In this customer story, our Customer Enablement Specialists, Deepa P. and Bethany L., spoke with Diane Hausler, Assistant Director of Advising at Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC), about how Cognito Forms has helped to eliminate many paper processes and collect information from students in a more seamless manner.
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What is your role at CVTC?
Diane: I am the Assistant director of Advising, and I’ve worked with students as an Academic advisor for 60 years. I mainly oversee the assessment area – If students need to take tests, I proctor them and serve as the liaison between college processes and the State for HSED and GED applications.
What areas are you currently using Cognito Forms in?
Diane: Currently, we are using Cognito Forms in two areas – the application for the Health Education Systems Incorporated (HESI) and the General Educational Development (GED) Test. Students must take the HESI exam for Healthcare Education and that is offered remotely, so we are using Cognito Forms to get that process started for students who are taking the exam.
We also just recently re-did both forms to include workflow. It made it easier for us because now with workflow, I don’t have to merge the information into a PDF for others to access, and it’s a seamless process for everyone involved. Currently, half of the team is using the new form with workflow, and I want to start having the entire team use it!
Could you provide us with a brief overview of the admissions process?
Diane: There are essentially three parts to the admissions process. The recruitment team, the admissions team, and the Recruit CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system we use to process applications.
- The Recruitment team:
This team connects with prospective students who want more information. This team also includes web developers and IT professionals who manage our public site, which has phone, email, and chat features available for students to learn more.
- The Admissions team:
This team handles processing student applications and determining the next steps needed to move the students to acceptance. We use an ERP (Ellucian Banner) system that stores school information such as courses, transcript requests, etc.
- Recruit CRM:
This system is used to process the admissions applications and allows the admissions team to send communications to students. Implementing the “Recruit” CRM system has helped us adjust our processes to be more virtual and automated, especially after COVID-19. This system helps us communicate with students and automatically updates our banner system.
Do students use the banner system to make requests and interact with everything that the registrar’s office is involved in?
Diane: Students interact with our SIS (Student Information System), which is what lays on top of Banner, to order unofficial transcripts and register for classes. It’s a page on the CVTC website where students can go to access any necessary form. Many students would ask us for help with things, and this system would help them with answering their questions directly rather than having the students immediately head to the registrar’s office. COVID really helped us find new ways to virtually achieve the same goals.
How do students come across the GED form?
Diane: A student will contact the Adult Education and College Prep department – this department has the link to the form, so they will send that link to the student and the student will fill it out. The majority of the forms are for the staff tracking the student requirements and used mainly once a student has declared that they want to get their GED.
The ACEP (Application and Checklist for HSED/GED) is the new form we are working with. The student fills out the beginning section, and, once they submit it, an email is sent to the staff member they are working with.
Once the student picks the staff member they are working with, the form immediately populates with the staff member’s email.
The requirements section is next, and the staff member fills out that information about the student.
I am the GED Manager, and I’m responsible for approving the information and form thus far. The form might sit for a bit at this stage because the instructor must work with the student to ensure their information is entered correctly.
Once the instructor signs off, the Dean receives the form and is asked to sign off and gets an email once the instructor submits the form.
Where I got more zealous using the form: When the application is submitted to the state, everyone who worked on the form until this point will get a pdf with all the information entered on the form, and they can save that locally for later use or records keeping.
Once I get the credentials in the mail from the state, I will return to the form to specify that CVTC has received the credentials from the state. Once I submit it, the student gets an email saying the process has been completed and their credentials have been received (previously, we were just calling the student at the end of the process to inform them, and the student receiving the email is a feature that was recently added).
A copy of the form is sent back to the staff members involved in this process.
What I think has been the best part of it is the ability for the instructor to upload documents directly into the form, which then sends me an email with everything I need to be able to process. I can just download and grab the documents that I need.Diane Hausler, CVTC
How has the use of the workflow feature been helpful for you?
Diane: I’ve only processed a few applications through the new form with the workflow, but it used to take me 10 minutes to process all the information, whereas now the time has been cut in half.
We originally had the Dean sign the document in a word document, save it as a PDF, and then email it to me, which was extremely tedious, but using the workflow has made this process much easier.
All emails and information are stored in Cognito Forms, and I can see what stage that person is in even if I accidentally deleted an email. I can easily find it and open it, and everything I need is right there. Reattaching documents is something I also don’t need to worry about when using workflow and has saved us a great deal of time.
The goal when working with the other teams is to eliminate the use of multiple forms and spreadsheets where we must track things. We now don’t need to use separate spreadsheets to store information elsewhere and can simply use Cognito Forms to house the information.