Adams State University

Using data insights to provide life-changing opportunities to high-need students

Customer Success Story

Residents Of The State
Represent Minority Groups
Eligible For Pell Grants
Between 2015 and 2016, Adams State University’s
6-year graduation rate increased from 29% to 32%.

About Adams State University

Customer Since 2015
Adams State University is a midsize, regional hispanic-serving institution (HSI) in rural Alamosa, Colorado. Adams State serves approximately 2,100 undergraduates and 1,300 graduates. As a regional education provider, Adams State is particularly focused on supporting historically under-served student populations, including underrepresented minorities, first-generation, and low-income students.
“For many students at our institution, being involved is a luxury. Presence allows us to meet them where they are and provide programming that is relevant to their needs and their future goals.”
Jeni Carter

Share The Study

Campus Partners

Aaron Miltenberger
Director of Student Life & Campus Recreation (aka the Fun Czar)
Jeni Carter
Assistant Director of Student Life


To better understand their students’ interests so that they can build opportunities for student success.
To gather more accessible and understandable data.
To reach the students who are less, or not, involved.
To support the campus’ experiential learning goals.
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The Problem

Inactionable & Siloed Data

Prior to purchasing Presence, Adams State used another card swipe system to track student swipes in and out of various areas on campus. The card swipe system tracked anonymized student swipes, which only provided Adams State with aggregated information.

For example, at the end of the school year, they would know that they had approximately 60,000 swipes entering into the fitness center, but did not know how many students represented that number or who those students were and were not.

Because of this, data was inactionable, and ultimately, not supportive of improving the student experience.

The Solution

A Data-Informed Transformation

When Adams State purchased Presence, they replaced all campus engagement-based swipers on campus with Presence card readers. This allowed activities staff to monitor both in real-time and longitudinally what types of programs and facilities students were engaging with on campus.

As an institution that serves a significant number of first generation and low-income students, it’s critical that Adams State understands, at a granular level, which students are showing up and which are not. The move to Presence made that knowledge possible.

“Presence’s data insight is a gift. We can see in real-time not only which students are participating, but which students are not. That’s a big question for us, and it’s one that our student leaders are now asking as well.”Jeni Carter

And remember the Fitness Center’s thousands of inactionable swipes? After the move to Presence, Student Activities staff was able to see, in real-time, how many students were in the space, and also allowed system administrators to see the demographic breakdown of students who were showing up to the Fitness Center. To their surprise, Adams State found that 85% of fitness center users were men, although only 52% of the undergraduate student population were men.

These insights allowed Adams State to begin analyzing why women weren’t going to the fitness center. They formed a committee to begin implementing changes, and today, the fitness center’s attendees are in line with the institution’s gender distribution.

Adams State continues to use Presence’s real-time, highly detailed data to develop strategic plans to best serve their student population across all aspects of the student affairs division.

“We’re currently in our review process with the Higher Learning Commission, and being able to just pull the reports we need from Presence has been an absolute life-saver. It’s so easy to do; you just tell it the metrics you want to see, and boom, they’re there.”Aaron Miltenberger

The Future

Fostering an Environment for Student Success

In the Adams State University 2020 Strategic Plan, goal #2 is “student success.” That is defined as “[addressing] diverse student needs by offering varied learning opportunities and support services for all students to achieve educational, personal, and career success.”

First generation students are less likely to get involved in co-curricular programming on campus, and as an institution which serves underrepresented students, Adams State is particularly focused on helping their first-generation, low-income, and minority students get involved.

“For a lot of our students, it’s all about academics. Students might think ‘I came here for a degree because I want a good job,’ so we show them that being involved means gaining the skills you need to go and get those awesome jobs.”Jeni Carter

With Presence, Adams State is able to educate students around the importance of experiential learning.

Learn how to accomplish this too
Download the full success story

Adams State University's Favorite Features

Attendance Tracking on Mobile Devices

Collect student participation data in real-time.

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Real-Time Analytics & Trends

Assess & analyze involvement trends to identify potential improvements.

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Fast & Brilliant Customer Service

Our Happiness Team is here for you at each point in your journey.

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Check I'm Here is now Presence. Learn more about this change in our blog post here.