“American Idol” Superstars for Transfer Students
I recently delivered a session on how to speed student matriculation at the #CollegeSource2013 conference in Charleston, SC, where I was literally singing to the choir – an entire roomful of American Idol-worthy superstars for transfer students. It was a great conference with attendees across Enrollment Management and from a wide variety of institutions, all dedicated to student service. More specifically, they are 100% dedicated to serving the needs of students with transfer credits: ensuring every incoming and returning student has access to an accurate degree audit as quickly as possible and letting students with transfer credits know how those transfer credits will articulate before they ever even meet with an advisor on campus. They are true thought-leaders in higher education – and, they are inspiring.
More and more students are coming into institutions with college credit – be it dual credit earned in high school or previous courses taken online or at another campus. Statistics now show that students will come in with an average of 3-5 transcripts each. This challenge is not getting smaller and it is not going away.
For those enrollment management folks who’ve adopted Hyland’s automated transcript capture and transfer credit evaluation solution, they’re processing transfer credits in record time. They’re updating document checklists within their Student Information System (SIS) as they’re uploading transcripts. They’re offering both students and prospects the opportunity to view information online – nearly eliminating the phone calls they receive checking to see if materials have arrived. That’s student service and operational efficiency.
The OnBase Transcript Capture solution can take that scanned transcript, lift the individual term, course data and grades and leverage the articulation agreements in the SIS on campus to automatically write the appropriate credit hours and grade to the degree audit. Never seen a transcript from a specific campus before? Abby Calcote of San Juan College told CollegeSource clients she can solve that problem in 5 minutes. Never articulated a specific class from a feeder school before? That’s no problem either. OnBase customers who are also CollegeSource clients can leverage TES to read course descriptions from a comprehensive online database of course catalogs to better determine how to award credit for that course. And OnBase Transcript Capture can route that final decision to department chairs, provosts, registrars or anyone else who needs to be involved in the decision process. I noticed that a number of people during my presentation smiled when we told them that OnBase send alerts when faculty or department chairs hold up the decision process. Why? Because such delays happen all the time.
So why is transfer student service such a big deal? With fast and accurate degree audits, a student might pick your institution over a competitor. That student will then meet with an academic advisor who advises the best classes to take based on the transfer credit that’s been awarded. There’s no guessing involved. This means institutions will have less add/drop forms, fewer students shut out of critical classes they need and more students graduating in that critical six-year window that financial aid covers.
At #CollegeSource2013, I was surrounded by a choir of people who believe it’s their job to help students succeed, and they sing a beautiful song. I can’t wait to go back next year.