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Technology plays a large role in many aspects of day-to-day life, and education is no exception. Higher education is breaking new ground in early technology adoption inspiring a new generation of learners. Evangel University has been able to transform students’ education both inside and outside the classroom through the implementation of a smart Wi-Fi network. Students can easily and confidently connect and participate in online learning and even utilize smart devices in the classroom. And it is not just Evangel University that is making a change. The need for wireless bandwidth in the classroom is growing among all colleges and universities. As the student experience in the classroom is changing and faculty and staff are more reliant on online learning, a reliable and robust Wi-Fi network is at the top of the priority list. Yet, connectivity is not just restricted to the classroom. Reliable network connectivity is necessary in dorm rooms, sports facilities, and even outside common areas. Wi-Fi is no longer a “nice-to-have,” but a strategic component of any school. According to the Educause study, over 60 percent of college students said they wouldn’t attend a university without extensive Wi-Fi.
Founded in 1955, Evangel University is a comprehensive Christian university located in Springfield, Missouri. Situated on over 100 acres with seven resident halls, five academic buildings, a large chapel and an athletic center, the school serves over 2200 students and 400 faculty and staff. Through the years, it had become evident that the old Wi-Fi infrastructure Evangel had in place was becoming increasingly problematic to students and faculty. With over 1,100 students living on campus, students were becoming frustrated with the performance of the legacy Wi-Fi.
“We were getting dozens of tweets a week on how bad the Wi-Fi network was and how the students were getting disconnected and were dissatisfied,” states Gary Blackard, Chief Information Officer at Evangel University.