Every fall our Chancellor’s Office convenes a group (typically representing the groups that comprise the Consultation Council) to discuss legislative options for the upcoming year. The product of this meeting (or meetings) is a proposed legislative agenda that is then presented to our Board of Governors for their consideration. One proposal this year is related to “eTranscripts”. Even though eTranscripts sound like a great idea, it was reported at the legislative agenda meeting that there is some resistance to adopting eTranscripts at the colleges and, therefore, an interest in using legislation to push the issue. No clear reason was provided for the “resistance” – leading this attendee to suspect that perhaps the issue is a lack of knowledge. If faculty are unaware of this option, how can they advocate for it? Or even consider it? With that in mind, I provide you with the case for “eTranscript California”. Much of what follows has been shamelessly plagiarized with the permission of its source, Patrick Perry. The complete document from which the information below can be obtained is available at http://etranscriptca.org/file-repository/func-startdown/159/. For more general information on “eTranscript California”, including whether or not your college is participating, see http://etranscriptca.org/home. In these hard times when we are losing dollars and people, finding ways to increase efficiency is critical. Yes, there is an initial and on-going cost to implementing e-Transcripts - but eTranscripts do increase efficiency – and more. The use of eTranscripts
- saves time
- saves money
- reduces paper consumption
- improves customer service (quicker turn-around time)
- reduces workload demands for your staff.
eTranscript California is a statewide electronic transcript exchange program and offers all 112 California Community Colleges (CCCs) an Internet-based tool for requesting, viewing, and transmitting academic transcripts. eTranscript California offers a highly flexible and secure institution-to-institution transcript request and delivery service.
Colleges using eTranscript California can save personnel time, reduce operating costs, reduce paper consumption, improve student placement processes, and expand student services by offering electronic transcripts to a student’s next institution of higher education. Exchanging electronic transcripts directly between your Student Information System and your major trading partners is a secure, cost-effective method of eliminating transcript keying errors and paper transcript fraud.
Recurring quantifiable benefits of operating and maintaining eTranscript California over a paper-based system include:
- a savings of $4 to $10 per transcript by reducing costs for paper, postage, and labor
- less recycling, less filing, less shredding and improved efforts towards “Green” initiatives because of less paper usage
- a reduction of necessary staff time to process paper transcripts
- easier access to student records for faster, more efficient placement with transcripts on demand
- elimination of mistakes while re-keying transcript data into recipient’s student record system and degree audit
- elimination of transcript fraud.
In the face of California state budget cuts, transcript automation can help institutions overcome possible reductions in staffing levels. Budget cuts may mean a reduction in staffing levels generally needed for processing transcript requests, printing the transcripts, and getting them in the mail in a timely manner.
There’s much more to be said about eTranscript California – please see the website provided above for more information. I hope you’ll consider whether or not eTranscripts are right for your college. And, if so, make it happen.