Why Vocational Education Programs Are Switching To CourseKey 

Why Vocational Education Programs Are Switching To CourseKey 

Why Vocational Education Programs Are Switching To CourseKey 

If you’re running a vocational education program, you’re likely using a SIS to house student data. Chances are, you also use technology like a CRM, LMS, externship solution, surveying tool, or communication tool to make your program run smoothly.

However, not all solutions are created equal. Often, vocational education programs are stuck, fitting a square peg into a round hole. They settle for traditional higher-ed software or piecemeal solutions that don’t have all the functionality schools need. 

Read on to learn why schools switch to CourseKey from other management solutions. 

1. CourseKey is a single source of data collection

Attendance, forms, satisfaction, skills, competencies—you name it. 

We collect many components of pace and progress in one solution, eliminating the need for multiple systems like a survey tool and an attendance tool. 

A one-system solution reduces the time you need to compile the data together, load it into the SIS, and analyze it to understand the student journey. Instead, you automatically have a complete picture of student data in one place. Having all your data in one place instantly makes it easier to spot trends in student performance, satisfaction, and more. 

The best part? Because you’re using one solution, you can set up easy automations within the platform. For example, you can trigger a satisfaction survey to send the moment a student hits a certain attendance threshold. 

2. CourseKey integrates with existing systems

We don’t just collect data from students. We also connect with your existing systems, like your LMS and SIS. We pull time or grades from the LMS and transfer that data plus data from CourseKey into the SIS. 

We don’t want to replace the systems that are working for you. We want to work with your existing systems to make your organization smoother. 

3. CourseKey works anywhere your students are

Vocational education students are mobile. They could be at an externship/clinical site, working with cosmetology clients on the floor, in a classroom, at home working asynchronously, welding in a shop, or even out on a boat doing deep-water dives. 

CourseKey works in every learning environment. When students need to check into class or record a new skill/competency, they pull out their phones, hit a few buttons, and move on with their education. 

Because it’s easy to use, it doesn’t distract from a student’s education. It just powers it.

4. CourseKey is built for flexibility

We built CourseKey for flexibility and customization. 

You can easily adjust courses, skill/competency requirements, automation, notifications, and more. CourseKey allows you to be creative in how you set up the solution. For example, Emma Long, Director of Education at five Paul Mitchell Schools, took the Skills Tracker—built for tracking skill completion like the number of cuts, colors, etc—and turned it into a graduation checklist that helped students ensure they were completing necessary check-ins. 

We’re also flexible in how we take attendance, offering a tardiness window, student-led breaks, and other flexible attendance features. 

Finally, we charge by the number of students actively using CourseKey, not the number of logins. Add as many staff members as you’d like, without worrying about changing over licenses. 

Ready to make the switch? 

5. CourseKey has stronger security

Unfortunately, in the age of regulation and documentation, your data is only meaningful if it’s secure and accurate. However, not every system is built with compliance and security in mind. 

Some attendance systems allow students to manually enter their hours and submit them for an instructor or preceptor’s signature. 

If a student cuts out early and fudges their timesheet, it’s left up to the instructor or preceptor to remember and adjust the sheet accordingly. When an instructor/preceptor has multiple students and courses, it can be challenging to remember who was where and when leaving your school open to compliance risks. 

With CourseKey, students check in on their mobile devices using one or more security tools, including sound verification, biometrics, GPS, and QR codes. For example, you could use sound and biometric verification in a classroom. Instructors would play a silent tone through CourseKey that can only be picked up within the four walls of the school. Then, students would be prompted to check in and verify their identity through Face ID/Fingerprint. 

In an externship/clinical, you can geofence a site so that students can only check in if they’re within the geofence. Schools can add additional verification by posting a QR code within the externship site. Even if a student has a photo of the QR code, they can’t check in from their couch since they’re not physically at the site. 

On top of all the secure check-in methods, CourseKey timestamps attendance data down to the second. Divers Insitute of Technology said their VA auditor gave them kudos for having a system with such a detailed timestamp. 

6. CourseKey eliminates data silos

Anytime you have a system or data that’s only accessible to one department, you’re creating data silos. Ultimately, it’s one department’s responsibility to make the data available to others, but if that department faces delays, everyone in the organization faces delays. 

The finance office is one department that consistently feels the sting of data delays. The finance team relies on attendance and progress data for timely calculations like student drawdowns, R2T4 processes, and more. When the department gets attendance data late, calculations are late, leading to compliance issues. 

For example, Unitek, an allied health school based in California, received a finding for delayed R2T4 calculations. All the delays were coming from one source: Externships. The team faced significant challenges in tracking externship data and often didn’t know that a student was at risk until they were at the 14-day drop. So, they implemented CourseKey.

CourseKey collects and then automatically transfers attendance data to every department. The finance team can quickly determine LDA through automatic LDA reporting and see how much time a student has attended. 

At OCM BOCES, the school social worker also uses CourseKey to identify risk areas in the student journey. Now, the social worker can quickly determine if a student consistently leaves early on a certain day of the week and check in with them to see what’s up. 

“Previously, that level of support wasn’t possible,” said Matthew Tarolli, Adult Education Coordinator at OCM BOCES. “CourseKey helps us help them [the students].”

7. CourseKey has automation for every department

We collect data from the students and the LMS, then aggregate it for a complete picture of the student journey. But that’s just the first step. 

With CouresKey, every team, from enrollment to placement, can set up customizable triggers to automatically intervene with students based on data from multiple sources. Other solutions only allow data from one source, like the LMS, which doesn’t show a complete picture of the student journey. Or, they don’t act on real-time data like the CRM. The CRM is a great tool for marketing, but not intervention. 

Take day one attendance, for example. Sure, the CRM can automatically send messages to a student who doesn’t show up on day one, but how long does it take to get that information into the CRM? How long does it take for the academics team to post attendance data so the enrollment team can access it? 

Because CourseKey collects and aggregates the data in real time, all the interventions act on the latest and greatest available data. So, on day one of a new start: 

  • Absent students will receive automatic outreach via CouresKey
  • The enrollment team will receive a list of absent students

All this happens within five minutes of when class is scheduled to begin, not several days later.

8. CourseKey offers top tier support

How long does it take your technology providers to get back to you when you have an issue? 

If you answered more than 24 hours, you’re not getting the support you deserve. 

CourseKey’s support desk has a 94% satisfaction rating and responds within 24 hours (during business days). Our customer success team comprises industry experts who have been in your shoes and understand the unique challenges of running a vocational education program. 

According to Willie Seid, Head of IT at Texas School of Phlebotomy

“The responsiveness of other companies has been nowhere near CourseKey’s responsiveness and initiative. I’ve dealt with the big boys, and you guys bring a level of professionalism that I haven’t seen, so much so that it’s embarrassing for other companies. With other vendors, we have to manage the process and set deadlines to ensure that everything is getting done, but with CourseKey, it’s a well-oiled machine, and we trust everyone on the team. From a client standpoint, it spoils us.” 

9. CourseKey is easy and enjoyable to use

Technology should solve problems, not create them. But it only solves problems if your staff knows how to use it effectively. 

CourseKey is designed with simplicity and end-user experience in mind. Staff and instructors call it “easy-to-use,” “a lifesaver,” and more. 

Make the switch to CourseKey

Schools across the country are switching to CourseKey from other school and/or clinical/externship management solutions to: 

  • Improve data integrity and compliance
  • Create a better experience for all 
  • Streamline operations
  • Automate intervention 
  • And more


Request a demo to learn whether or not making the switch to CourseKey is right for your organization. 

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