Career College Management Software for Trade and Vocational Schools

Trade school software helps technical colleges automate attendance, track practical skills, prepare for audits, and boost retention. 


After decades of pushing traditional four-year college over trade school, the United States has a problem: A widespread shortage of skilled labor that only trade schools can fill. While there has been a stigma of choosing trade schools over college, the conversation is shifting. Vocational education costs less than traditional four-year degrees and has immediate earning potential. In some areas, skilled trade workers earn well over six figures


As students realize the value of skilled trades, institutes across the country must prepare to scale operations to train the future essential workers that will power the United States.

Why technical colleges and trade schools should digitize academics, attendance, and compliance

Most technical colleges and trade schools already use a student information system to house student data and a content management system to publish learning materials. While both are highly valuable for student education and trade school management, they still rely on manual data entry and do not solve all the problems that administrators face. To simplify back-office operations and prepare to scale, technical colleges and trade schools must leverage software that integrates with both the SIS and LMS. 

Software for trade schools and vocational colleges

CourseKey’s career college management software empowers vocational colleges by bridging the gap between the two systems and automating back-office tasks. With CourseKey, administrators can see which students are absent in real-time, relieve staff of time-consuming manual attendance management, take a proactive approach to retention, and detect compliance issues early. Plus, with CourseKey’s suite of engagement and assessment tools, technical colleges can conduct engaging online courses. 


CourseKey’s software for trade schools and vocational colleges improves engagement, attendance, retention, and compliance. Read on to learn how.

Engagement software for trade schools and vocational colleges

Many trade schools and technical colleges use paper-based observational assessments to evaluate student skills, which require manual data entry into the SIS and can be easily lost or damaged. Through CourseKey’s digital assessments, students go through their evaluations, and results are automatically transferred to the SIS. Plus, students receive their score and feedback immediately after the evaluation.


With CourseKey’s Skills Tracker, instructors and students can more effectively track practical operations like completing a certain number of welds. Students have a real-time Students have an up-to-date view at all times into how many operations they have left in their program, allowing them to proactively seek out the opportunities that help them progress towards graduation. Additionally, practical operations are automatically transferred to the SIS, so instructors are no longer tasked with manual data entry.

Attendance software for technical colleges and trade schools

Many trade schools and technical colleges collect attendance data manually using sign-in sheets or traditional roll calls. Manually collecting and entering attendance data in online and on-ground courses is time-consuming, challenging, and prone to human error. Trade schools running clock to credit hour programs also have the added challenge of converting asynchronous learning activities into student progress. 


Attendance software for trade school externships 

CourseKey makes managing externship hours efficient, effective, and visible to all stakeholders involved. When a student moves from an on-ground or online course to an externship setting, administrators lose visibility into the student’s attendance. Using CourseKey’s GPS attendance system, externship coordinators know precisely which site a student has checked into and how long they’ve spent there by geofencing an entire externship site or a single room. Students can only check in once they are within the geofence, and the data is automatically transferred to the SIS. Administrators can confirm if students have shown up to their sites through real-time attendance dashboards without calling the site. When students complete externship hours, they can check out through the CourseKey app, automatically sending a record of hours to both the externship coordinator and site supervisor for review.

Attendance software for trade schools and vocational colleges: Learn how OCM BOCES used CourseKey to save hours per week on attendance management.

Retention software for technical colleges and trade schools

When administrators have access to accurate, real-time attendance dashboards, they can take a proactive approach to retention. Digital attendance dashboards allow registrars to reach out to students as soon as the absence occurs, even during class time. As a result, administrators can quickly inform at-risk students and improve their chances of remaining in the program. With paper timesheets and manual data entry, administrators don’t know that a student has been absent until days after the absence occurred, making it more challenging to get at-risk students back on track. 

Improving retention rates helps trade schools achieve their goals of helping essential workers graduate and gives them access to additional tuition dollars to invest in initiatives like hiring, expansion, infrastructure, and more.

Compliance software for technical colleges and trade schools

Engagement, attendance, and retention all impact compliance—one of the most critical metrics for trade schools and technical institutes. To remain compliant, administrators must maintain accurate, verifiable records of all student and course time. When attendance is tracked on paper and manually entered into the SIS, it is prone to human error. 


CourseKey consolidates attendance data from all learning environments—online, on-ground, and externships—into one location, giving administrators access to real-time data that is verifiable down to the second. Student dashboards with exportable reports make it easy to prove processes and share records with accreditors without digging through boxes of paper files. In advance of audits, attendance dashboards give administrators a clear view of LDA, streamlining the return to Title IV process. 


When compliance leaders have real-time attendance and course data, they can also take a proactive approach to compliance by examining behavioral data. For example, if an instructor regularly begins class late or ends class early, administrators can fix the issue before external audits occur. 


Hybrid learning compliance for trade schools and technical colleges

The rise in distance learning led to a rise in asynchronous learning activities. While some schools are back to being fully on-ground, others are continuing hybrid learning programs—requiring additional compliance considerations. 


Hybrid learning programs are required to outline and track the percentage of online activity compared to on-ground activity to remain compliant. CourseKey’s asynchronous blended learning attendance solution helps clock-to-credit hour schools break down the percentage of synchronous versus asynchronous time into one clear dashboard, then automatically uploads that data into the SIS. As a result, instructors no longer need to manually input asynchronous versus synchronous time and can quickly determine LDA. 

Software that empowers technical colleges and trade schools

If you’d like to learn more about how CourseKey can streamline your technical college’s operations, request a demo at the form below.

Request A Demo

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin