2013 spring honorees

Data Warehouse & Enrollment Management at Valdosta State University

Capture the Flag

It costs much more to recruit new students than to keep the ones you have, which is why retention is so important to colleges and universities.

With a 67 percent one-year retention rate costing $6.5 million in lost revenue annually, Valdosta State University (Ga.) officials knew they had to act. The problem was data that could have helped identify remedies were sorely lacking, and what little information the institution possessed was difficult to access and analyze.

Student Services Division at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College

Emulating the DMV

Until 2009, students at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College (N.C.) could wait as long as two hours to be seen by a counselor in student services, which includes the offices of admissions, advising, financial aid, and the registrar. After signing in on a sheet of paper in one of the four offices, students waited to be seen. Sometimes they were then referred to another office, where they got in the back of the line. The process was not only time-consuming, but  frustrating.

Division of Human Resources Employment Department at Miami Dade College

Video Recruiting

Despite a freeze introduced three years ago on full-time hiring, which was necessitated by statewide funding cuts to higher education, Miami Dade College still regularly hires part-time workers to fill support roles.

Its eight campuses have 6,200 employees, and at any given time there are between 300 and 700 openings, shares Iliana Castillo-Frick, vice provost of human resources. Available jobs comprise noninstructional jobs—including clerical, facilities, public safety, administration, and supervisory roles—as well as adjunct professor jobs on the instructional side.

Registration and Records Office at University of Wisconsin-Stout

Under Their Noses

The piece of paper. That’s what students are shooting for—a diploma, the tangible proof that they’ve met all requirements, completed the courses they had to complete, and graduated.

Who wants to wait for that?

University of Wisconsin-Stout graduates didn’t have any choice.

Registration and Records Office at University of Wisconsin-Stout

Record Time

For newly minted alumni poised to land their first job or continue their studies in grad school, few items are more important than the transcript. Proof that the work was done, the grade earned, and the degree awarded, the transcript serves as the institution’s stamp of approval.

Admissions Department & Administrative Computer Services at Johnson County Community College

Coordinated Communications

Historically, all 26,000 annual applicants to Johnson County Community College (Kan.) received up to three printed communiqués regarding their admissions status. While more information is usually better, the problem with JCCC’s process was that pieces of communication were not sent in chronological order. This created confusion for students.

College Television at Miami Dade College

Online Marketing Alternative

Miami Dade College is the largest and most diverse higher ed institution in the U.S., serving a community as large as the state of Rhode Island. It has 175,000 students and offers more than 300 academic degree programs. Despite its large student body, MDC could serve even more students, so it spends thousands of dollars each year on marketing via the web, radio, and newspaper to attract new applicants.

Enterprise Applications at Creighton University

Under the Hood

Freshman move-in day: It’s hot, you’re hauling boxes into your room, you hope you have a good roommate, you’re worried about your class schedule, you need to get to the bookstore to stock up on required reading, and on and on and on. About the last thing you want to do is stand in line to register your car with public safety.

Accounts Payable Department at Loyola University Chicago

The Check's in the Mail

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more paper-laden function than accounts payable. Receipts, invoices, check requests, purchase orders, contracts, and more keep A/P personnel knee-deep in forms and documentation.

Loyola University Chicago’s accounts payable staff processes about 50,000 transactions among its three campuses annually—and 80 percent of them involved hard-copy documents. In many cases, A/P was not the final stop on the trail for this paperwork, and lost items were common, leading to processing delays and dissatisfaction among stakeholders.