On December 6, 2019, Lehman College was awarded the Collaboration Award for the digital transformation success of its Transfer Credit Process, titled Electronic Transfer Credit Evaluation (eTCE). Using ProcessMaker, the college has taken its formerly manual entry process and digitized and automated it to increase efficiency, agility, and productivity across its campus.
A broken Transfer Credit Process
Lehman College is the City University of New York’s only four-year college in the Bronx. Lehman was facing a challenge felt by universities not just native to the CUNY system, but to higher education institutions all over the nation. Over 68 percent of Lehman’s students are transfer students, placing great pressure to innovate. Up until recently, transfer evaluations were part of a multi-step process riddled with time constraints, physical back-and-forth, and poor student experience.
“We were sending students new to our campus all over. We would send them a map, we gave them a directory, the form, and then we said, ‘Okay, now go find them.’ Even when they did find faculty, sometimes those members weren’t around due to scheduling matters or common advising days on campus [known as CDAD],” shared Christie Lucchese, Transfer Evaluation Coordinator from Lehman College.
On the student side, the process to transfer credits was daunting. The form to complete was upwards of four pages long, involving manual entry on behalf of students who then had to give this information, physically, over to staff.
From this point, staff would then input the recorded information into a system by hand, which took several days (if not weeks) and was prone to human errors. Sometimes if a form was handed in incomplete, the university would place a hold on the student registering for classes, limiting the student from taking the credits needed to continue their degree or even graduate. Due to a lack of electronic databases available, there was no way to track these forms, how many courses were pending, and how many signatures were needed to complete the process.
Both parties experienced great frustration in between the peak enrollment times between January and August, with students often waiting in long lines to see the Registrar and the staff unable to process all of the requests in a timely manner. Most of the time, students were not notified about the approval or rejection of their credits until September, further damaging the student experience on campus. Quickly realizing this process was no longer sustainable nor productive for staff and students alike, Lehman College sought to digitize into a smart campus using ProcessMaker.
ProcessMaker as an end-to-end solution
ProcessMaker is unique in its approach to workflow and business process management (BPM) with a focus on an intuitive interface for university staff to create solutions to address complex workflows using “drag-and-drop” functionality. Lehman College took advantage of these factors and built its current Transfer Credit Process called the Electronic Transfer Credit Evaluation (eTCE) in ProcessMaker.
Since its implementation, over 5,500 unique courses have been evaluated. 520 institutions within the CUNY system, along with those outside of CUNY, have adopted this new process. On average, there is an eight-day turnaround time. Over 1,000 unique student records have been updated, resulting in $20,000 savings.
In addition to quantitative success, there are several qualitative improvements seen among the schools using this new workflow. For faculty, evaluations can be done anywhere and the work is now easily divided among staff members, making completing the evaluations in a timely manner possible. The new electronic process is significantly less stressful for students by eliminating physical hand-offs to staff. The digital form also lowers the chance to repeat a course due to error or delay while increasing the likelihood of getting the required courses in their first semester. Financial aid is used more intelligently on the students’ end as well.
“We are very excited to launch the next generation of our higher education solution. We hope to continue innovating within the industry, helping universities like Lehman College to enhance their efficiency and improve the student experience across campus,” says Brian Reale, CEO of ProcessMaker.
ProcessMaker offers the flexibility and scalability needed to meet a wide range of higher education needs. The company is set to launch its latest intelligent business process management software (iBPMs) offering, ProcessMaker 4, in late January 2020. Ready to learn more about ProcessMaker’s cloud-based, workflow automation platform for your university? Sign up for our webinar on January 24th at 12:00 pm EST to discover how ProcessMaker can streamline higher education.
About Lehman College
Lehman College is the City University of New York’s only four-year college in the Bronx, serving the borough and surrounding region as an intellectual, economic, and cultural center. Lehman provides undergraduate and graduate studies in the liberal arts and sciences and professional education within a dynamic research environment. With a diverse student body of more than 14,000 students and more than 81,000 alumni, Lehman offers more than 90 undergraduate and graduate programs. Ranked as having the fourth highest mobility rate in the nation by the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Equality of Opportunity Project, Lehman is a proud catalyst for economic and social mobility for its students, almost half of whom are first-generation, college students.
ProcessMaker is a low-code business process management and workflow software. ProcessMaker makes it easy for business analysts to collaborate with IT to automate complex business processes connecting people and existing company systems. Headquartered in Durham, North Carolina in the United States, ProcessMaker has a partner network spread across 35 countries on five continents. Hundreds of commercial customers, including many Fortune 100 companies, rely on ProcessMaker to digitally transform their core business processes enabling faster decision making, improved compliance, and better performance.
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