Global Engagement Solutions for Higher Education

Old Dominion University
Ditching an Antiquated On-Premise Solution for
Terra Dotta’s Adaptive, ISSS Cloud Solution

In the coastal city of Norfolk, Virginia, Old Dominion University enrolls one of the largest student populations in Virginia. With over 24,000 students, the university attracts a large number of international students and scholars.

Old Dominion by the Numbers
With both students and scholars to track, their former software system didn’t make the cut.
Using their previous provider, Kasie Reyes, Deputy Director Center for Global Engagement, had several tedious and time consuming tasks:
Multiple data entries:

Reyes had to update information and upload student documents to three separate locations: their international student management software, their SIS, and SEVIS. Even still, these three systems didn’t speak to one another. Often making something as simple as an address change, a time consuming task.

Slow uploads:

Previously, they had to wait for nightly uploads of documents, which led to a lot of wasted time and slow return to students.

Nothing for scholars:

The former software did not have a comprehensive scholar site, which made processing and reporting on their scholar population difficult.

Lack of customer support:

They tried to troubleshoot issues and request  improvements, but help never came.

Updates that never happened:

Anytime an update was released or a form changed, the software needed to be updated. But without a designated IT employee, their on-premise system often never received updates.

But their biggest issue was their data, which begged larger questions of liability and compliance.

When an internal audit of the Office of Visa and Immigration Service Advising was conducted, they realized they had a serious problem with their data reconciliation. With multiple years poured into solving their data integrity issues, they realized in order to have correct data and finish the audit, they needed new software.

With a goal of finding a better way to manage international students and scholars, they turned to Terra Dotta.


While they did consider other options, Old Dominion University chose Terra Dotta because of the forward-thinking, innovative focus that the software and its staff have.

After implementing Terra Dotta’s ISSS and going live in the fall of 2019, Old Dominion University has seen a number of benefits, especially during COVID-19.

Saves Time
They no longer have to wait for nightly uploads, spend time individually printing documents, or manually entering data in three locations.
Accessible Anywhere
With single sign on access from any location, Terra Dotta has been key in their ability to adapt to the changing work environment this past year.
Adaptability to Changing Regulation
With unexpected changes to I-20 guidelines in summer 2020 and changes to semester start dates, they were able to quickly change and reissue I-20s without worry.
Automated Updates
With a cloud-based system, Terra Dotta takes the stress off of Reyes’s staff and their IT department.
We contact IT every once in a while to ask for something specific, but it’s not nearly as much as it was before. It takes the pressure off of them as well.
While an audit was a source of stress before, Reyes commented that she feels confident in the upcoming audit because now they have Terra Dotta.
We were so far behind with our previous software. Terra Dotta is a whole new world.
See for yourself.
Streamline your international education processes with Terra Dotta: