Giving students an edge.

California State University, Fullerton extends learning to academic programmes with Adobe Creative Cloud.

California State University, Fullerton

Established

1957


Students: More than 40,000
Fullerton, California
www.fullerton.edu

 

6x

faster processing of employee onboarding documents with electronic signatures

Objectives

Train students to be better leaders through creative thinking

Establish university as a forerunner of technology solutions

Improve administrative efficiency through the document workflow

Results

Helps prepare students to become leaders

Enhances business and humanities learning using creative tools

Promotes student engagement through creativity

6x faster processing of employee onboarding documents with electronic signatures


“By encouraging students to work with industry-standard solutions including Adobe Creative Cloud, we’re helping students develop both marketable skills and creative thinking that will help them to become leaders of the future.”
 

Amir Dabirian
Vice President for Information Technology & CIO, California State University, Fullerton


Developing creative thinking

Success in college isn’t just about academic achievement. It’s also about developing leadership skills, learning how to approach problems and working toward opportunities beyond the classroom. Founded in 1957, California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) is not only recognised for its top business college, but also as a top-tier University with high diversity, great innovation and exemplary leadership education.

Vice President for Information Technology and CIO Amir Dabirian is helping lead the charge of preparing students for the workforce of the future through digital literacy. “We want to close the achievement gap and enhance the learning process to help all of our students graduate faster and with high academic success,” says Dabirian. “We’ve noticed many studies indicating that creative people make better leaders. They know how to interpret information and use data to make more innovative decisions. We want our students to be in the top echelon of employment, which makes supporting their creative development just as important as their academic speciality.”

Under Dabirian’s leadership, CSUF was the first campus in the California State University (CSU) system to invest in an enterprise licence for Adobe Creative Cloud. According to an Adobe Experience Post Survey given to all CSUF students who participated in classes that used Adobe Creative Cloud in assignments, feedback from this investment was high. Nearly 60% of students agreed that Adobe tools enriched their educational experience, with this number growing to 83.3% for students 25 and older. When looking for a job, 52.5% of all students and 75% of students 25 and older felt that learning about Adobe tools made them more competitive. This year, the CSU partnered with Adobe for an enterprise-term licence agreement (ETLA) covering 22 of 23 campora in the system.

CSUF is the flagship campus for this partnership, which puts Adobe Creative Cloud into the hands of faculty, staff and students. Not only is the software available on all lab and library computers, but faculty, staff and students can download Adobe Creative Cloud apps to their personal computers for free, encouraging greater experimentation. By working with Adobe Creative Cloud for day-to-day learning, students can make it a part of their DNA with a far deeper understanding of creative solutions.

“Technology should improve the learning process,” says Dabirian. “Adobe Creative Cloud has a long history of design and creativity. By encouraging students to work with industry-standard solutions like Adobe Creative Cloud, we’re helping students develop both marketable skills and creative thinking that will help them to become leaders of the future.”


“Professors and students really gravitated toward Adobe Spark. Students can make a visually rich website, including slide shows and animated elements, without a lot of technical and design background.”
 

Matthew Badal
Project Manager, Information Technology, California State University, Fullerton


Using creative apps in all classrooms

Many schools use Adobe Creative Cloud in programmes that focus on art, design or communications. But CSUF takes its commitment to creativity a step further and encourages use of Adobe Creative Cloud in non-traditional classes as well, such as humanities and business. Dabirian is particularly interested in working with professors to incorporate Adobe Creative Cloud into lower-division classes and encourage adoption early on.

“Our high-impact practice courses promote experiential learning to actively engage students in their coursework,” says Dabirian. “By embedding resources such as Adobe Creative Cloud in three of these courses—English 101, UNIV 100 and Business Administration 300—we’re encouraging digital literacy.”

The popular Business Administration 300 class focuses on professional and career development. In this class, professors introduce several Adobe Creative Cloud apps to students. Students may use Adobe InDesign to create a resume or use Adobe Illustrator to develop a career roadmap. Using Adobe Spark, students then learn to build a simple website about themselves.

“Professors and students really gravitated toward Adobe Spark,” says Matthew Badal, Project Manager, Information Technology at California State University, Fullerton. “Students can make a visually rich website, including slide shows and animated elements, without a lot of technical and design background.” The UNIV 100 course “Foundations for College Success, Lifelong Learning and Self-Development” teaches freshman to use Adobe Spark for presentations. Students enjoy how they can make their thoughts flow visually.

In one English 101 class, students were challenged to remix one of their essays into a different type of media. While some chose to interpret their essay as a painting or digital image, half of the students chose to create a video using software like Adobe Premiere Pro.

“We help students get started by giving a quick lesson about Adobe Premiere Pro,” says Badal. “Many students are intimidated at first, because it sounds complicated to edit a video by themselves. But while Adobe Premiere Pro has all of the advanced features that people may want from a professional video editing programme, it’s actually quite easy for beginners to jump in and make a simple edit. Combining assignments and short lessons helps build students’ confidence early on and convinces them to start working with Adobe Creative Cloud on their own.”

It’s not just students who are excited about Adobe Creative Cloud. The IT team works closely with professors to get them started with Adobe Creative Cloud apps and help them to decide how to integrate them into their lessons. Once professors learn how easy it is to use Adobe Creative Cloud, they are typically excited to start using the apps to help students engage with their lessons.


“Students who’ve used products such as Creative Cloud in our high-impact practice courses say they feel more confident and competitive in finding a job. They also say that these products have enriched their educational experience.”
 

Amir Dabirian
Vice President for Information Technology & CIO, California State University, Fullerton


California State University, Fullerton

“As part of our high impact practice courses we do a pre and post assessment of the students,” says Dabirian. “Students who’ve used products such as Creative Cloud in our high-impact practice courses say they feel more confident and competitive in finding a job. They also say that these products have enriched their educational experience. Given that we want to help them to enhance their learning process at school and then find a job and successfully contribute to society once they graduate, we’re seeing good effects from this particular digital tool in the whole process.”

Improving experiences for staff and new hires

CSUF also uses Adobe Sign, the electronic signature solution within Adobe Document Cloud, to improve internal administrative efficiencies on campus. Using Adobe Sign, staff in Human Resources, Diversity and Inclusion (HRDI), Financial Services, University Police and Environmental Health & Safety departments can quickly create and send documents electronically for signature. The departments process more than 370 documents a month on average, but numbers can increase to five times as much during the beginning of a semester.

For documents, such as Appointment Change Requests or Temporary Food Facility Forms, departments make the forms available on a website. Users can access, sign and submit a form as needed. For other types of documents, such as New Hire or Emergency Hire Packets, staff send an email directly to the signer. The signer can view the documents from any Internet browser and sign them with just a few clicks.

“One of the biggest advantages of Adobe Sign is that we can obtain a signature in an efficient manner while maintaining a proper workflow,” says Melissa Dominguez, Lead, Specialised Software and Systems at California State University, Fullerton. “Adobe Sign maintains an audit trail that reassures departments of the quality and accuracy of the signature.”

Not only is Adobe Sign easy for both administrators and signers to use, but it dramatically reduces the time and labour involved in paperwork and related follow up. For example, new hires generally had to fill in more than 10 pages of onboarding paperwork. Onboarding staff would print out the pre-filled forms and then store them in a locked drawer until the new hire could come to campus and sign the documents in-person. Upon signing, onboarding staff would then scan and print copies to give to the employee and to save in the employee’s records.

With Adobe Sign, employees and non-employees can fill in and sign forms in one simple digital workflow from anywhere. Adobe Sign automatically notifies staff when a document is submitted, resulting in much faster processing times. New hire onboarding documents are generally returned six times faster using Adobe Sign. Staff gain greater productivity, while providing a better experience for new hires.

“Adobe is a great partner for us, working hand in hand to help us to remove barriers and deliver tools that help our students and staff succeed,” says Dabirian.

Let’s talk about what Creative Cloud can do for your business.

Let’s talk about what Creative Cloud can do for your business.