How to Easily Manage Student Documents
When it comes to our institutions of learning, the data, like new pupils, never stops coming in. Every student generates a seemingly endless stream of paperwork, from applications to transcripts. Then there are also the documents regarding faculty, staff, management, maintenance, vendor relations, and so on.
From sparsely-populated school districts to the largest universities in the country, education professionals are constantly overwhelmed by the amount of pages and files that need to be created, processed, curated, stored, and easily accessed.
Just a few of the typical documents you will find in the education sector include:
- Personnel records
- Student transcripts
- Financial aid documentation
- Admissions forms
- Recommendation letters
- Student health records
Relying on a paper-based storage system for containing such a massive amount of information is impractical. In addition to the amount of storage space required, physical storage presents a pronounced security issue—keeping up with who has had, currently has, or will have access to the documentation is its own unique challenge.
For this reason, most schools choose to manage their documents digitally, using a reliable student document solution in conjunction with their chosen CRM or ERP. These solutions can provide answers to many of the problems associated with managing an overload of physical reports, documents, and information. However, it’s important to choose a secure system, as a digital option can come with certain risks, depending on the solution.
Let’s go over some of the most important things to know about student information systems and how to choose the best one for your institution’s needs.
Why Does Your School Need a Student Document Solution?
Using the right document solution has a host of benefits. Apart from helping the environment and your bottom line by doing away with a reliance on a considerable amount of paper, these document management solutions make indexing invoices, managing records, and digitizing data effortless. The top reasons to invest in a reliable, user-friendly document solution are:
1. Secure Student Records Storage
Many schools fret about the security of their documents, and for good reason. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of students’ educational records. Document confidentiality is the key to aligning with FERPA requirements. The right educational document solution ensures that all confidential data is only accessible by authorized users to keep data safe and your institution in compliance. Switching to a cloud-based solution not only guarantees privacy and security, but protects data against loss, overwriting, or access without the proper credentials.
2. Efficient Processes and Operations
Some document management systems can be integrated with your school’s existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to offer all-around easier processing. This means that all information collected by your document management system can flow to and from your customer relationship management (CRM) system, giving you a quick and easy way to find documents.
3. Human Resources Management
An institution’s HR department also benefits when it can effectively store and manage crucial documents. Things like getting employee contracts signed or onboarding new faculty members can be simplified with the right system.
How Do You Create The Best Student Document Management System?
When creating a student document management system that best suits your institution’s requirements, the steps you follow will depend on whether you are working in a digital-only environment or a hybrid protocol that uses both physical and digital records. Regardless of the case, you can follow these tips:
- Create a document management strategy specific to your institution’s needs
- Implement the document management plan
- Follow through and assess your ongoing plan
The first step is the most detailed, and involves thorough planning and foresight. The process starts by answering these questions:
- What rules do you currently follow for creating documents?
- How will you be storing your existing and incoming documents?
- How can you simplify the process of retrieving documents?
- How can you keep your documents secure and FERPA-compliant?
After answering the above questions for your school’s processes, you can move to the next step and implement your plan. Ensure you communicate the changes to all staff members — answering their questions, being open to feedback, and providing any instruction they might need. Enact regular check-ins to assess the efficacy of the plan, and adjust accordingly.
How Do You Find the Best Document Solution for Your School?
There are no one-size-fits-all solutions, but there is certainly a digital document solution that best fits your school’s situation. The key to getting the best system for your school—and the best results for your students, employees, workload, and processes—is to clearly understand your needs, and apply the most suitable practices. Here are the factors to consider:
- The scale of your school operations
- The range of data and information to be managed
- The levels of security required
- Your school’s budget (both in total and in what can be allocated for the system)
- Usage volume (how much and how frequently data will be created, stored, and accessed)
OnTask offers an easy-to-use, scalable K-12 and higher education document solution. No matter what your institution’s size and needs might be, OnTask can help you run your institution more securely and efficiently.
Why OnTask Is the Right Solution for Your School
OnTask offers seamless, standardized digital documents, reducing time wasted looking for files and managing multiple versions or formats of essential educational reports. It makes routing documents simple, efficient, and affordable, thanks to the numerous templates and customizable features in place to help you get started. Other benefits of using OnTask include:
- Saving time and money: OnTask allows you to quickly convert paper documents to a digital format, reducing redundant, time-and resource-draining tasks. Only authorized users can access records and can do so from any device, at any time to ensure your institution stays within FERPA guidelines.
- Generating reusable templates quickly: OnTask features a template library with numerous education and HR focused workflow templates that can easily be customized to fit your institution’s needs, even as they evolve. And, you can create your own templates from scratch or get help building for special processes.
- Collaborating on a single interface: All internal staff and external users like students, parents, and vendors can sign and review documents within OnTask, with no special log-in required. OnTask is accessible from any device and allows you to send documents via SMS text, email, embedded site links, or QR code.
- Providing peace of mind through data security: OnTask is FERPA, HIPAA, and SOC 2 compliant with certified digital signatures that you can track and multi-layer encryption to keep student and employee data safe.
Start simplifying your workflow and saving time with OnTask. Request a demo today.