit: Envato Elements

For those who are hard of hearing – the episode transcript can be read below:


Alexander McCaig (00:08):

Welcome back to TARTLE Cast.

Alexander McCaig (00:11):

One of my favorite places to go is typically to the coast. I love seeing the ocean, that sweet saltwater air blasting my face in the middle of the storm, considering the deepest parts of my life as I walk barefoot on a beach. And while I think about the effects of my life, there are also other people on the coast that think about the effectiveness of institutions and education. And one of those professionals that we wanted to bring on today and leaders in that is Aeron Zentner.

Alexander McCaig (00:44):

Aeron Zentner is currently the Dean of Institutional Effectiveness for Research, Analytics, Accessibility, Planning, and Grants at the Coastline Community College in Fountain Valley, California. And we really want to dig into how data analytics and data itself is developing benchmarks for effectiveness within a higher education itself.

Alexander McCaig (01:07):

So, Aeron, thank you very much for joining us today.

Aeron Zentner (01:11):

Excellent. Thank you so much for having me today.

Alexander McCaig (01:14):


Alexander McCaig (01:15):

Are you kidding me? Why not?

Alexander McCaig (01:17):

Help me understand your history here and how this progression happened from writing this content at McGraw Hill as a contributing writer, to being an editor at SAGE Publishing, but carrying this thematic approach of big data and data analytics into what you're doing now at Coastline Community College.

Aeron Zentner (01:39):

Excellent. So, I'll give kind of a progression of where I've been. And so I fell into the field of research back in 2008 as a research analyst. It's just a job I got by accident. It wasn't really where I was going, or I thought I was going in life. I was starting with an Associates degree, going into a bachelor's, working through that. And then as I went through that, I became an analyst and moved up. And I was around 26 years old, and I became a Director of Research and Effectiveness of Northern California. And then after that, when I was 29, I became a Dean overseeing research, analytics, planning, and the like.

Aeron Zentner (02:16):

During that timeframe, as I was going through in my career, I was asked to serve in a capacity of an editor-in-chief for a... What'd you say?... international wide project to teach data analytics to people who are not analytics majors. So you have to think of somebody who may be looking at an art major, maybe a different level of business major, or even considering another humanities, social science, and the like, who may not be working with data on a consistent basis. How do you really build that capacity in that individual? And so when it was working at SAGE, what we put out, and will be released this upcoming year, is an experiential learning process where you take people through real life scenarios and how they can learn different data analytics skills.

Aeron Zentner (03:04):

And so on SAGE, that's what we actually built, was not just interactive media, but really learning engagement along the way. And I was able to partner with around 12 professors across the nation to really put, with their subject matter expertise, this project together and lead it. And we had a great team at SAGE that did that.

Aeron Zentner (03:21):

Also, at McGraw-Hill, I was able to be brought in as a subject matter expert to look at information systems, how big data platforms work, looking through an enterprise lens to say what are various case studies and conducting those case studies to really show the impact of what you can do with the data analytics primarily in the field of big data and also data visualization, and how to build what we're really calling is data literacy across the organization.

Aeron Zentner (03:49):

And so taking that back at Coastline, so I've been at Coastline for about seven years as the Dean, and I also teach data analytics and business law on the side. And so how do we bring what we're doing theoretically in building these technical frameworks and applying that at work? And so while everybody at work is not a data analyst, and they all bring different perspectives and a diverse mindset to the table, how do we leverage that to strengthen our effectiveness?

Aeron Zentner (04:18):

And so what we did through my career is really how do you build data and meet people where they are with that, because not everyone's going to be a statistician, not everyone's going to be a programmer, and really taking that mindset, and we built out a variety of training, such as Data and Donuts, Tacos and Trainings. So many different things we brought together to help, like I said, engage people with data and really look at these different aspects of access, awareness, ability, and comfort. How do you make action? How do you analyze this data? And really make it meaningful to them. Because if you hand somebody just some data that's not directly related to the work they're doing, how could that really impact their work and really drive them forward? So really I've built a lot of... What would you say?... platforms and work around that just locally at our college and really built out a data coaching program that's really scaled out to literally over a 100 people going through this four week program at work, and really expanding what they're doing.

Aeron Zentner (05:18):

So instead of going to a meeting and people talking on assumptions, it's really asking like what information facilitates or validates this, and really digging into that information and coming forward with that, and really changing the culture of where I work. So that's a really broad perspective of the beginnings all the way to the current point.

Alexander McCaig (05:37):

So let me ask then what is... You've created the platform, you have the engagement, subject matter experts are coming together to talk about this, publish information on it, including yourself, what is the why? Are you looking towards the future? Are you looking to maybe a problem that's been occurring in our past? What is the why for data being that driver, in your view?

Aeron Zentner (06:01):

So I see data maybe not as a driver, but I see data as the tool that we can leverage and better understand our surroundings, and actually try to learn from the future. And my background in education, it's really focused in strategy and innovation. How can you make a decision when data doesn't exist? How do you build that mindset out and really expand and be effective in the future when you don't know what's in the future? But also, in the living of the now is, how can we understand what's around us, consume that information, and have that inform, and drive, and facilitate what we're doing?

Aeron Zentner (06:36):

So I think the why is that what I've seen observed is a lot of individuals make decisions off of intuition based on their observations around them, what's personally affecting them, their work, maybe a little bit beyond their department. But then when you have to look at the totality of things, if you make a decision and you have limited resources, as we all know across all industries, how can you effectively utilize those resources and make the most effective decision that'll have the highest level of impact?

Jason Rigby (07:06):

Aeron, whenever you look at bias and you look at data, especially when you look at large corporations and they do these reports, they get all this data analytics, and then it moves them... We've talked about this a ton of times... it moves them in a different direction, a marketing direction, what are you seeing with that bias and how do you prevent that with the data that you're collecting?

Aeron Zentner (07:30):

So it's really the question that you're looking to have answered. I think that's where you really want to start with, is at the core, what are we trying to achieve? What are we trying to learn with that? And then really looking how the question is framed, and is the question bias in nature, and really looking at what you're trying to answer? And then based on that, you want to really expand that and broaden that aspect.

Aeron Zentner (07:49):

So using the example that you gave with marketing and saying, "Hey, how are we going to modify our marketing strategy? What data can help us understand that?" So, is it the question on who we're serving, who we're not serving? Is our content fresh? What does that mean by fresh? And how do those different things really play into your marketing strategy? And then looking at consumer like media or information consumption behaviors, how does that frame what you're doing? Because we all know, with the shifting mindset and social expectations being so agile all the time, especially just in the theme of marketing, you have to be able to say, "Okay, what's the next big thing?"

Aeron Zentner (08:26):

Because, think about it, a couple months ago, cryptocurrency was like the big hot to trot thing, and if you get on board with that and try to relate to that with what you're producing, that's good for the now, but will it be the good for the now in eight months, 10 months, 16 months? Is that something you really hook into, or how does it relate to your core? How does it relate to the service, or product, or whatever that you're trying to produce? And how does it really tell your story and connect with people?

Aeron Zentner (08:52):

I think individuals now, just in looking at consumer behavior, just in that aspect, if my question was the problem I was looking to solve with that into how to alleviate bias, is really looking at what's our mission, or achieving that mission, what's their outcomes? And then what are we doing to continue to sustain that? And then looking at those different factors with the marketing, how are we engaging them, not just product development, but all the way through. And then those are a lot of the questions you want to have answered.

Aeron Zentner (09:20):

And to alleviate the bias... Sometimes bias is, "Success is our own enemy." If we do everything the same way and so, therefore, oh, everybody's loved this. So it's kind of like when you go back in time, you think about Ford, but if you would ask the consumers, you would ask the people before car was invented, "Hey, what do you want to do?" They'd be like, "We need a faster horse. We need a bigger horse." And it's like, "No, we need something different." And that's really what the mindset of the questions you want to answer. So if you're caught in the bias of your own success and your own products, sometimes you can't continue to just re-innovate your product or your service, you have to expand beyond that to meet people where they are.

Aeron Zentner (09:57):

And I think you see that a lot, at least in higher education, primarily with communications, where you have a group of individuals thinking what they know, what the consumer wants to see and how they want to see information. So, for example, if you want to market out classes to students, your bias could be like, "Oh my God, I love getting text messages on my cell phone about this." Guess what, nobody else does. That's the reality. But if you're not asking that, if you're not exploring that, if you're not exploring who your demographic is, who you're going after, what their consumption behaviors would be, then you're on your own bias. And we see that a lot around the room like, "Oh my God, let's make a 14 minute YouTube video." How about make like a 10 second YouTube video? Or, how about make a TikTok video? How about ask the individuals and really go down and explore that.

Aeron Zentner (10:41):

And it's really being open to challenge your own preferences and biases, I think that would be my recommendation when addressing those types of situations is, while we may think and we may assume things, we have to remind ourself, those are current assumptions, but it may not be the realities of today and tomorrow.

Jason Rigby (11:00):

Yeah, are you saying higher education is bias?

Alexander McCaig (11:02):


Aeron Zentner (11:02):

I [crosstalk 00:11:04].

Jason Rigby (11:05):

I know we see some of that. It's so funny how they do just with their branding. The name, it's like, "Well, this is this school and it's prestigious and you should go here?

Alexander McCaig (11:13):


Jason Rigby (11:14):

And it's like, well, how is it benefiting the student? How are they going to learn?

Alexander McCaig (11:17):

That's it. That's what I want to know. And when I think about Coastline... Let me ask you a question, you're over here as the Dean of institutional effectiveness, you are saying that data, if we pay attention to it, can help us remove biases and make effective decisions. And you, with these other subject matter experts, speaking about these frameworks for enterprises and other things, how effective is Coastline Community College? How effective are the students that come out of Coastline Community College? How effective are you guys in terms of your own benchmarks? If you are the subject matter experts on using data and Coastline Community College is trying to lead that effort, are you proving that? How do you compare than, in a sense, to an Ivy League?

Alexander McCaig (12:08):

And this is a difficult question and I'm not trying to put you in a [crosstalk 00:12:10].

Aeron Zentner (12:10):

No problem, it's all good.

Aeron Zentner (12:11):

I think really looking at... There's a lot of variables we can look at with where you're talking about effectiveness, it's really looking at student performance and academic and achievement over time, it's a look at post-graduation outcomes. We measure a lot of things and we collect a lot of data. And so I'll give you a prime example, a lot of the times when someone wants to go and buy something or sign up for something, typically you want to know what the outcome would be. So say, for example, you're going to buy a box of brownies. You already know, at the end, if you do everything right, you're going to have some delicious brownies. You come to Coastline you know, based on if you complete a certain program, what career track or transfer track it will lead to. And so what's the impact of that?

Aeron Zentner (12:56):

So one of the things that we do to measure those outcomes is, we do a student tracking process where we track them from when they graduate, when they complete a certain level of threshold of units at our college. And did they go on to a four-year college? What's been the outcome of that? We've also done a lot of research studies... Which we have in data dashboards, I'm happy to share... with looking at three years prior to enrolling. This is not just making up self-reported data. This is actually matching with true payroll records of individuals working with like Equifax, and all these other large entities where we can match that data at the individual entity level, three years prior to and three years after... actually all the way up for one of the cohorts, six years after graduation, to see where they are financially based on the degree path they chose.

Aeron Zentner (13:41):

And so we will to see what's been the trajectory of that, but then break that down by a demographic breakdown to say, "Are females and males performing at the same rate? Are different races performing at the same rates? What does that mean? What does that look like? And you're looking at that performance because not just how to improve your program, but then also to tell the students what their expectation will be. And I think that's something a lot of institutions forget is, what's the expectation? Kind of goes back to that brownie mix thing. Your expectation would be if you mix everything up right, you're going to get brownies. If you come to Coastline, you go to this program, here's the median income of our true graduates over these last X amount of years, and here's how many are in this salary range, and using that to help gauge that. So they have that expectation or build those relationships with our four-year universities to say, "Here's the outcomes."

Aeron Zentner (14:32):

Now, I think-

Jason Rigby (14:34):

I like that. Alex, you're right on point with this question. And I think this is interesting, Aeron, because you're saying your mission is... And a lot of community colleges get this wrong, but real life is a lot of people use the community college to get the two-year degree to go on because it's less inexpensive. They may come from a middle-class family, or whatever not have that. So if you're understanding that as your core mission, that it's like, "How can we prepare them? If we're looking at the student first, is our data showing that we can set them up for that to go to the Yales, or go to the Harvards, or...?"

Alexander McCaig (15:10):

You define an expectation here and the colleges, albeit, observing these individuals and their outcomes, but what about the leading things that actually cause them to do a specific thing, like go to Coastline? Is that being analyzed so much as a function of the why?

Alexander McCaig (15:30):

When I hear that somebody goes to a school to get a job, and then we put all these people into some sort of statistical curve to say that if you do this on this specific track, the probability of outcome will hit you within this specific medium bracket for whatever type of job. But what does that say to the actual specificity and character of that individual person? What if their expectation of life is different outside of what Coastline says is what should be your expectation of being here. How do you analyze then the unexpected? How do you analyze the less tangible, the why of that situation for those students?

Aeron Zentner (16:09):

So I like that question, it's a really good question. And so every year we ask almost every one of our... Actually, we do ask every one of our students a couple of questions. We actually send a survey to understand their experience, quantitative and qualitative, where you can get like a scale of data on experience satisfaction, but really into the qualitative data and also follow up with focus groups across varying things. So the first question we ask is, "Why did you choose Coastline and what are your goals?" We want to know... And even with a lot of our classes, one of the things that I... A lot of the studies we do locally, I try to name them kind of funny names just because they stick. But with those types of questions...

Aeron Zentner (16:44):

So one study we just did for the last two semesters is called The Sticker Shock Idea. So imagine if you're a student... Now, remember, put yourself 18-27 years old, through that range... and you sign up for classes the first time and you get handed all this paperwork and all these academic terms first day. What happens? Totally freak out, right? It's called sticker shock. And it's kind of like, at the end, when you're about to buy a car and you think it's like 19 grand and it's like then 32,000. So, one of the things we tried to do with that is, we reached out to students two to three weeks in advance, had the actual faculty member that would be teaching them, reach out to them, send them their syllabus, a welcome message and send them a short survey saying, "I want to learn about you. What are your aspirations? What are your goals? Why are you taking this course and how will it help you achieve those goals?"

Aeron Zentner (17:31):

All the faculty got that information back. And so then it would help tailor their classes and then it helped build that connection or that feeling of belonging. And think about it, under COVID-19, the majority of institutions were at a distance. And so with that mindset, how do you build that sense of community? Because, guess what? A lot of times when people are taking online... And Coastline has taught online for over 20 years in 80% of what we do, we're one of the only two-year public colleges in California... There's a 116 of us... that do primarily at a distance and online. We have four campuses throughout Orange County and just various places, very different institution. So we don't have the traditional, like straight from high school to college. We have a lot of returning adults who take part time. So how do you build that community with that? How do you build that sense of belonging?

Aeron Zentner (18:19):

Based on a lot of those metrics, we're seeing that really leads to persistence and completion, as opposed to someone coming in and checking a few boxes and leaving. So really doing those studies and trying to understand our students, like you were asking is, how do you create that personalized experience? It's really trying to help them through and guide them down that way. Following up, not just saying you answer a survey, but actually doing something about it, developing our programming and services around that has been kind of the core of what we do. And I think literally looking at the mission of our college, it's really simple of meeting students where they are. And if you think about that, not just with education, but meeting where they are in life, meeting them where they are mentally with all the services like physically, financially, meeting them where they are to achieve equitable outcomes. And I think that's the core.

Aeron Zentner (19:08):

And when we have things, like we just had a planning summit about a week and a half ago, where everybody shows up online, streaming live, to hear about the accomplishments and the plans moving forward and something we're doing for about six years now. But everybody, without even being prompted, keeps tying back to those two concepts. And when you have a college or an organization that's really rooted in the concepts and believes in them of what you're going to do, you'll see that with the outcomes, the questions you ask.

Aeron Zentner (19:34):

And I think, for me, another thing that we do every time someone drops a class, there's a survey they're given. Before you can drop, you have to fill it out and saying, "Why are you leaving?" Well, instead of just saving that data in some database somewhere, it's an the live dashboard. You can see by individual course, not by instructor, but course level. So, say, freshmen composition, why did students leave? What's going on with that? And then we started thinking, and here comes into the grants is, just like an organization open 8:00 to 5:00, five days a week. What about the people who have to work? Think about it. You're going to work all day, what do you do when you want to take a class? You need to talk to somebody. You can't.

Aeron Zentner (20:12):

So we adopted artificial intelligence, which is going to be rolling out this next six months, for students to provide real time services, to connect into our student information system, or if they need to upload documentation, they need frequently asked questions, the AI will automatically work and get them through as opposed to waiting till Monday, where they have to take a break from work, or from their busy schedule, or their family to do this. They can do it on their time. And as we roll out, and like I said, typical colleges like universities, they're really good. And like I said, the differences between two-year and the four-year are, one, universities, there's a lot of research, a lot of more publishable research and different types of research and grants that are being done out there. And it's phenomenal. And so you'll see that's the difference in what's the outcomes and who they're producing the degrees, so on and so forth.

Jason Rigby (21:02):

Yeah, but it seems like, Aeron, that you guys are being extremely flexible and understanding the data and then understanding your mission. Because these programs you're talking about, you're just laying out program after program, after program, survey after survey... I mean, which at TARTLE, we love surveys... but where a higher educational institute of four-year, they're so ingrained in this old fashioned way of doing things to do AI to be able to meet somebody at 12 o'clock at night, after they get off their shift, they're not going to do that. They're going to be like, "We are this. And we are open from 8:30 to 4:00, and you can come in and have a conversation with us.

Alexander McCaig (21:38):

Fit our model, you know what I mean?

Jason Rigby (21:39):


Alexander McCaig (21:40):

So I think that solution, that data is affording you a perspective of flexibility that allows you guys to act and actually adapt to the changing social, emotional, and individual preferences of individuals that are coming and essentially live and work with Coastline Community College.

Aeron Zentner (22:02):

Correct. And you'll see a lot of institutions adopting these types of tools and frameworks, as we move forward. We see a lot of four years doing it. But then, like you said, there's a lot of tradition that follows a lot of institutions. And sometimes when you're a smaller organization, you can be more agile as opposed to being like those mega colleges where it's really hard to make that transitional shift to say, if you want to adopt and adapt to new practice, it can be sprinkled throughout departments, programs, courses, and individuals. But moving an organization at that magnitude is really hard to do at scale. So you'll see that throughout just varying institutions. Some of the smaller ones are easier to move and adapt and adopt things, but you'll-

Jason Rigby (22:42):

Do you think there'll be a shift in our education?

Aeron Zentner (22:45):

I think it will be. You'll start seeing... So coastline is one of the eight colleges, of the 116, is we're on a new venture called Competency-Based Education. So currently, that's education on their own people's time in a flexible way to learn specific skills. And so for me... Sorry, for totally having to explain that, I just have to do it to make sure I'm on the same point. But, currently, it's all about for us is flexibility and meeting people where they're at. And so right now Coastline offers 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4 week classes.

Aeron Zentner (23:22):

So once again, we're really trying to shape that up. But then when we go into competency-based, it's actually almost like self-paced work where you're going through a competency over time. We're learning how to do that right now. We just got another grant, like a million dollars to do that. And we just got another, like 50,000 to help facilitate that. So, over the next couple of years, to create the curriculum and work with our faculty to say, "How do you teach a class?" Say like [inaudible 00:23:49] like math, and sociology, and something else that would lead to a degree, but through a competency-based lens. Well think about it for like writing for business, or technical writing, as opposed to just general composition. Very contextualized types of things. Like, they did this before... One of my friends did this with their science classes, is they made science, but they made it like a cooking class because their program's reading to culinary arts.

Aeron Zentner (24:19):

And so we're thinking about that with the first program we're doing is management. How do you contextualize things where people can learn skills over time at their point in time and graduate when they want to and when they can? You could do it all, if you bring in... So say, for example, if you two were managers for 10 years, you had this experience, you can whiz through these things because it's really testing your competency. And so a lot of colleges are looking to try to adopt competency-based, because with a letter grade college, imagine you get all these A's and then you've got F's in the last three weeks, you're still going to pass, but do you know the material? With competency-based, there's a threshold where you have to achieve a level of mastery in all areas. So say, for example, I teach right now, I just got finished teaching like a SQL database development class. Everybody did amazing, and a lot of people did amazing on this more super advanced stuff, which I don't expect people to do just because it's super advanced their first time seeing it.

Aeron Zentner (25:14):

But for the individuals that don't, with competency-based, they can spend more time beyond the 16 week schedule or accelerate what they know and really focus on that to build, and practice, and strengthen those skills to reach that level of mastery. So it's a whole new mindset. And like I said, a whole new accreditation, and I'm over accreditation now. And so really looking at what's that going to be. And there's a lot of organizations, institutions that do competency-based. But if you look at kind of like how Google has the new training, Amazon trains their own employees, like the whole system of higher education and education, how we learn our skills, is being disruptive. Think of [inaudible 00:25:53], think of Addax, think of things like that. Very self-paced.

Aeron Zentner (25:57):

Now, some things aren't accredited. However, what they're finding is what are the most pertinent things that people need to know, and moving that forward and really teaching that skills-based model.

Aeron Zentner (26:09):

So you'll see emergence probably over the next couple of years while our one, our two will always be focused on research, which is super important to the work that we all do. And I think what you'll see at the two-year colleges is we're focusing on how do you advance yourself in your career? How do you give yourself that leg up? What specific skills do you need? And we'll still have the traditional degree paths, but this is something else. Say, for example, if you're working in retail and you're like, 'I've been doing a lead position forever, but I want to be in this manager position. Do I spend two or three years and getting a certificate or degree in management?" Why don't you just come here for six months learning the skills you need and then move based on the abilities you have and the skills you can demonstrate. So it's really rethinking that whole model and then how's it work for financial aid? How does that work with this? And so it's a really fun time to be innovative and really rethink things.

Alexander McCaig (27:01):

I think you guys are very interesting data laboratory within higher education itself. And I do hope that this turns out for the greater benefit in the future and you start to really take these examples, which are leading by and others begin to adopt them if they see they are truly as effective. And if somebody wants to find out about that effectiveness and more about Coastline Community College and more about the subject matter experts, where would they go to do that?

Aeron Zentner (27:36):

I think you could easily go on our website, coastline.edu. You can go in and we have a page, that's just one of the ones for institutional effectiveness grants. It's called Innovation and Effectiveness. We have that. We have so many just different departments. Like, for example, for the longest time, [inaudible 00:27:55] is still our Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense were with us with hundreds of other colleges, really leading the way of developing out new cyber professionals. And based on what you see in the news about how many individuals are getting hacked and all this other stuff, I think those are the things that are going to be the future.

Aeron Zentner (28:11):

I think going on our website, if you're interested in what's happening in the trends, we have over 40 dashboards telling that story. We have a bunch of data reports, data projects, things of that magnitude. I think those are other ways you can learn about that.

Aeron Zentner (28:22):

When the competency-based education rolls out, we're going to have a whole page and information on that, focus videos, and the like. And so I think that's really where we're trying to share that information. We have social media channels, which are... I wish they were bigger. I know we have a decent sized following on LinkedIn, but those were a few things that you can follow and find out what we're doing on there.

Alexander McCaig (28:44):

That's fantastic.

Aeron Zentner (28:45):

It's fun.

Alexander McCaig (28:47):

And listen, I wish you and your position as the Dean of Institutional Effectiveness and Coastline Community College, and all the students that come through there, the best of luck through this very flexible and quickly adapting process. And I hope to see more of you guys popping up in the headline soon with all the great things you're doing.

Aeron Zentner (29:06):

Oh, for sure. Thank you.

Alexander McCaig (29:08):

Most definitely.

Alexander McCaig (29:09):

Well, listen, Aeron, thank you again for jumping on and speaking to us about what the future of education will look like and how that will continue to evolve. And we hope to see others taking up that torch with you.

Alexander McCaig (29:21):

Thank you.

Aeron Zentner (29:22):

Excellent. Cool. Thanks so much for hanging out and talking today.

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