Why A Time-Clock Is Not A Compliant Attendance Solution
Student time and attendance is arguably the most important part of career college operations. As new technology emerges, schools might think that having a time-clock in place is the same thing as having a compliant attendance system. In reality, this is not the case.
Time-clock systems still require schools to keep paper records of student time and additional manual data entry. Not only is this extremely inefficient, but relying on manual processes exposes your school to errors, risks, and delays.
This blog will outline why a simple time-clock system does not meet your school’s compliance requirements and why you need a more robust attendance solution.
Time-clocks expose your school to compliance and Title IV risks
Timely, accurate attendance data is crucial for compliance. Not only does a school need to know if a student has attended in the last 14 days, but most accreditors require students to maintain a certain pace (Satisfactory Academic Progress). With a time-clock, your SIS won’t be able to offer a real-time picture of student progress. In addition to the delays associated with manual entry, data sourced from different records (online, hybrid, labs, synchronous) can be inaccurate or not fully up-to-date. A time-clock system lacks real-time data that definitively shows whether a student is on track to graduate.
If the attendance data your school uses when performing Title IV calculations is inaccurate or late, serious consequences can arise. Not only can this mean a Return to Title IV payment, but your school can also be put on notice of accreditation and/or probation. Having this notice quickly becomes problematic.
No visibility into how, where, and when a student earned hours
While some time-clock systems allow students to check in and out using a mobile device, they do not provide school staff with a breakdown of synchronous and asynchronous time awarded. Regulatory agencies typically want proof to see how a student has accrued hours. Without a visible breakdown of learning hours by environment, accreditors cannot confirm students have met certain standards. A time-clock that simply aggregates total time awarded creates a compliance risk for your school.
Persistent paper problems
Time-clock systems might seem nice in theory, but because they don’t track the environment of where time is coming from, they cannot fully replace paper processes. When a school is audited, accreditors look for a breakdown of learning environments. When this is tracked on paper, not only do you need to manually track it in the learning environment, but your administrators need to spend even more time categorizing this information in your SIS, and that’s if your SIS even allows for this level of manual input.
Paper records come with all kinds of issues, such as higher costs, physical storage requirements, and data inaccuracy. Any human interaction with data exposes the school to errors, risks, and delays. This defeats the purpose of using time-clock technology, which is marketed as a way to make attendance tracking easier. In reality, however, a time-clock system adds more work for your staff.
A robust attendance solution that prioritizes compliance
Your school needs more than a basic time-clock. Luckily, CourseKey offers holistic attendance technology that tracks the data you need in real-time to keep your school in compliance while eliminating the need for paper records.
CourseKey allows students to clock in and out using their mobile devices. However, where time-clock systems utilize QR codes that can easily be sent to friends in the classroom via screenshots, CourseKey offers a variety of attendance technology options, including two patented solutions, that make it impossible for students to game the system. These secure attendance solutions ensure that each student is within the classroom walls and verified for online attendance.
By ensuring that attendance data is accurate at the point of collection, your school ultimately will reduce the need for admins to make adjustments later. Data is broken down by synchronous and asynchronous activities and displayed in real-time for both students and school staff. All parties can see a student’s progress accurately and immediately. CourseKey also displays each student’s Last Activity Recorded (LAR) to help you instantly identify at-risk students. Most importantly, CourseKey integrates with your SIS, eliminating manual data entry and streamlining your records management and making audits a breeze.
Don’t let your school fall prey to inadequate time-clocks. Choose an attendance platform that keeps you in compliance and makes attendance management easy. Request a demo below.