While the student should be at the center of most of an institution’s decision-making processes, many student information systems (SIS) are actually barriers to turning that vision a reality. In many cases, leaders want an SIS that allows for simpler data management and analysis processes that can move the institution forward. Making full use of a modern SIS that fully supports this function should be a top priority in a higher education institution’s strategic plan.
While a student information system can help a lot of departments across campus, outlined below are three domains that could see substantial improvements with an SIS that enables more effective use of data.
Admissions and enrollment veterans may remember spending hours collecting, sifting through, and inputting piles of student data into their student information system during student admissions and class registration events. Tracking student progress from inquiry to enrollment through graduation can be a complex process. The good news is that this information can provide great insight into student experiences. Whether an institution uses open enrollment, term-based admissions, or has an early exit program, enrollment officers should be able to leverage an SIS that supports them in capturing data that will help them make decisions to remain competitive in the higher learning market.
The admissions department is not the only department in the enrollment process that benefits from having a robust data collection system. Online payment processing and financial aid systems also heavily depend upon having data that transitions with the student. The entire university benefits from having an integrated system that allows departments to share data when needed.
Predictive analytics has proven to be a crucial element for student success programs at many higher education institutions. Student enrollment data like SAT and ACT scores can help indicate what supports will be needed for students to succeed through graduation.
Similarly, the prevalence of online and hybrid education classes during COVID-19 can introduce significant insight. Monitoring data like how often students log in to the online learning system can alert professors to which students may need a personal touch. It’s also possible for faculty to create reward systems for students who perform well and may require an extra challenge.
Student advising and career guidance counselors can deeply benefit from having real-time student data at their fingertips. Advisors can get a feel for what learning and social supports may best be suited for their advisees. Career counselors are better able to connect their students to resources that prepare their students for internships and jobs post-graduation.
Monitoring retention and completion rates are major priorities for any higher education institution. However, student retention should never be designated to just one department. The entire university system is an equal partner in creating an environment that supports and encourages students through to completion.
An institution’s SIS is a tool that can help higher education leaders to communicate and strategize across departments. Features like dashboards that report student data in real time are critical. The right SIS can help pinpoint and create intervention tactics that address student risk factors.
Every higher education institution has the opportunity to use data that supports its mission and vision. Decision-makers must ensure they have the proper tools that aid in the process of data collection and analysis. Download our free white paper to learn more about what institutions should look for when considering modernizing a student information system.
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