Portland State University Selects Barnes & Noble Education LoudCloud to Co-Develop Degree Planning Platform

Platform will Help Students Create a Personalized Plan to Graduation that Encompasses the Entire Academic Journey.

BASKING RIDGE, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- BNED LoudCloud, a Barnes & Noble Education, Inc. company (NYSE:BNED) and Portland State University ("PSU"), today announced a strategic partnership to co-develop a degree planning solution. Using insights generated by PSU's reTHINK initiative and leveraging BNED's analytics platform, the solution will ultimately help more students graduate on time with better pathways to employment and provide the university with long-term demand planning tools.

The co-development of a degree planning solution aligns with PSU's goals to improve the student experience through digital services innovation and most importantly, improve degree completion. This partnership is an integral part of the reTHINK PSU presidential initiative and enabled by PSU's participation in the Frontier Set, convened by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with partnership from the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities and other partners. This select group of 29 colleges and universities and state systems from across the nation is committed to significantly increasing student access and success, and eliminating racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in college attainment.

"This is a problem worth solving to benefit millions of students across the country," says PSU's vice provost for Innovation, Planning and Student Success, Sukhwant Jhaj, "and stems from our extensive research and design thinking work to revamp advising. Our institutions and the higher education ecosystem can do more to help the new non-traditional majority. We can minimize silos that send students running around campus. And we can create more transparency with costs and financial aid. We are excited to partner with BNED LoudCloud because of their eagerness to tackle the challenges students face, particularly around academic and financial planning, and how their analytics expertise can improve degree planning. This degree planning platform will be transformational in helping students save time, save money and reduce stress."

The degree planning solution helps answer many of these challenges. It will allow students to chart a path to graduation, track progress, understand the impact of their choices on financial aid, and adjust their plans to changing majors. The solution will provide students with the insights they need to better understand their academic and career paths.

"Degree planning is a vital piece of the academic journey," said Kanuj Malhotra, Chief Operating Officer, BNED Digital Education. "We believe expanding our current analytics portfolio to include a degree mapping tool will greatly enhance our ability to drive positive student outcomes both within and outside of the existing BNED footprint."

BNED LoudCloud embedded a team within PSU to build on the insights that PSU generated through their extensive academic and career advising research. The co-development process allowed the teams to rapidly prototype and begin developing the solution. This practice will continue during the full development phase, working with students and advisors to refine the user experience.

Drawing on BNED LoudCloud's extensive background in learning analytics, the solution will ultimately provide students with dynamically driven degree pathways. Using analytics, BNED LoudCloud will provide students with insights based on their academic context/performance and career goals, so that they can work with advisors to identify degree paths that will maximize their chance of success.

"This partnership lays the foundations for degree planner to tackle a number of student challenges, such as how to link degree paths to an ever-changing job market and how to provide a clear credit-taking path from community colleges to universities," said Kanuj Malhotra, Chief Operating Officer, BNED Digital Education. "And more broadly, our degree planning solution will enhance our institutional analytics to help partners enrich student-advisor interactions and tackle the challenges around demand planning. We are thrilled to partner with PSU on this forward-thinking initiative."

"This is a much-needed personalized advising tool for our students that not only puts each one on a direct path to a degree but also supports them in tracking the progress of their major, grades, financial aid and other vital information," says Sukhwant Jhaj, PSU's vice provost for Innovation, Planning and Student Success. "Over time, this tool will help bolster PSU's retention and graduation rates and ultimately will reduce costs for students by enabling them to stay on a more efficient course to graduate."


Barnes & Noble Education, Inc. (NYSE:BNED), a leading provider of educational products and services solutions for higher education and K-12 institutions, enhances the academic and social purpose of educational institutions. Barnes & Noble Education operates 1,495 physical and virtual bookstores serving more than 6 million students and their faculty, and offers a suite of digital software, content and services including direct-to-student study tools. The Company also operates MBS Textbook Exchange, one of the largest textbook wholesale distribution channels in the United States. Barnes & Noble Education acts as a strategic partner to drive student success, provide value and support to students and faculty, and create loyalty and improve retention, while supporting the financial goals of our college and university partners.

BNED companies include: Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, LLC, MBS Textbook Exchange, LLC, BNED LoudCloud, LLC, Student Brands, LLC, and Promoversity, LLC. General information on Barnes & Noble Education may be obtained by visiting the Company's corporate website: www.bned.com.


Barnes & Noble Education LoudCloud, a Barnes & Noble Education company (NYSE:BNED), builds software that improves learning. By focusing on four key areas - Learning Analytics, Competency Based Education, Learning Management, and Next Generation Learning Materials including advanced OER Courseware, BNED LoudCloud serves educators and students in higher education, and increasingly, K-12 institutions to address the challenges of affordability and retention.

General information on BNED LoudCloud can be obtained by visiting the company's website: www.BNEDLoudCloud.com.


Oregon's urban research university, recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation's top 10 "Most Innovative" universities, is located in the heart of downtown Portland. PSU's motto is "Let Knowledge Serve the City" and is known nationally for civic engagement and community impact. PSU offers more than 200 degrees with opportunities to work with businesses, schools and organizations on real-world projects.

BNED Media:
Barnes & Noble Education, Inc.
Carolyn J. Brown, 908-991-2967
Vice President
Corporate Communications
Portland State University Media:
Portland State University
Christopher Broderick, 503-725-3773
Associate Vice President for Communications and Marketing

Source: Barnes & Noble Education, Inc.

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