Pennsylvania College of Technology (Penn College), which became a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University in 1989, has been educating students and the community since 1914. With a main campus in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Penn College had a fall 2008 enrollment of 6,500 credit students. In addition, 5,000 students took non-credit courses. The college boasts a full-time faculty of 310. In total, it employs more than 1,600 people.
Paper-Based Processes Weren't Making the Grade
It’s natural to think of a college as meeting its educational objectives in lecture halls, seminar rooms and labs. That’s largely the case, but the business of education also requires the processing of a lot of paper.
Universities process lots of paper. Admissions, transcripts and student records, HR documents, and other documents all have to reviewed, processed and stored. Penn College found it was overwhelmed with the amount of paperwork it had coming in and needed a better solution for scanning, storing and managing all of the school’s various documents.
Document Scanning and Management Made Easy
Now, Penn College stores almost every student document, right from the point of admission through to graduation, digitally in Webdocs. For example, high school transcripts are scanned as soon as they are received. Then, when students complete their placement testing those results are also loaded into Webdocs.
The college now scans every possible student academic record, including 26 document types and 75 document titles. An electronic file maintained for each student contains all of that student’s records, which allows the Registrar’s office to answer questions from students, faculty and staff more quickly and efficiently.
Webdocs is also helping the human resources department. The college is now scanning a variety of HR documents, including some files that had grown to upwards of six inches thick. The college plans to begin scanning human resource documents for current employees once the backload of former employees’ documents is securely in Webdocs. The end result will be that a 20’ x 30’ room filled floor-to-ceiling with cabinets of HR documents will be freed up for other uses.
Webdocs Makes Personnel Records More Manageable
Increased productivity is one of the biggest benefits of the college’s use of Webdocs. Rather than having to trudge off to the storage room, human resources staff can now access all required documents right from their desktops.
In addition, faculty and other staff have a single interface that they can use to access students’ high school transcripts, placement test scores, SAT scores and other relevant documents, along with information from the ERP system.
Authorized users can even access students’ documents from their homes. This improved access to information allows college staff to make the best possible decisions about students’ skills and direct them into the most appropriate courses. Webdocs’ document repository also gives the college a very easy way to permanently store historical documents and, therefore, maintain a complete academic history for all students.
The benefits are so clear that Penn College plans to expand its use of Webdocs to the financial aid office as well. The college expects to start by first scanning historical financial aid documents into Webdocs and later include current documents to provide easier, faster and more productive access to those documents.
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