Impact On Learning

Kent State University

kint state university

Kent State University sought a more efficient system in order to manage high-volume card issuance requirements for its seven regional campuses and over 39,000 students. With the adoption of a cloud-based system from HID Global, localized software has been eliminated and any student worker or student services officer can provide flashcard production with minimal impact and minimal training.

Project Snapshot

PROJECT: Cloud-Based ID Solution
INSTITUTION: Kent State University


Managing high-volume identification card issuance requirements has been a sizable job for Kent State University, a public research university in Ohio with over 39,000 students attending classes at seven regional campuses as well as additional facilities in the region and internationally. Every one of those students requires an ID card, used for everything from paying for campus services and meals to admission to buildings and events to checking out library books. Kent State would routinely send students to a separate location to take their photos and then receive their student IDs. The process was not efficient.

Michael O’Karma, office systems coordinator for Kent State, observes that “localized printers with the inability to have web-based issuance are inherently troublesome,” and the university wanted to move away from that to a more versatile platform.

“We were unable to issue web card credentials and we were not able to print those at a non-localized setting. We wanted to switch to a cloud-based solution to provide ease of access and security across a multi-campus system,” O’Karma explains.


Seeking an online answer in order to provide ease of access and security across a multi-campus system, Kent State selected HID® FARGO® Connect™, a cloud-based ID personalization and issuance solution. The issuance of ID cards has been dramatically simplified and has forever changed how the university manages its high-volume ID card issuance requirements.

kint state universityThe results have been positive.

“With this support of going from a traditional system to a cloud-based system it gives us better ways of giving contact for our regional campuses and even for us to set up a configuration,” says Ian Carr, office systems coordinator for Kent State. “Before we would have to go out to that regional campus, set up the configuration, make sure it works, and then if they had any issues they contact us by phone. Now we can contact HID, they can remote into their HID® FARGO® Connect™ and set up their specific configurations without any need of going to site. It’s very streamlined and easier to use.”

The system also eliminates the need for multiple card printers. “Not having a computer at every printer is a good thing for us in IT,” Carr adds.

The cloud-based issuance system also improves security across Kent State’s campuses and properties.

“Security is of the utmost importance to the Flash Card office and our operation. I believe that the HID® FARGO® Connect™ provides a secure cloud-based issuance solution for us, that it was an improvement over our previous solution,” O’Karma says.

“Knowing that we can seamlessly turn on and off cards and restrict access, there’s definitely a clear advantage to us moving to this cloud-based platform,” adds Cesquinn Curtis, executive director, Administration.


kint state universityFor a large university with multiple campuses and tens of thousands of students, a cloud-based ID card issuance platform has been welcome and cost-saving solution to a time-consuming and inefficient process. All of Kent State’s locations can now produce ID cards efficiently, without localized software. Any student worker or student services officer can provide flashcard production with minimal impact and minimal training.

“Moving to this cloud-based platform is more cost efficient for the university as well as for our students. It’s the next wave of technology. It is the most efficient thing we’ve done here for our flashcard operation,” says Curtis.

Editor’s Review

Research indicates that students learn more effectively in environments that they perceive to be safe and secure. Also, as “digital natives” who have grown up with technology, they expect services provided to them by their college or university to be delivered to them via the technology they are accustomed to. This cloudbased ID solution instituted by Kent State ensures safe and effective card issuance across multiple campuses while meeting student expectations.

This article originally appeared in the College Planning & Management April/May 2019 issue of Spaces4Learning.

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