From student enrollment to transfer applications, parent-teacher conferences and payroll, the education system distributes large quantities of documents every day. Whether a student, teacher, or faculty member, all are affected by the heavy paper trails existing in school districts from elementary to high school, college and beyond. The management of this paperwork is critical to ensuring a respectable reputable educational environment, and it must be organized efficiently.
Document management software is a proven paperless solution, enabling school systems to decrease their paper load, by becoming more efficient and enabling students and educators to save time and confusion that often arises with missing or inaccurate paperwork. Here are the most common paper-based challenges in the education industry and how they can be resolved with document management software.
Challenge: Organizing, Storing, and Managing Records
Solution: As students progress the more paperwork is put into their file. A document management solution integrates all paperwork into one secure area accessible from your desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. This in return eliminates the need for on or offsite storage, saving your organization costs while repurposing square footage. Forms, emails and images for each and every attendee of an entire city school district can easily be stored and accessed by faculty with the appropriate permissions. Managing records is immediately streamlined as there is no longer a need to make photocopies or wait for approval on a handwritten document. This not only increases productivity, but it makes the document storage process error free, worry free, and simple.
Challenge: Search, Retrieval, and Distribution of Papers
Solution: With document management software, there is no need to print, distribute and send home paperwork with the students anymore. Document management delivers mobile access, giving parents the option to view progress reports and student transcripts from home, with insant visibility to their child's academic progress through the use of a public access portal. Search functionalities are also made simple. In a paper environment, when an administrator needs to access a document, they have to fill out a request form that could end up getting lost in the paper shuffle and take time to be approved. But document management software provides workflow capabilities that make the routing and retrieval of requests and approvals much quicker. Once the request is put in, the administrator will be notified that their permission is needed to grant access to a document. A time table can be set, so that way, if the form isn’t signed, notification reminders can be sent informing them of the task awaiting their attention.
Challenge: Document Heavy Enrollment Processes
Solution: Waiting to register for classes can be a long process. But with document management software the enrollment process is automated, eliminating the hassle of waiting in line and having to schedule meetings with your advisor. Instead of squeezing a meeting into your busy schedule, a workflow is set up when you have selected the classes you want to take, a notification is sent that informs your advisor that your registration list is complete. Once approval is granted, every student is then given an enrollment time slot and can then complete registration right from their computer. With intuitive web forms embedded on a website, both students and advisors can also manage class selections, find out how many seats are left and the qualifications and prerequisites needed.
Challenge: Staying Compliant
Solution: With the increasing number of education regulations, the need to stay compliant is more critical than ever. With document management software files can be monitored and audited to stay compliant with FERPA regulations, with consent forms and other important information securely stored together. Document management software also allows you to set password locks for certain documents, record retention notifications, and it even provides an audit transaction trail to see who has viewed or made changes to a document and when. This leaves you with rock solid proof if your records management system is ever questioned or when it’s time to prepare for an audit.
Whether your school system is K-12 or higher education, leading it down the pathway to a digital solution is incredibly beneficial. It will not only help eliminate paper-based files, but it will provide students, educators, and more with the tools to focus on streamlined productivity. If you’re ready to graduate to a paperless process today, contact Square 9!