Admissions and Records
Before Softdocs, all applications were paper files. Applications were submitted, added to a folder in Admissions, and then sent to a student’s counselor for review. After this process the application then returned to Admissions to be processed.
During review, admissions counselors add notes and comments on the application for the Admissions Processing Assistant to later type into Colleague.Students who needed to submit transcripts or return to the college for additional classes required evaluation, meaning their files would be pulled and taken to the Records or Admissions department. The application would then either be returned to the vault or remain sitting on a desk until the updates were entered into the system.
“There was a lot of physical traveling of files. Things didn’t always go as we wanted them to. Sometimes our files got lost; sometimes they got misfiled; sometimes they would stay on desks longer than they needed to; sometimes they didn’t get to the places they needed to be, having it scanned and accessible that way has really helped and eliminated a lot of the problems.”
Transitioning from Paper
The period between managing hard copy files to having electronic access in Softdocs wasn’t immediate.
“That phase was difficult because we were pulling double-duty, but that was just to help us with the transition to make sure we had all of our processes worked out. The part of figuring out workflow and changing from a file with legs that got moved from place to place to figuring out how things should be routed without physically moving that file required lots of meetings as a group,” said Melanie Eley, Director of Counseling Services.
As Rockingham made headway in their processes the need for additional structure within the content management solution became more apparent. To address this need, additional folders and subfolders were added to the existing tree structure.
“The staﬀ has gotten much better and looks at it differently now. When they’re filing something, they realize ‘this file needs to be in this folder.’ Financial Aid was the first area that did it and they have been very pleased and progressive with it,” said Evans.
While there were some adjustments, Rockingham has easily adapted to a paperless environment. Scanning files requires training and the college has review measures in place to ensure documents are properly scanned. As soon as the scanned information is approved within their system, hard copy files are shredded.
“Once you showed people what it was going to do, there was just this excitement and a happy glow on their faces,” said Moore. “They thought ‘Oh wow, this is going to be amazing!’"
Now, the college receives requests from staﬀ to add more e-forms online.
“Everyone has gotten used to it and can’t imagine not doing it online. Every time we have a meeting, they’ll ask ‘Can you put this form online?’ I’ve got a stack of forms now that I’m going to be working on for different areas,” said Evans.