Lincoln University Enables Distance Learning, Remote Access to Digital Resources From Any Location with Extreme Networks
Wi-Fi 6 Upgrade and Cloud Network Management Gives Small IT Team Tools to Adapt to New Digital Demands Accelerated by COVID-19 While Reducing Network Operating Costs by 30%
Extreme Networks, Inc., a cloud-driven networking company, announced Lincoln University of Pennsylvania has deployed Extreme’s wireless access points and cloud network management solution to provide high-speed, Wi-Fi 6 connectivity throughout its 422-acre main campus and off-campus graduate center. With increased capacity in all indoor and outdoor spaces, the University makes it easy for students, faculty, and staff to connect with digital education resources from any device, anywhere – a need that became more pronounced with the COVID-19 pandemic and the additional requirement to offer a mix of in-person and remote instruction.
Lincoln University was founded in 1854 as the nation’s first degree-granting historically black college and university (HBCU), with notable alumni including poet Langston Hughes and the first black U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall. It is a top 20 HBCU in 2021, according to U.S. News & World Report. However, the University’s commitment to providing its students with an excellent education was not previously supported by a robust network infrastructure. Connectivity issues often left students and faculty unable to access educational resources or livestream online courses, a significant challenge as many students were forced to isolate in their dorms during the onset of the pandemic. The University turned to Extreme and its partner, Howard Technology Solutions, to deploy a reliable, flexible network solution that could handle the increasing demands for video streaming, remote learning, and the use of bandwidth-hungry applications.
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- Seamless Indoor and Outdoor Wireless Coverage: ExtremeWireless™ high-density Wi-Fi 6 access points (APs) provide Lincoln University with a secure, wireless network that can support 3,000 users and 5,000 devices daily. Users have reported more reliable wireless connectivity that doesn’t differ from building to building, and they are comfortable connecting through WPA2 authentication which provides an additional layer of data security and increased protection from network threats. Since deployment, Lincoln University has seen improved student success and retention, even during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Simplified Network Management: With a three-person network team covering 46 buildings, Lincoln University required a cloud network management solution for intuitive and insightful access to how applications, devices, and users connect to their network. The ExtremeCloud™ IQ network management platform was selected for ease of use and deployment, cost-effectiveness, and its built-in applications. The team is now able to manage its campus-wide wireless network through the cloud, has greater visibility into all connected IoT devices, and can remotely access and control all wireless APs.
- Enhanced Services for Remote Learning: Lincoln University was already prioritizing flexible learning and better online accessibility for its students, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused the University to accelerate its plans. All courses are now available online, with the exception of some in-person labs, and the Wi-Fi 6 APs from Extreme ensure students can access all livestreamed courses and recorded lectures without any connectivity issues or interruptions. The comprehensive indoor and outdoor wireless coverage also enables students to avoid congregating in large groups to study, allowing them to better adhere to social distancing guidelines.
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Justin McKenzie, Chief Information Officer, Lincoln University
“Our mission at Lincoln University is to educate and empower students to lead their communities and change the world—technology should never be a barrier to success. With Extreme’s high-density Wi-Fi 6 access points, single-pane-of-glass cloud management, and credential-based access capabilities, our IT team can offer a vastly improved user experience while supporting new flexible learning requirements. Further, simplified management and maintenance has reduced their workload, resulting in a reduction in operating costs of more than 30% and allowing us to focus more effort on security and other projects.”
David Savage, Senior Director of Education Sales, Extreme Networks
“Accessibility is a top priority for higher education organizations, and that need has been amplified by the coronavirus pandemic. Lincoln University has been able to function without missing a beat during this crisis thanks to our technology. We’re proud to provide a cloud network solution that allows colleges and universities everywhere to both extend access to educational resources and improve remote instruction.”
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