Spring 2023 SUNYRA Conference
Oct 1, 2023
Today’s higher education institutions are increasingly interested in attracting transfer students. Well over 1 million students transfer each academic year, and the desire to meet the needs of student mobility is key to institutional success. That’s where Parchment Receive, Data Automation [powered by Smart Panda] comes into play.
In this on-demand webinar, A New Way to Automate Transcripts as Data, we spoke with current users of Parchment’s Data Automation tool, [powered by Smart Panda], to discuss how implementing OCR technology and data import tools can help process incoming transcripts and increase the efficiency of their admissions office. The panelists shared how these tools have helped increase efficiency and responsiveness in their respective universities.
Christopher Mott, Director of Admissions Processing at Northern Arizona University, shared his success with Data Automation, Parchment’s OCR tool [powered by Smart Panda], that helps reduce the time it takes to process their transfer transcripts from a month to just two business days. He explained how the tool has become more accurate over time, requiring minimal manual correction. “It’s about 96% accurate at this point. And then really for users, it’s a matter of just double checking to make sure that the inaccuracies are found and corrected in PeopleSoft,” he said.
At Indiana University, Dan McDevitt discussed their implementation of the EDI/XML import tool [powered by Smart Panda] to streamline the intake of XML data from high school and college transcripts. He highlighted the importance of responsiveness and efficiency for transfer students, stating, “The faster you can get a decision out to a transfer student, especially the more likely they are to move forward. And so that’s a critical piece to improving yield across your university.”
The panelists emphasized the importance of collaboration and communication between various departments and stakeholders when implementing these tools. This collaboration ensures that everyone’s needs are met and that the tools are tailored to the specific requirements of each institution.
Todd Neal from Indiana University shared his experience with the implementation of the EDI/XML import tool [powered by Smart Panda] explaining that the Information Technology Department worked closely with the functional partners in admissions to ensure the tool met their needs. He also highlighted the ease of updating the add-on in PeopleSoft, with only one update needed since going live.
Mott from Northern Arizona University advised preparing the IT team in advance to ensure a smooth implementation process. “The more prep you can do with your IT team, just making sure that you’re bringing in that tool and getting it on as a project, will just make the whole thing go a lot quicker,” he said.
The panelists also discussed the potential future use of OCR and data import tools for prospective students. They envisioned a scenario where students could upload their unofficial transcripts and see how their credits would articulate at the university they are considering.
McDevitt from Indiana University expressed optimism about the future capabilities that automation could provide for learners and for an institution, “I see that as a huge recruiting solution and tool for prospective students.” This would provide students with valuable information and transparency, making it easier for them to make an informed decision about their college choices.