Investing in technology is a necessity for today’s educational institutions, but one Oklahoma university has discovered that the return on that investment proved to be more than just the learning benefits.
Last August, East Central University opened the Chickasaw Business and Conference Center, which houses the Harland C. Stonecipher School of Business. The facility features the latest in Rise Display’s digital signage to simulate a real-world trading environment. Walking into the building, visitors first see a 56-foot premium ticker display and 92-inch interactive video wall that provide up-to-the-minute information. Down the hall, a 55-inch interactive donor wall features photos and information about the University’s supporters and scholarship opportunities.
The Kellogg & Sovereign Finance Lab is outfitted with a 26-foot standard ticker display, another 92-inch interactive video wall, and a six-zone world clock. These displays aid Finance faculty and students by providing up-to-date market information inside the classroom.
Wendell Godwin, dean of the School of Business, says the digital signage has played an important role in East Central University’s future. “The Kellogg & Sovereign Finance Lab was part of our rebranding effort as we moved into a new building. We were very conscious of the image and reputation of the School of Business, and if we were going to be leading edge, we needed to have new technology in our classrooms.”
East Central University relied on Rise Display to provide digital signage. The Kansas-based company brought extensive experience with educational institutions, specifically Finance Labs.
Ryan Cahoy, of Rise Display, explains that technology in the classroom is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. “Our education clients know that they need to upgrade their facilities to both prepare their students for careers and attract the students, donors, and faculty they seek.”
Dean Godwin says that the digital signage has exceeded his expectations. The donor wall alone sparked a $25,000 donation for a scholarship. The donor appreciated the visual presentation that honored their loved one, in whose name the scholarship was established. In addition, enrollment has increased 15 percent since the new building was opened.
“The one thing we didn’t realize at the start was the impact it would have on recruiting. When the students come through our university, and specifically tour our lab in this building, they’re overwhelmed by the technology that we offer. Most universities on the larger side offer these types of labs, but very few regional schools have a lab like this.”
Dean Godwin says that the digital signage in the building has also drawn attention of students and faculty outside the finance program, who use the Finance Lab as a classroom for course modules that focus on economics and finance. ECU’s partnership with area junior high and high schools gives those students the opportunity experience advanced technology for exploring business education.
Debi Sovereign is vice president of Kellogg & Sovereign Consulting, a local firm that works with schools on fundraising campaigns. She is one of the primary donors and says ECU’s expansion has been valuable to the community.
“We’re extremely excited with what the new business school has brought to our area,” she says. “When you can put someone in the setting like they’re going to actually work in when they graduate, they’re going to be so much more comfortable and so much more successful.”
The installation at ECU was recently featured in a webinar sponsored by the Digital Signage Federation (DSF) and a recorded archive can be viewed on the DSF website.
East Central University is a public, regional university that fosters an innovative learning environment and also provides leadership for economic development and cultural enhancement. Founded in 1909 in Ada, about 115 miles from Tulsa, Oklahoma, the University’s student body of 4,000 students represents more than 30 countries and 20 states.
Rise Display provides LED Ticker displays and digital signage solutions primarily for educational facilities. The solutions leverage the FREE Rise Vision Enterprise Digital Signage Platform that has over 25,000 accounts operating in over 115 countries around the world.