8 Common Pain Points Registrars Experience With Student Records

We at Educhain strive to help change and improve your student-record processes. Here are 7 common pain points registrars regularly deal with and their practical hands-on solutions.

1)Splintered ordering process and a reliance on outdated paper applications

The manual credential ordering process is a frustratingly splintered beast for students, alumni and third parties– students can order the transcripts via email, snail mail, in person or on the phone. As a result, there’s a fair amount of confusion and complications that come up: paper applications may be delayed, transcripts may be lost, certain processes are unnecessarily repeated or verified repeatedly. This creates a frustrating experience for both the student and administration. There is a need for a neat, easy unified way to request credentials virtually.

The solution: A centralized one stop process and academic passport for digitized transcript, diploma and other credential requests.

2) Too many vendors

Oftentimes, the registrar works with too many vendors, and its multitasking becomes bothersome. It becomes even more confusing when staff are unsure as to how to support students: it’s hard to figure out which vendor is the most appropriate for specific questions about specialized credentials. Staff and their resources become stressed and stretched out.

The solution: a vendor that offers a comprehensive suite of record management services.

3) Customization and confusing management software

Inefficiencies are created when student record management platforms can’t integrate with student information systems and other software. Such inefficiencies may prevent staff from customizing their work, which include offering credentials with embedded links or creating multiple transcripts templates.

The solution: Find credential programs that allow for customization for workflow and integration. 

4) Long wait times

Paper credentials take an incredibly long time to issue, verify and deliver. Traditionally, students would have to request permission from the University for their credentials and repeat the process for every grad school, immigration, job application. The registrar office then uses expensive third party vendors to verify its authenticity and often, handle a lot of follow up phone calls from prospective phone calls. The entire process is long and limits accessibility to students, who may need things immediately. It can take 4-6 weeks to process and deliver transcripts and diplomas.

The solution: Choose a vendor that allows immediate sharing of credentials.

5) Increase efficiency

Develop better operational efficiency by using a document issuing service that streamlines time-consuming tasks like sharing files, testing for quality, delivering credentials and dealing with returned diplomas. 

The solution: Automate processes.

6) Maximize protection and monitor security issues

Schools must prioritize privacy and security concerns and protect sensitive student information and data, to make sure they adhere to FIPPA/privacy regulations. They also have to keep an eye out for forged documents and mistakes to maintain professional reputation and integrity. 

The solution: Invest in secure cloud or blockchain-powered services.

7) Insufficient vendor support

There may be a lack of support from vendors. This causes registrars to spend unnecessary time handling issues, time that’s better spent on solving problems, research and focusing on more impactful student initiatives.

The solution: Find a vendor that offers an invested partnership. They must be willing to provide the necessary support for your institution and student success. 

8)  Create a more student-centred experience

Since the registrar’s office is mostly a place that students go to when they are trying to solve an issue or achieve a means to an end (like a student falling behind in classes, the financial aid is late, getting documents, or tuition payments are behind) it may seem like more of a negative, stressful experience, where the word “no” is heard often.  The registrar’s office is  filled with empathetic, helpful people who want to create a positive experience for their students. How can the registrar’s office create a proactive uplifting atmosphere where students feel welcomed when they mostly deal with negative issues?

Solution: Use empathy.  Create relationships and foster rapport. This culture change can be created by modifying existing positions into liaisons between the registrar’s office and school programs. For example, treat each student like an individual person and go out into the community to meet and engage with the students before there’s an issue. Registrars could set up a table during the registration period, The simple act of “saying hello” and introducing yourself can be an impactful experience. Other ideas included posting a photo gallery, creating communication pathways through email, newsletters, meetings and training, generating and maintaining distribution lists. 

Another example could be the interesting use of data analytics. The registrar office could proactively identify a troubled student before actual problems occur. For example, data analytics could show a student changing their major several times. That student could be brought in to see an advisor before they start having problems with grades or fall behind due to the lack of direction. 

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