John Wood Community College embraces hybrid learning with AI-driven networking
Community colleges put educational opportunities, vocational training, and adult literacy within the reach of millions of Americans. John Wood Community College serves as a path up the economic ladder for many residents of west central Illinois.
With an aging network presenting a barrier to flexible learning, Joshua Brueck, director of IT at John Wood Community College, devised a plan for infrastructure modernization.
User complaints about Wi-Fi
Days to install all-new network
Students, faculty, and staff
Student satisfaction with college
A nimble foundation for student success
“Our school was in a transitional period as we moved toward hybrid learning,” says Brueck. “In addition to face-to-face lectures, we also stream classes, so students have an option to learn from home.”
In addition to the difficulties of educating students during the pandemic, the nature of IT service delivery has changed. “There’s a natural shift to the cloud, and that makes network reliability even more important,” he says.
As Wi-Fi became a necessity, the college’s IT leadership wanted a network that would serve as a long-lasting foundation with the agility to address the unanticipated ways education might evolve.
All-new campus network is a weekend’s work
“Juniper has an innovative solution plus the dedication to make sure the project would go well,” says Brueck.
John Wood refreshed its campus and data center with Juniper’s AI-driven network solution. Juniper® High-Performance Access Points work in conjunction with the Juniper Mist Cloud to deliver blazing-fast, Wi-Fi 6 connectivity to students, faculty, and visitors. Juniper EX Series Switches provide reliable, scalable campus and data center networking.
The AI-driven Marvis Virtual Network Assistant simplifies troubleshooting with self-driving actions and real-time answers. Juniper Mist Wi-Fi Assurance and Juniper Mist Wired Assurance enable AI-powered operations that deliver better experiences to mobile and connected devices.
“We put a whole new network in place over the weekend,” says Brueck.
Local solutions provider Qubit Networks, with assistance from the college’s IT department, swapped in Juniper Access Points and EX Series switches and let AI-driven networking do the rest.
“The Mist portal told us how to move around APs to optimize performance and add APs where we didn’t know we needed coverage,” says Brueck.
Flexible foundation for hybrid education and campus safety
The campus and data center networks stand strong under the heavy demands of hybrid learning, with in-person lectures and video streaming across campus and in student homes. Students’ network experiences are transformed as they find their path forward to lifelong success.
“The visibility and proactive capabilities of Juniper networking and Mist AI give us the confidence to run more business services onto the wireless,” says Brueck. “IT moved computer labs to Wi-Fi for the first time. The specific needs of our eSports team are easily accommodated.”
AI-driven troubleshooting enables rapid problem resolution. Marvis pinpointed knotty problems like bad cables on switch ports, missing VLANs, and DHCP pool exhaustion. “Marvis saved us massive amounts of time troubleshooting,” says Brueck.
Mist AI enables continuous improvement. “Mist’s service-level expectations are incredible,” says Brueck. “We can maintain our service levels without constantly monitoring the network. We’ve never had that before.”
The college is exploring Juniper Mist User Engagement location-based services for campus health and safety. “With Juniper, we can use network insights to proactively improve the campus experience,” says Brueck.
Published December 2021