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Rethinking student records 
in the age of digital natives

by ​Ben Ruch
 
The college admissions process is grueling — digitize your student records to reduce admissions pain.

Whether you are a prospective student, a parent or university employee, the admissions process can be incredibly taxing. Consider the breadth of information involved: transcripts, recommendations, ACT/SAT scores and more. Entangled with so much paperwork, administrative departments have struggled to keep accurate student records, or to manage them in a timely fashion.

Growing numbers of colleges, universities and other higher educational organizations are adopting electronic records management (ERM) solutions to seamlessly manage student records through constantly changing admissions processes.

That is why growing numbers of colleges, universities and other higher educational organizations are adopting electronic records management (ERM) solutions to seamlessly manage student records through constantly changing admissions processes, as well as to stay ahead of current and future challenges. Additionally, ERM brings higher education institutions up to speed with millennials, who are digital natives accustomed to modern digital user experiences — outmoded admissions processes may give them a bad impression. Today, ERM solutions are making the most impact in departments such as financial aid, registrar records and graduate admissions processing. For one example, let’s turn to a grueling admissions scenario that you may not immediately associate with student records management: student immunization forms for one of your college’s sports teams.

When a student athlete arrives on campus for the team’s first practice, your athletics department asks for the student’s medical and immunization records. Upon receiving the required documents, your athletic department has met its requirement and sheds any further responsibility to share the records with health services or admissions — and that is where the gridlock begins.

That is why growing numbers of colleges, universities and other higher educational organizations are adopting electronic records management (ERM) solutions to seamlessly manage student records through constantly changing admissions processes, as well as to stay ahead of current and future challenges. Additionally, ERM brings higher education institutions up to speed with millennials, who are digital natives accustomed to modern digital user experiences — outmoded admissions processes may give them a bad impression. Today, ERM solutions are making the most impact in departments such as financial aid, registrar records and graduate admissions processing. For one example, let’s turn to a grueling admissions scenario that you may not immediately associate with student records management: student immunization forms for one of your college’s sports teams.

When a student athlete arrives on campus for the team’s first practice, your athletics department asks for the student’s medical and immunization records. Upon receiving the required documents, your athletic department has met its requirement and sheds any further responsibility to share the records with health services or admissions — and that is where the gridlock begins.
 

Choosing digital student records management over paper records keeping might be the deciding factor in creating a seamless educational experience for your students.

Digitize your student admissions and records keeping

With more higher education organizations adopting electronic health records, find the services, solutions and expertise to make your campus life easier.
 

In the student’s very first college class, the professor asks him to leave because there’s a medical hold on his account. Later, your health services department informs him that no immunization forms have been submitted to their office, and that they need the records before he can go to class. In this scenario, in order to simply attend class, your student athlete must:


  • Walk across campus to the athletics department to get a copy of his records.
  • Return to health services, which informs him that he must wait five to ten business days for the hold to be lifted before attending class.
  • Continue to wait and miss class while administration workers, incredibly busy at the beginning of the academic year, get around to manually scanning, indexing and filing his information.
  • Deal with yet another delay, since the registrar and bursar’s offices have to be notified that the student athlete’s records are on-hand before they can lift the hold.
  • While that hypothetical may sound very extreme, unfortunately, it’s not out of the ordinary. Too often, different offices and departments within an institution operate on islands of inefficiency. However, by digitizing your records with smart information management, your institution can deliver a smooth, efficient and more secure flow of information throughout your campus. With ERM, you can ensure that your students’ experiences with their records align more closely with their expectations shaped by their digital world, in which information is fluid and easily shareable.

Choosing digital student records management over paper records keeping might be the deciding factor in creating the optimal student experience that eliminates a frustrating series of seemingly pointless errands for your students. By embracing information mobility — getting information to those who need it anytime, anywhere — you can improve your students’ experiences and transform your institution’s workplace.

 
Ben Ruch
Ben Ruch, Senior Region Manager, Higher Education for Ricoh USA, Inc., works with colleges and universities to provide Professional Services, Managed Services and Business Process Outsourcing Solutions that simplify processes, automate paper-based workflows and improve speed of information. Ruch has over 23 years of experience in the industry and expertise in production printing systems solutions and professional services solutions.