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Electronic records are helping to solve storage problems for Rebecca Turner of Central New Mexico Community College, where 4,000 boxes of personnel files and other records must be retained for up to 55 years.

Around 4,000 boxes of paper records fill the shelves in Central New Mexico Community College’s storage area. And many of these boxes—those containing employee personnel files, for example—must remain in storage for up to 55 years before they can be destroyed.

It’s a big reason why CNMCC has embraced electronic records management, says Rebecca Turner, records and property control manager for the Albuquerque college.

Of all the new ideas bubbling to the surface in building state-of-the-art science centers, the one theme that was constant across all Inside Look submissions was creating spaces that foster collaboration—both among students and teachers within a specific science, as well as across all science disciplines. One school even calls its science center a “collaboratory.”

Thanks to the use of image capturing verification processes,  students and graduates of Shenandoah U in Virginia need not worry about the accuracy of their electronic transcripts.

Despite the benefits of electronic document management systems, college and university compliance efforts can be undermined by faulty management.

Providers were asked to share their thoughts on what higher ed institutions aren’t paying enough attention to when it comes to compliance and electronic documents/records management. Here’s what they told us:

One way to determine if a visitor management program is successful is to measure whether it has reduced crime on campus.

Since the University of Southern California in 2012 enclosed its campus with fencing and shut down access to visitors each night, the number of thefts occurring between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. has dropped by nearly 50 percent, says David Carlisle, deputy chief at the university’s Department of Public Safety.

IT officials at any institution considering outsourcing help desk support will need to weigh the pros and cons to determine whether budget and IT operations mesh with an external provider

The IT department at Widener University in Chester, Pa., was at a crisis point. Unexpected IT staff turnover and high demand for more technology resources intersected, leaving the university grappling with how to provide help desk support. The school had walk-in centers that were open into the evenings, but overall, coverage wasn’t keeping up with demand.

Making connections: Christine Siegel (left), associate VP for  academic affairs at Fairfield University, and grad student Stacie  Miles (right) help support students in the early college program—such as Brieanna Daniels, a senior attending high school in neighboring Bridgeport—to succeed in their college courses.

In the fall of 2012, Connecticut neighbors Fairfield University, University of Bridgeport and Housatonic Community College launched a dual-enrollment program, which initially served 78 high school students. From Bridgeport Public Schools, the students got a chance to take college-level courses for simultaneous high school and college credit.

Providing 1-to-1 support: Georgia Perimeter College Dual Enrollment program student Travis Crawford (left) works on a physics project under the instruction of Vivian Mativo and Fred Buls.

The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) defines concurrent enrollment—a subset of the dual-enrollment approach—as providing college-credit-bearing courses taught to high school students exclusively by college-approved high school teachers.

The NACEP program also requires that high school teachers and college faculty collaborate on aligning the secondary and postsecondary curriculums.

Administrators in the IT department at the University of Ottawa help get staff in other business units excited about CRM by explaining its benefits. (Photo: Sang Trinh)

Vanderbilt University’s medical school is among the best in the country, but its officials still wanted to create awareness of it with prospective students—those who are only in high school.

The undergraduate admissions office had deployed a constituent relationship management (CRM) system, but university officials knew from the outset that the system could be used across campus to share information and target students for specialized programs.

A 2013 Noel-Levitz E-Expectations Report of incoming college students found that 78 percent have regular access to a mobile device. And while that number has probably crept higher for 2014, what about the approximately one in five college students who don’t have that access?

For many low-income and first-generation college students, owning a smart phone, tablet or laptop is simply not a reality. What is a reality is that this situation creates educational barriers for these students.

Workforce development has long been a bastion of the community college environment. But with student-loan debt topping $1 trillion and enrollments falling, many four-year colleges and universities are devoting more attention to the area, in part as a way to boost their own relevance within a challenging global economy.