7 Reasons to Use Student Information Systems in Higher Education

As enrollment and tuition rates continue to increase, today's colleges and universities are under pressure to expand and improve their campuses to meet the growing expectations of students and staff.

To ease the growing pains, many campuses are in the process of uprooting outdated infrastructure in favor of newer, lightweight digital systems. These platforms, like QLess, provide higher education facilities with the digital tools they need to sustainably scale their operations, boost efficiency, and enhance the overall campus experience for years to come.

Within the United States and abroad, many colleges and universities have already made the switch to student information systems for higher education: here are seven reasons why.

#7: Cut Down on Long Wait Times Around Campus

One of the largest threats to student and staff morale on campus is excessive waiting, most of which results from poorly-managed queues. For students, having to wait up to thirty minutes or more to file documents or speak to student service departments isn't just frustrating: it's unnecessary.

With today's student information systems for higher education like QLess, students can join various queues around campus in seconds via their mobile devices, SMS text, or on-site kiosk without being forced to wait within a designated waiting area. When their position in the queue approaches, the queue system will automatically notify them via text or phone message, affording them enough time to return to the waiting area and receive their services as required.

As a result, digital queues allow students to wait wherever or however they'd like. Whether students decide to roam the campus, make a trip to the bathroom, or get a bite to eat, student information systems for higher education provide students with the comfort of knowing that wherever they go, their position in line won't be compromised.

#6: Analyze Queue Performance and Implement Efficient Solutions

In today's data-driven world, having access to meaningful metrics can be the difference between organized chaos and organized efficiency. This is especially true in the higher education sector, where large-scale systems of management are commonplace.

Fortunately, student information systems like QLess include robust data reporting features that allow staff to track queue performance, identify areas of improvement, and by extension, implement specialized solutions that boost queue efficiency. Because student information systems for higher education are designed for digital queue management, all performance data is automatically collected and stored for later viewing.

From here, staff members can analyze all available queue data in just a few clicks via their student information system dashboard. With access to both graphical and tabular data views, comparing queue data across multiple departments or specific time periods is both insightful and near-effortless.

#5: Improve Campus Communication with Automatic Service Notifications

students stay up-to-date with texts

Despite our best intentions, no system of organization is perfect. Delays and downtime are inevitable, even for the most steadfast systems. Although these service interruptions can interfere with campus life, addressing them via clear administrative communication is often the distinguishing factor between frustrating students and staff and merely inconveniencing them.

Thankfully, student information systems for higher education provide campuses of all kinds with the tools to keep students and staff up-to-date on the latest minute-to-minute delays and interruptions. Because software like QLess features built-in notification support, campus administration can automatically notify students of service disruptions, maintenance, and queue setbacks via fully-customizable SMS texts or voice messages. In the event that students have further questions regarding delays, staff can continue to correspond via simple two-way SMS messaging directly from their system dashboard.

With student information systems for higher education, campuses can drastically improve student-staff communication and promote a transparent, respectful campus environment that values the time of its participants.

#4: Seamlessly Integrate Walk-in and Booked Appointments

For many students, the aid and guidance provided by student service departments can help them navigate their college experience and get the most out of their education. Unfortunately, some students have a difficult time accessing these resources due to systemic inefficiencies such as scheduling conflicts and long wait times.

The ideal campus embraces flexible, pragmatic solutions, and student information systems for higher education offer exactly that. By implementing flexible appointments with services like QLess, student services departments can accept both walk-ins and booked appointments simultaneously without hindering their efficiency or disrupting their existing scheduling.

With QLess FlexAppointments, students have the option of booking campus appointments online at a specific time and date. Once the time of their appointment approaches, the system will automatically add that student to the applicable queue. However, if a student cancels their appointment prior to their visit, staff members can easily reassign the now-free timeslot to the next walk-in visitor in the queue.

#3: Gather Information with Custom Kiosk Fields

One of the many common glaring inefficiencies encountered on campuses involves the distribution and exchange of information between staff and students. Without a student information system for higher education, students might find themselves wondering why they can't submit personal information that's relevant to their student services appointments ahead of time. Similarly, campus staff might ponder the advantages of being able to collect pertinent student data prior to an appointment or walk-in visit.

Fortunately, many student information systems support custom kiosk fields, which allow staff members to gather additional details from students when they join a queue via an on-campus kiosk. Some examples of custom fields include:

With QLess's student information system for higher education, your staff can configure each queue kiosk to solicit unique information via multiple input options, including drop-down lists, open text boxes, and required/non-required fields. Any information submitted via the custom kiosk fields will be available to queue staff, who can use it to inform their student interactions. The result is a completely customizable kiosk experience that can boost efficiency, shorten wait times, and enhance service quality.

#2: Improve Security and Protect Student Information

information storage

In this digital age, taking proper security precautions is essential, especially within large-scale sectors like higher education. By implementing robust encryption methods, campuses can ensure that the confidential data of their students and staff stays confidential.

Thankfully, most student information systems for higher education meet or exceed modern security standards, making them viable options for campuses of all sizes. Systems like QLess utilize TLS 1.2 256-bit encryption during transit and AES encryption at rest, ensuring that all data is free from prying eyes.

In addition, many student information systems are built with cloud-based architecture, which negates the need for lengthy downloads or laborious local hardware installations. Accessing QLess is as simple as logging in from any computer or the QLess Concierge App, which is available for iOS devices.

By switching to a digital student information system for higher education, you can reduce the need for routine system maintenance and save time, energy, and resources -- all of which you can redirect towards bettering your campus experience instead.

#1: Gather Feedback and Actionable Insights with SMS Surveys

As higher learning institutions grow to accommodate increased enrollment, campus infrastructure must also evolve to meet the needs and requirements of its participants. Fortunately, surveying students is an invaluable way to assess the quality of campus infrastructure at present and identify areas of improvement for the future.

That said, not all surveys are created equally. Overly-lengthy surveys are sure to turn away students due to the time investment required, and paper-based surveys aren't particularly appealing to a generation of digital natives. Formatting is key, and to solicit meaningful feedback, today's student surveys must be digitally-formatted, accessible, and unobtrusive.

Thankfully, student information systems for higher education like QLess can be configured to automatically send your students an SMS text survey after their on-campus service concludes, allowing your staff to collect feedback with ease. In addition, many campuses find that the response rate of SMS surveys is considerably higher than email or phone-based surveys, which encourages more feedback overall.

Streamline Your Campus Experience with QLess

Regardless of a campus's size or focus, QLess provides colleges and university with the tools they need to increase productivity, reduce wait times, and boost campus morale.

Our student information system for higher education is trusted by Santa Monica College, the University of Texas at Dallas, and many other reputable institutions throughout the US. With built-in support for iOS and Android devices, flexible scheduling options, and cloud-based architecture, QLess brings your campus into the digital age.

By implementing QLess, our clients in the higher education sector have:

To learn more about how QLess school student management systems will make your school more popular, improve campus operations, and raise retention rates, read our whitepaper, Campus Without Lines.