You may not realize it, but your institution’s student information system (SIS) can play a pivotal role in whether or not your school successfully evolves to the future of higher education.
Nearly all colleges and universities now use an SIS as their main tool to track and manage all student records and administration. However, in addition to an SIS, most schools are also running different systems for billing and payments, admissions, classroom management and more. The problem is that all these different systems may not be configured to work together. This leaves higher ed faculty and staff spending too much time uploading files, searching for documents and running processes by hand as opposed to providing personalized, proactive services for students.
To prepare for the future and meet the rising expectations of students for more personalized, frictionless and proactive services, colleges and universities must take steps to eliminate these inefficiencies. For your school to get the most out of its student information system investment, it needs to deliver process efficiencies and higher quality experiences for students and staff alike.
5 ways to strengthen your school’s SIS
It’s time for your SIS to help you work smarter not harder. The following enhancements can help eliminate labor redundancies, limit dependence on physical documents and deliver the personalized services students demand.
1. Automated processes
Higher ed institutions deal with a huge amount of paperwork and requests that need to be managed daily. In fact, 55 percent of education managers spend an average of one full workday per week on “manual, repetitive tasks,” according to a 2018 report.
By enabling workflow automation within the SIS, faculty and staff can free themselves up for more important activities and reduce the margin of human error. This can also help reduce the amount of time students are left waiting for a response to a simple request.
2. Self-service pathways
Many of today’s higher ed students – especially Gen Z – expect to manage all of their needs online. To provide better user experiences, your school’s student information system should offer students an online self-service option. This type of portal can allow students on-demand access to view their grades and complete certain administrative tasks, such as submitting financial aid applications, registering for courses, changing majors and requesting transcripts.
This option provides obvious perks for the students, but there are also benefits for the institution. Self-service options can reduce lost or error-ridden paperwork, provide detailed audit trails and eliminate bottlenecks related to manual processing.
3. Data/systems integrations
Colleges and universities are full of fragmented, legacy technology systems that create silos between departments, are difficult to use and/or lack mobile capabilities. When these disparate systems are integrated with your school’s SIS, your staff and student users can access more data to see a more holistic picture, save time, increase consistency and accuracy and operate with more up-to-date information.
4. Cloud-based migrations
Moving core SIS applications to the cloud can help to unify formerly inconsistent processes, reduce your IT team’s time spent patching and maintaining on-premises systems and provide a consumer-like experience for students, faculty and staff. One of the many advantages of cloud-based services is that necessary updates occur behind the scenes, allowing your IT team to focus on other priorities. Storing all of your school’s data in the cloud also leads to greater accessibility, streamlining the process of generating reports based on data from multiple departments.
5. Data security
The student information system houses all kinds of sensitive personal student data that institutions need to protect from breaches. Schools’ must confirm that their SIS and its applications are receiving frequent security updates that can be pushed out to all users.
Today, the SIS is a mission-critical technology solution used by nearly all students and staff across the institution. It has the ability to facilitate a more student-centric experience by expanding staff’s ability to collect, analyze and store more data. However, for the student information system to act as a “catalyst for transformation” at the institution, it must include the functionalities mentioned above – all of which can place a large burden on a school’s IT staff.
Leverage the power of technology
If your college or university is looking to automate formerly manual processes and optimize its student information system for business efficiency and better student experiences, Collegis Education can help. Our skilled team of technologists offers configuration expertise and competency in workflow automation to ensure your SIS better serves the institution and its students.
Learn more by visiting our Technology Managed Services page.