How High Desert Medical College Improved Student Success with Real-Time Data

How High Desert Medical College Improved Student Success with Real-Time Data

How High Desert Medical College Improved Student Success with Real-Time Data

High Desert Medical College eliminated manual data entry and gave its staff access to real-time student data using CourseKey’s mobile solution, resulting in more time for student success and earlier intervention. 

High Desert Medical College (HDMC), owned by Legacy Education, is a California-based school that has trained thousands of students in the vocational allied health field since opening in 2010. After handling attendance, grades, and other processes manually for seven years, CEO LeeAnn Rohmann wanted a change. 


“I’m passionate about our mission to provide a quality education, so when I looked at these manual processes, I wanted to find a way to do it better,” said LeeAnn. 


LeeAnn implemented CourseKey in 2017 after hearing positive reviews from peers in her space and considers CourseKey a vital partner in HDMC’s growth. CourseKey helped HDMC solve data management and visibility challenges, resulting in an unexpected impact on the student experience.

The Problem: Manual Processes Limited Data Immediacy and Quality

When HDMC opened, staff took attendance with pen and paper. As a result, administrators couldn’t get a clear picture of at-risk students until days after the absence occurred, and data was at risk for human error. 


“Anytime you’re doing manual data entry, there’s an opportunity for human intervention,” said LeeAnn. “If there are mistakes and a student falls below an attendance requirement, it could impact program completion or attendance record if they were going for perfect attendance. You always have a chance for error with human intervention.”


Error-free data is critical for a federally regulated school. Delayed and inaccurate data can impact compliance and student success. 


“Because we are regulated, we’re required to monitor that a student is involved in the classroom, engaged in the curriculum, and doing what we say that they’re doing. We report their student status to the Department of Education monthly, and the only way we can determine that is through accurate and timely attendance,” said Ena Hull, COO of HDMC/Legacy Education.


HDMC also tracked grades manually using spreadsheets, preventing students and administrators from having easily accessible academic progress updates. Instructors turned grades into administrators at the end of the course for entry into the SIS. Students had to ask instructors to run calculations using a spreadsheet to get progress updates.

The Solution: Automation and Complete Visibility with CourseKey

Implementing CourseKey allowed HDMC to view real-time attendance data with peace of mind that it was free from human error. 


“When we looked at CourseKey and the automation it provides, we saw how much it would help us to have automated, real-time attendance that isn’t altered through human intervention,” said LeeAnn. “CourseKey has allowed us to eliminate human intervention and align with students on a daily basis.” 


Accurate, real-time data helped HDMC intervene with at-risk students faster. 


Early intervention is critical,” said Ena. “We know that if they’re showing up for class, they’re 50% more likely to continue through the program. The moment they fall off and we see the attendance drop, that is a red flag for us to find out what’s happening with the classroom and what’s going on. Sometimes life happens, and if something is going on with the student, we want to help them as early as possible.” 


Because HDMC uses CourseKey to manage quizzes and tests, grades are also automatically transferred into the SIS, giving administrators a complete view of student progress. HDMC uses CourseKey’s reports to identify and intervene with at-risk students quickly. Because HDMC has a clear view of attendance and grades, staff can better customize intervention plans based on the student’s individual needs. 


“CourseKey allows me to easily look at courses in general and overall attendance, then look at student performance,” said Dr. Ragheb Milad, Chief Academic Officer, HDMC/Legacy Education. “I can identify different percentages tied to each student. If I see anything below the standard with each student, we’ll dig deeper into that and see their trends regarding their attendance and grades and see how they’re performing in their class. From there, we’ll set action plans with the directors to bring that student back in to achieve what they came here to do.”

Improving Student Success: “A Win-Win for Students, Registrars, and Instructors”

CourseKey eliminated data delays and human error, but according to Ena, it also had an unexpected impact on student accountability.

“When we first implemented CourseKey, I was fascinated by how engaged our students became with monitoring their attendance,” said Ena. “It’s like trying to get 10,000 steps on a fitness tracker for our students. They want their credit. They bring forward issues and want every minute of credit because there is psychology about watching progress increase. That was a positive outcome that we didn’t expect to see. You better clear out of the hallway 5 minutes before 8 am because they’re running down the hall to check in because they know CourseKey records every minute of time.” 


CourseKey gave HDMC students a heightened sense of accountability and a visual representation of their progress. 


“It gives the students this heightened sense of accountability while easing the attendance burden on faculty, giving them more time in the classroom without having to worry about the time or paperwork of recording attendance,” said Ena. “It allows the faculty member to do what they’re supposed to do: Educate in the classroom without worrying about administrative burden. Plus, they have peace of mind knowing the attendance is being pushed up to administrators accurately and timely. It’s a win-win on the student experience, faculty experience, and registrar experience.” 


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