Centre’s Electronic Student Records Pipeline project receives award for “Best New Campus Application”

Posted by Centre News in News 03 Nov 2015

old_centre_fallSeveral Centre College staff members recently received an award for their work on the College’s Electronic Student Records Pipeline project.

Completed in collaboration with Centre’s Information Technology Services (ITS), the project won the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities’ (AIKCU) Technology Award for “Best New Campus Application.”

The idea for this endeavor arose from what Chief Information Officer Keith Fowlkes describes as a “simple need that Assistant Dean for Advising Mary Gulley had for finding an easier way to get first-year student advising files from the Registrar’s office to faculty advisors across campus.

“We brainstormed ways that we could use the College’s new Alfresco document management software to avoid the need to copy, collate and distribute hundreds (or maybe thousands) of first-year student documents each year for first year students’ faculty advisors,” Fowlkes continues. “As we started to collaborate with Registrar Tim Culhan and Admission Information Systems Coordinator Virginia Robbins-Bugg, we found that a great number of things could be simplified by moving electronic documents from Admission through to the Registrar’s office for storage and retrieval.”

The project has now converted what Culhan calls the “very labor-intensive and inefficient system” of printing and distributing confidential paper student records through a chain of offices to one that runs through an imaging system, as automated by Alfresco.

This conversion took place in two stages—first converting all pre-computer student transcripts to digital images and then uploading those 17,000 images to Alfresco.

“The Registrar’s office has long been interested in moving to a less paper-intensive environment,” Culhan explains. “Now, rather than having to go to our file room to retrieve an old transcript, copy it and re-file it, all of these steps can be completed without leaving our desks.”

The Pipeline project now makes students’ records readily available to those with certain levels of clearance, including academic advisors as well as the Dean’s, Registrar’s and Admission offices.

“This project is being phased in with each new class so that, by the fall of 2018, we will no longer have paper files for any of our students,” Culhan says. “We are already experiencing the benefits of increased productivity and efficiency in our office as a result of this project, as student files are now accessible on the desktops of everyone in the Registrar’s Office.”

Following the success of the Electronic Student Records Pipeline project, several additional offices on campus have begun their own document imaging projects via the Alfresco system.

“This is just one example of collaboration that goes on at Centre between staff offices, faculty departments and students,” Fowlkes says. “It is the kind of thing that makes Centre College so successful and one of the best places in the nation to teach, mentor and learn.

“The award definitely encourages all of us to continue working closely together and seeking new ways to ‘think outside the box’ when looking at making old work processes new again.”

by Hayley Hoffman ‘16
November 3, 2015

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