Innovative Technology Improves Higher Education Staff and Student Experience

docuWareTillamook Bay Community College rolled out DocuWare to the entire college in order to provide faculty and staff with easy access to information to facilitate advising and streamline the registration process for students. The higher ed institution was also able to utilize DocuWare to collaborate with instructors and develop standardized curriculum and teaching guidelines.

Tillamook Bay Community College (TBCC) is a small college serving students on Oregon’s rural coast for over 30 years. In 2015, the college was accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and offers its students eight different degrees and programs.

TBCC is committed to continuous improvement through the Lean process, which works to minimize wasted time and resources, define what is valuable, and focuses on improving the processes that provide value. Each department has at least one trained person who can facilitate Lean methods which has resulted in a culture embracing positive change.

The college received a $2.5 million Title III grant from the US Department of Education to be used in-part to improve business processes and to increase efficiency and resource utilization. The grant also has an emphasis on strengthening the institution through technology and resource development. Overall, TBCC wanted to use this grant to enhance the student, faculty and administration experience, by providing easy access to information to facilitate advising and streamline the registration process for students. The college was equally focused on strengthening teaching and learning technologies and providing instructors with standardized curriculum and guidelines.

Requirements

As part of these big-picture improvements, they knew they needed to efficiently share information. They wanted to implement a document management system that was reasonably priced, had a manageable annual maintenance fee, could integrate with their ERP and Student Information System (Jenzabar), while also able to be customized to meet the needs of each department.

Solution

The college worked with their IT vendor and Authorized DocuWare Partner to evaluate, select, and install DocuWare. Before implementing the solution, the college did a Lean analysis to determine how much of an impact electronic document management could have on the college. The results showed a significant time and organizational savings were waiting to be realized. Additionally, DocuWare could also be customized to serve as a curriculum development software instead of buying a separate, much more expensive solution.

TBCC decided to move forward and implement the solution to most of their departments. They worked with their IT vendor to set up digital workflows, create customized electronic filing cabinets for each department, and develop an implementation schedule that would work for the college’s unique needs. They rolled out the solution to 4 departments over a 12 week period. Each department went through a two hour Skype training class and then started scanning, importing, and automatically indexing their documents. Every three weeks another department came on board. Most historical documents brought into the system were paper-based and needed to be scanned and indexed. New records are typically electronic and can be easily imported into DocuWare. One of the staff members in the Student Services department had prior experience using DocuWare at a previous employer and was onsite and available to help each department get up and running.

DocuWare was first piloted in the Human Resource department for personnel files and training records. The HR department’s experience was used to fine tune the DocuWare training and help get the next department off the ground.

The Business Services department digitized all payroll files which provide the basis for many reports, all annual budgets, annual auditor reports, and general ledger reports. The college’s foundation is now managing donation records, financial reports, and endowment agreements with DocuWare. DocuWare was rolled out to the Student Services department to handle student transcripts, transcript requests, all secure documents and documents that have retention guidelines, as well as all financial aid documents, and recently, all veteran’s documents.

“As each department came on board, we discovered we were building a DocuWare user’s group that was willing and able to assist as more departments came online,” said Ray Hoyt, Title III Project Director for Tillamook Bay Community College.

Benefits

“One of the big reasons our DocuWare roll out was such a success was because our IT vendor worked with us to develop a customized training and implementation ‘ramp-up’ approach that allowed us to continually roll out the solution to our departments. The process reinforced TBCC’s development of a learning community around documents and DocuWare. DocuWare has saved us weeks of time, in terms of finding needed information,” said Hoyt.

Once the college had developed their community of DocuWare users and felt very comfortable with the solution, they were ready to tackle their curriculum development needs with DocuWare. The Instructional department started digitizing all their curriculum documents including; syllabi, course outcomes, guidelines and other documents and standardized their curriculum in accordance with college accreditation standards and guidelines. DocuWare allowed the department to preserve the integrity of a document’s original native format, allowing for easy review and editing of materials. The department chose to archive both current and out-of-date curriculum in order to maintain the connection between past student records and past curriculum records. Additionally, using DocuWare for curriculum development allowed the college to avoid spending $40,000 or more on a stand-alone curriculum management system.

Conclusion

DocuWare gives Tillamook Bay Community College the ability to improve the student, faculty and administration experience. Meeting the new college-wide initiative of enhanced advising is now possible because the college has the ability to share appropriate student information between Student Services, Financial Aid, Registration and Faculty Advisors.

With curriculum securely stored in a central repository, the college reaps the benefits of having accredited, standardized and accessible curriculum documents. The administration and business side of the college continues to streamline and enjoy more efficient operations.

“We thought moving our documents into DocuWare would be a long process, but with the ability to customize our approach thanks to our vendor and DocuWare being flexible and patient, we’ve exceeded our 5 year Title III grant goal of number of documents digitized at year 3. This means we’ve made a 332% improvement in digitizing our documents. Which makes us all very happy,” said Hoyt.

DocuWare Corporation | 4 Crotty Lane, Suite 200 | New Windsor, NY 12553    (888) 565-5907 | www.docuware.com

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