Researching and improving the student experience at Portland State University

PSU launched the “ReTHINK PSU” initiative to “deliver an education that serves more students with better outcomes, while containing costs through curricular innovation, community engagement, and effective use of technology.”

BrightSpot Strategy

“The student experience research we did with brightspot jumpstarted our efforts to build the best student experience we can. They were agile and informed partners and the ideas we came up with together help our students every day.”

– Hans VanDerSchaaf, Director, Projects, Office of Student Success, Portland State University

To realize this opportunity to increase access and equity, PSU needed to understand the needs of online adult learners. So, they partnered with brightspot to assess and identify opportunities to improve the current experience for adult learners through the development of new service concepts.

brightspot conducted in-depth student interviews to develop insights into the student experience as well as identify pain points and unmet needs; for instance, many adult learners working during the day needed support services during evening hours or may be more financially conscious. Informed by the research insights, we worked with the working group and current PSU students to develop and refine three service concepts to improve the student experience.

These three concepts – redesigning students “myPSU” portal, creating a network to coordinate student services, and creating interactive degree maps – formed the core of PSU’s roadmap to “build the best student experience” and “reduce barriers and improve services to help students graduate.” Each initiative has now been implemented and is already making an impact: there are 9M annual views of the myPSU website and students rank it as the easiest to use platform for student business at PSU.

BrightSpot Strategy
BrightSpot Strategy