High Grades for DocuWare2 Dec, 2015
Regional Liberal Arts College implements DocuWare reducing document storage and printing costs. By streamlining admissions and registration processes they better meet FERPA privacy requirements and allow Faculty Advisors to have controlled access to important information. Being admitted to a program of study has become much easier for students.
Roberts Wesleyan College is a Christian liberal arts college located near Rochester, New York. Roberts is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and is a part of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. With a mix of traditional and adult education students Roberts offers 99 different programs and has a student body of nearly 2000.
Originally, admissions and registration records were stored in fire proof cabinets in the main office. Sharing information between departments in different buildings across campus and distinguishing the most current version of a document was difficult. The college was running out of cabinets for documents that needed to be stored indefinitely. They knew they needed to move their records into a digital solution. They also knew they wanted to implement a Microsoft SQL Server based product that would allow them to meet privacy requirements outlined in FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) by limiting information access based on user role. Another goal was to reduce printing and storage costs, as well as help increase enrollment by simplifying the admissions process for their students.
The College contacted one of their trusted IT vendors and Authorized DocuWare Partner, Toshiba Business Solutions, who recommended DocuWare as the solution that would meet their integration, security and workflow needs at a price point where the College was comfortable.
“One of the reasons we chose DocuWare was because we had already had a strong business relationship with our DocuWare vendor and we knew we could count on them for dependable local support,” said Kim Porter, Director of Application Support and Development for Roberts Wesleyan College.
The Admissions department needed to securely store prospective students’ applications, transcripts, letters, ACT and SAT scores. The department receives a mix of electronic and paper documents and is now able to securely store them as they come in through an integration with DocuWare and the college’s admission software, AdmitGold. The staff enters the Prospective Student ID which is generated by AdmitGold, the document type and date. The remaining index fields such as first and last name, major, etc., are automatically populated using the ID# as a match code, ensuring accurate consistent information between two systems. Once all the required documents have been received, a workflow process is triggered that routes an Admissions Evaluation form to the Admissions Counselor and then the Admissions Director for approval. An electronic stamp is then used to mark the applicant as accepted or denied.
The Registration department also utilizes DocuWare to store Change of Major Request forms, transcripts, Academic Alerts, FERPA forms and other information. Every piece of information, regardless of which department stored it, is available in one system to qualified users.
With the new system in place, the College is consolidating information allowing Faculty Advisors to have controlled access to information in DocuWare based on a student’s major. This has eliminated storing student information in multiple locations and ensured everyone is looking at the most current document. Having one universal database decreases student frustration and gives the staff the tools they need to answer questions. The College has found that improving customer service to students is a crucial step to ensuring their continued momentum toward a degree.
“Before DocuWare, we would have to schedule a meeting to determine if a student could receive transfer credit. Today this is done virtually with a predefined workflow, saving time and clearing excess meetings from staff schedules,” said Porter.
Each of the College’s 5 schools: Arts and Humanities, Business, Natural and Social Sciences, Nursing, Education and Social Work are working to standardize admission requirements for each program/major. Students are now able to easily apply for a program without resubmitting documentation, simplifying the process and easing the transition to a more focused line of study.
FERPA limits information access to just the student unless otherwise specified. Grades and other information cannot be released even to a parent unless the student signs a form granting information access rights to a third party. Fast, easy access to FERPA forms allows the staff to quickly determine who information can be released to and what portions of “directory information” the student has approved for release.
“DocuWare gives us the framework to meet our goal of increasing enrollment. Our workflow is simple and transparent, speeding admissions processing time and allowing us to simplify things for our students,” said College President Deanna Porterfield.
By moving to an electronic system, the College was able to reduce printing and storage costs by $5,000 annually; however, the biggest benefit for the College is the ability of DocuWare to integrate with their existing education management software.
“The integration between DocuWare and our Admissions software, as well as our Student Information System has become the key benefit of our new solution. Our data syncs every two minutes so we know we always have our documents indexed correctly and have the most current information available to our staff. In the future we plan to expand our solution to make accessing student documents in DocuWare even easier. We are excited to work with a solution that offers future expansions and has the potential to grow with us,” said Porter.
- Easily share information between departments
- Simplify admission and registration processes for students and staff
- Reduce printing and storage costs
- Meet FERPA requirements
- Current documents available to staff from any department
- Able to provide better customer service to students
- Controlled access helps meet FERPA privacy requirements
- Electronic workflow eliminates meetings and speeds admission processing time
- Integration with existing education management software improves and automates indexing
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