5 Ways BPM Software Helps Higher Education Institutions

Matriculation is a complicated process made even more complex by factors like financial aid administration, enrollment by foreign students, dual-enrollment agreements with local high schools, and arrangements for on-campus housing. Each of these processes involves forms and workflows, and when they’re poorly managed, the result can be chaos.


Countless behind-the-scenes tasks are involved in moving students through a college or university.

Business process management (BPM) software is the comprehensive solution that higher education turns to for addressing these challenges. With a powerful, flexible BPM software solution that doesn’t require an IT degree to use, the administration for an institute of higher education can drastically cut down on paper usage, manual processes, and mistakes that can derail the enrolment process. Here are 5 ways BPM software helps higher education institutions immediately and over the long term.

1. By Automating Formerly Labor-Intensive Processes

The simple act of registering for classes used to be an exercise in persistence and often frustration. Even in a very small school, creating workable student schedules and generating rolls for instructors and professors can be remarkably complicated. BPM software is perfect for such labor-intensive, often iterative processes. Anything from registering for parking to ordering a cap and gown for graduation can be streamlined and made paper-free, saving everyone time, hassle, and money.  BPM can easily connect to backend systems that may already be involved in the process.  However, BPM Software adds the flexibility to route and approve requests in a custom manner.

2. By On-Boarding New Students in Record Time

Bringing in new students requires dozens of procedures, and many (like providing proof of vaccination) have to be completed to comply with government regulations. Therefore, there’s no room for mistakes or lost forms. Most, if not all, on-boarding processes for new students can be put online and automatically routed to all the proper stakeholders at every step so that no steps are missed, and worries about illegible or lost forms go away. Many of these processes can start as soon as a student commits to enrolling in your school.  Again, BPM Software will help patch manual forms to excel to email and to existing systems so that an institution does not throw out investments it has already made or older systems like AS400 it may have in place.

3. By Allowing Students to Take Care of Issues Before Arriving on Campus

Whether starting to a college or university for the first time or returning, the first few days of a new semester used to involve a lot of legwork, a lot of signatures, and making sure forms made it to certain offices on time. But BPM software lets you put many of these processes online, so that returning students can take care of them between semesters and new students can complete them before leaving home. Knowing their student ID, dorm assignment, and schedule are already taken care of upon arrival takes much of the stress out of a new semester, for students and staff.

4. By Letting Students Track Progress Toward Their Degrees


Tracking progress toward a degree can be motivating and prevent omission of important steps.

Before BPM software allowed students to track progress toward degrees, a missed appointment with an advisor, or a piece of US mail that got lost could lead a student to think he had fulfilled all requirements even if he hadn’t. BPM software can be used so that each student can see at any time how far she has progressed toward her degree, and what steps still need to be taken. It means far fewer miscommunications and misunderstandings, and ensures advisors and students are always on the same page.

5. By Streamlining Out-Processing When Students Graduate

When graduation approaches, many students may need official transcripts for applying to graduate or professional schools, and they will need to take care of things like reserving a place in the graduation ceremony, making sure all parking tickets are paid, all library materials are returned, and no other outstanding obligations remain. Your seniors are generally focusing on the future, and they may forget things they need to take care of, unless you use BPM software to issue reminders and step them through all necessary processes for completing their degrees.

Conclusion

BPM software is a natural fit for institutions of higher education. The imagination of the staff is virtually the only limit on ways BPM software can be used to streamline the countless processes involved in running a college or university. ProcessMaker is cloud and open source BPM software that lets you create forms, processes, and workflows using an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, which means you don’t have to know how to program to automate important processes.

It comes with an extensive toolkit, and because it is open source, it can be tailored even more closely to your specific institutional needs. We encourage you to test drive ProcessMaker Enterprise Edition, or download the ProcessMaker Community Edition for free.  See for yourself how limitless the possibilities are with a great BPM software solution.

About This Author

Training Lead at ProcessMaker Inc.