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New web portal supports international students and scholars

Jun 18 2021

Stanford’s 8,000 international students and scholars and the faculty and staff who support them now have an easier way to manage immigration requirements.

A significant system enhancement project to improve the experience for Stanford’s international students and scholars is nearly complete.

The Bechtel International Center – and a team of partners – recently rolled out a modern, mobile responsive portal leveraging a new system to manage immigration.

Called Bechtel Connect, this new portal provides an easy to use interface, a streamlined workflow, and robust case management tools to monitor more precisely and communicate more readily with Stanford’s international community of 8,000 students and scholars.

For international students and scholars, the new solution offers the latest in technology to easily submit and track immigration requests, extension applications, change requests, and more.

For faculty, staff, and departments who support international students and scholars, Bechtel Connect offers greater efficiency through superior service functionality, real time reports needed to maintain compliance with federal immigration regulations, and an improved interface to intuitively accomplish tasks.

“We know our international students and scholars have endured a difficult year, and this is one small way we are trying to make it easier for them to arrive and thrive at Stanford in their studies, research, and work,” said Shalini Bhutani, Assistant Vice Provost and Executive Director for Bechtel International Center.

The new portal launched with the student module in March. Since then, more than 5,500 transactions have been processed with the new system. A module designed for international scholars, which includes visiting faculty and postdocs, will launch in August.

Watch this video to learn more.

Modernizing student and academic systems

Bechtel Connect is one of six active projects, along with three more planned projects, designed to modernize student and academic systems at Stanford.

Led by Student and Academic Services (SAS), part of the Division of Student Affairs, a multi-year strategy is underway to transform the student experience by renewing, extending, or replacing the technical infrastructure that enables everything from how students find and enroll in classes to how students and parents pay their bill to how Stanford accepts and processes graduate applications.

“The Stanford student experience involves every touch point students have with the university, including their interactions with our online systems, such as exploring course offerings and enrichment opportunities, enrolling in classes, choosing their major, tracking progress towards their degree, petitioning for transfer credit, applying for grad school, and paying tuition,” said Johanna Metzgar, Associate Vice Provost for SAS.

“We are committed to enhancing each one of these touchpoints through leading-edge technology implementations, intentional integrations, and cross-campus support and adoption that together will modernize the digital student experience at Stanford.”

For Metzgar’s team, cross-campus support includes close collaboration with faculty governance to review and improve student and academic policies, and with staff to align on best practices with a relentless focus on student success.

For more information about Bechtel Connect or other SAS projects, reach out to us through this form.