How One Technical College Transformed Its Attendance Process & Saved Staff Hours Per Day
Onondaga-Cortland-Madison Counties Board of Cooperative Education Services (OCM BOCES) is a technical school in Syracuse, NY, that offers a variety of technical and medical training programs, including welding, construction, practical nursing, medical assisting, and dental assisting. It services approximately 250 full-time students at a time, the majority of whom attend courses on-ground, while the remaining students are enrolled in hybrid programs.
In early 2020, OCM BOCES was relying on an attendance management process that required extensive hours of admin work per week and resulted in delayed visibility into data. Since switching to CourseKey for attendance management, staff and students can now access real-time data and admins save hours of manual work per week.
The Challenge: Solving slow and inefficient attendance management
OCM BOCES previously used hand-scanners stationed throughout the building to collect daily attendance. The scanners routinely sent data to a software system that was only accessible on one desktop computer, meaning only one person could log in to the attendance software at a time. Because of this, instructors were assigned hours for when they could access and/or adjust their students’ data during the week.
Admins also needed to access the system to generate reports and record absent students. Admins would pull reports for each program and then look through each to see who was absent and if any students have missed a certain percentage of their program hours. For students who reached a certain threshold, admins would create warning letters to send the students.
The inefficiencies produced by these processes were costing staff and instructors at OCM BOCES too many hours per week, prompting the organization to look for a system to replace their current process.
The Solution: Cloud-based, mobile attendance software
In the summer of 2020, OCM BOCES chose the CourseKey platform as a way to automate their attendance collection and easily manage their attendance data in a cloud-based platform. CourseKey allows students to check in and out of class with their mobile device. Data is then made instantly available to admins through attendance dashboards with real-time attendance dashboards for administrators to access on demand. Attendance records for each day are stored in the cloud for easy access later.
The Outcome: Immense time-savings and real-time data visibility
With their process using our software, OCM BOCES has saved their staff hours of manual work per week while granting them access to attendance data in real-time.
Instead of waiting for their turn to access the attendance system, instructors and admins can access attendance data from any device with a WiFi connection. Instructors can make adjustments to student time in seconds with just a few clicks. Admins also know in real-time which students are absent, allowing them to begin outreach to at-risk students much sooner than previously possible.
Through the gradebook in their mobile app, students now have instant access to up-to-date attendance and grades. Because students can review their standing at any time, they no longer have to ask admins at OCM BOCES to look up their records for them and can make more informed decisions to stay on track to graduate.
Optimized Organizational Efficiency
Having a system in place that enables quick and simple attendance management is key to organizational efficiency for OCM BOCES. The hours per day saved through CourseKey enables OCM BOCES staff to spend time on other parts of operations they’re responsible for and to help students become better future employees.
“Like many small schools, we all wear a lot of hats. [CourseKey] makes life so much easier – I can look at the dashboard and be done with [attendance] for the day” – Matthew Tarolli, Adult Programs Coordinator, OCM BOCES
How would your school benefit from streamlined attendance management? Learn more about how CourseKey can help your school increase efficiency by requesting a demo below.