With Help from Datatel, an Idaho College Opens for Business
The College of Western Idaho was still more than a year away from holding its first class. A thousand details needed to be resolved. Not least among them was the installation of a computer network that would serve the fledgling college’s seven campuses.
Administrators had to consider every facet of running a large institution: admissions, enrollment, registration, course schedules, hiring, payroll, and much more. The college needed a software provider that could deliver the goods and follow through with remote systems management, application development, and help with strategic planning. Datatel fit the bill.
In December 2007 the college contracted with Datatel to provide the entire Colleague suite of software, an advanced enterprise resource planning solution designed specifically for higher education. "We needed a vendor to get the system up and running as fast as possible, and that was Datatel," says Kim Channpraseut, the college's enterprise applications services manager.
Today, Colleague software at the College of Western Idaho helps manage student records, curriculum, finance, human resources - in other words, just about every piece of information that needs managing. Meanwhile, the college began to implement the Datatel Portal, enabling greater communication and collaboration throughout the college community.
When Channpraseut arrived in March 2008, the college had only 16 employees. Today it has more than 300. The college used Datatel's Colleague Workflow Management Solution to automate new hire processing. "We really look to Datatel and Datatel’s partners to provide us with the best industry products," Channpraseut says.
Datatel provided consulting and onsite training for the college and helped solve problems unique to its status as a new institution. To help enroll its first students, the college relied on a sister school, the College of Southern Idaho, to process student registration, financial aid, and billing. Datatel then provided the programming needed to import the information into the College of Western Idaho’s Colleague system.
"Datatel has been very helpful in getting the two systems to talk together," Channpraseut says.
Of course, the work did not end when 1,200 students enrolled for the college's first semester in January 2009. By September, enrollment for the fall semester blossomed to 3,500. To accommodate the increase, the college looked to Datatel to create an automated application process. Students can now go online to apply, and their applications are then automatically imported into the college's Colleague system.
"We contracted with Datatel to do the programming on that import," Channpraseut says. "Our admissions office was really struggling with processing paper applications, so we went back to Datatel."
With the college now functioning, it needed a system in which faculty, students, administrators, and staff could communicate with each other. That's where Datatel’s Portal comes in handy.
"Implementing the portal is going to be essential to our organization," Channpraseut says. "As our institution grows, the Portal will act as a personalized gateway for students, faculty, and staff to share information from any location with an Internet connection."
Throughout nearly two years on the job, Channpraseut has been able to call on the same Datatel representative, providing a vital consistency of service. "The dedicated business practice manager has been an invaluable asset to our implementation," she says. "As we continue to grow our administrative and academic functions, we plan to leverage Datatel's Strategic Academic Enterprise and relationships with partner vendors."
For more information please visit www.datatel.com or call 1-800-DATATEL.
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