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The major themes for this year's release are improved stability and the resolution of technical issues. This involves substantial structural changes to almost every interface and functionality within TDS. Here are some highlights:

Code Architecture update to improve response times on almost every page load. This allows more efficient processing in TD's clustered hosting environment and increases overall system reliability.

Interface Redesign, or Responsive Design, will accommodate a responsive framework across all TDS interfaces. This will allow all TDS users to move seamlessly across tablets, smartphones, and PCs. This redesign impacts virtually every interface element and changes the look and feel of the post-logged-in experience-changes necessary in order to work on every type of device.

Prospect Inquiry added as a module to facilitate quick contact information for anyone online who expresses interest in a client's institution or program offerings, without requiring an account registration. This will give institutions the ability to conduct CRM activities, such as analyzing demand, conducting market outreach, and increasing applications.

Submit Application added as an optional feature to enhance the user experience, ensuring students' ability to take a deliberate action to complete their application and receive instant confirmation, as well as a persistent indicator on their application homepage that the submission was successful.

ISSS/SEVIS Module updates include dozens of usability and navigation enhancements recommended by our Working Group and user community.

Discover all of this and more at TDU 2016.

Kerry Geffert
Product Evangelist, Terra Dotta

While most of us entered international education because we believe in the power of intercultural understanding, we also know that we are in a profession that is subject to the whims of economics – local, national and global. A weak dollar makes the United States an educational “bargain” while straining the budgets of study abroad programs. Though the result of political acts, the events of September 11 impacted the ability of students to come to the United States, particularly those from Middle Eastern countries, negatively impacting budgets of U.S. international student services offices and ESL programs.

The downturn of the U.S. economy around 2008 had a significant impact on study abroad enrollments as families were forced to adjust priorities in part due to the lost value of investments. Particularly impacted were summer enrollments where financial aid played less of a role and personal funds were more discretionary.

However, all economic impacts need not be viewed negatively. Realizing the economic benefit of international education, Indiana University and NAFSA developed a tool about 20 years ago whereby the economic impact of international student enrollments is determined down to the congressional district. This important tool continues to be a key element of advocacy efforts on multiple levels.

Read the full article >

Melissa Elliotte is a Business Development Representative that started with Terra Dotta in May of 2015. She introduces prospective clients to Terra Dotta software, answers their follow-up questions, and prepares Requests for Proposal (RFPs).

Melissa previously worked in international students recruitment in Switzerland and the UK, study abroad management and recruitment in the US, and was once a musician in Ireland.

She completed a Bachelors in European Studies at Vanderbilt, a Masters Degree in French at Middlebury College, and is currently completing a thesis for the Masters in Creative & Literary Critical Studies at Royal Holloway University in London, UK.

Outside of work, Melissa likes running, yoga, hiking, writing, and singing. When she can, she does jazz gigs at a coffee house down the road from her home. Melissa says her favorite part of working at Terra Dotta is “I love my co-workers as well as the prospective clients. I’ve always felt at home in the international education field.”

Presenter: Abby Ward

Have you developed workarounds to complete daily tasks and daydreamed of quicker options? This webinar will reveal many tools and shortcuts (software and browser-related) that can be useful to all Terra Dotta software users, from beginners to experienced gurus, and provide some relief on your daily workload.


4:00 PM EST

Presenter: Sakiba Dzelil

Terra Dotta has developed a number of free stock reports to help facilitate your office's processes and enhance your site's functionality. In this webinar, we will demonstrate how to generate reports on review comments, application/profile comments, appointments, Open Doors, STEP registrations, program dates, application itineraries, and buddy programs. We'll explain where to begin and show you what the end product looks like: an Excel file containing pre-defined data columns specific to the type of report.


4:00 PM EST


Presenter: Noah Kriger

This webinar is for the everyday TDS admin with little to no technical background who would like to become more proficient using TDS technical terms. We will define and discuss some of the frequently used TDS tech terms to help you as an admin better understand the tech side of TDS and how it functions. Many of the terms defined will relate specifically to TDS sites that are integrated with a SIS. Spoiler Alert: SIS stands for Student Information System and will be one of the terms discussed in the webinar.


4:00 PM EST


Click here for a list of all of our upcoming webinars.

When Terra Dotta received the invitation from an 8th Grade class at Wake Young Women's Leadership Academy to participate in their 4-part learning project, there was immediate excitement among our staff. The students' assignment involved learning about the spread and prevention of diseases. Our contribution was on Project Management, so our project leaders rolled up their sleeves and got to work. Questions addressed included:

  • How does a project manager help to coordinate the work of
    different people?
  • How does a project manager encourage others to make deadlines?
  • How does a project manager keep track of the progress of
    the project?
  • What tools (digital or otherwise) would be suggested to track
    the progress and monitor people's results?

We were very pleased to hear from Mrs. Mary Clay Vick, the Instructional Technology Facilitator at WYWLA that her students were thrilled with their experience in the field. We certainly gained as much as these young students from our time together.



TDU Annual User Conference
Louisville, KY April 25–27

Early Bird Registration Deadline: 3/4/2016

Louisville, KY April 25–27
Early Bird Registration Deadline: 3/4/2016

Denver, CO May 28-30
Early Bird Registration Deadline: 3/31/2016

  • Oberlin College (OH)
  • The Ohio State University
  • SUNY College at Plattsburgh

  • Dartmouth College
    - Tuck School of Business
  • Dartmouth College
    - Centers
  • Duke
    - ACE
  • Florida International University
    Hobart William & Smith Colleges
    - Study Abroad
    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    - Study Abroad
    St. Ambrose University
    University of Evansville
    - Study Abroad
    University of Massachusetts
    - Risk
    University of Missouri
    - Saint Louis
    University of Rhode Island
    Webster University


Check out these updates in the client support portal. There is now a “Videos” link with all videos compiled for your support needs. Videos pertinent to support articles are still available from knowledge article pages. Login to our support portal and see all the new videos.

The Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT) is offering a 20% first-year discount to all Terra Dotta clients. Education Abroad members of ASIRT gain access to a number of useful and educational resources and programming. Additionally, members are listed on ASIRT’s website, and other widely distributed publications.

Click here to complete the membership form.

Sign up here.

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