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Education is leveraging cloud and AI to ensure intelligent safety and incidence management for student success

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Campus safety is increasingly important to students and parents. A student poll published by the College Board and Art & Sciences Group found that 72% of students indicated that the safety of the campus was very important to them in college consideration and choice, with  86% percent having reported that it was very important to their parents.

The latest annual report of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) for indicators of school crime and safety found  that there were 836,100 total victimizations on campus in the United States, including theft, sexual assaults, vandalism, and even violent deaths. Unfortunately, those acts of violence and threats to safety are a global challenge for university staff who are responsible for student safety and wellbeing

Besides the importance of ensuring campus safety for student success, the Clery Act requires all colleges and universities participating in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near their campuses. Compliance is monitored by the Department of Education and violation of the Clery Act compliance requirements results in multimillion dollar fines in civil penalties to several academic institutions.

Google Cloud is helping educational institutions put the right solution in place to ensure campus safety and facilitate compliance with Clery Act requirements

When we announced Student Success Services last November, our goal was to reinvent how educational institutions attract, support and engage with students and faculty. As part of the offering, we’ve partnered with NowIMS to provide a fully managed intelligent safety and incident management platform in compliance with FERPA, GDPR and COPPA.

NowIMS is provisioned to the customer’s own Google Cloud project through the Google Cloud Marketplace to facilitate automated deployment and provide integrated billing with the rest of the organization’s Google Cloud services. Some of the key functionality includes:

  • Automated capture and consolidation of data from different sources, including social media, websites, external alarm systems, video cameras and other sources that facilitate user-reported incidents 

  • Analysis and visualization of data at scale, aggregating all data and providing a single pane of glass view that ensures teams have access to the data and audit logs they need to get work done, complying with security and data governance policies.

  • Real-time tailored reporting and messaging: Teams will be notified as intelligence is collected and processed, and have access to self-service real-time reports. Each user group will receive tailored communication through their desired channels.

  • Automated generation of reports: Clery Act requirements bring significant operational overhead, and NowIMS helps to automate the generation of applicable reports, giving time back to campus safety team members to do what matters most–providing personalized support to students.

A customized approach that aligns with the needs of educational institutions

Although NowIMS is a fully managed solution, it integrates with the rest of Student Success Services to offer customization to any educational institution. Our solution is currently being used by Higher ED and K-12 customers across the US. For example, Fort Bend Independent School District is using NowIMS on Google Cloud to solve student safety and emergency communication challenges and serves 78,500 students across the district’s 80 schools. And recently, Alabama A&M University has deployed NowIMS to facilitate intelligence tracking for public safety, including issues such as drugs on campus, fights, suspicious packages, and more.  Captain Ruble of Alabama A&M stated, “NowIMS is the first tool we have found that will provide a single pane of glass for our operators. Before NowIMS, we had to watch more than 6 other systems.” In addition to this public safety use case, the Information Technology department will also use NowIMS to track badge access entry events, as well as network anomaly and outage notifications.  

To find out more about how NowIMS detects issues and rapidly responds to risks on and off campus, check out our session from Student Success Week.