With three campuses offering a wide range of vocational and occupational programmes, the ORBIT Further Education and Training (FET) College offers students in the North West Province exposure to a stimulating learning environment.
However, the year-on-year increases in student registrations led to the implementation of the ITS iEnabler system by Adapt IT, to solve this and many other challenges facing the college.
Although the college already utilises the ITS Integrator system, which provides a rich set of functionality to enable back-office and front-office operations, the initial capturing of student information has always been done via a manual, paper-based system.
The captured information is only then transferred onto the ITS Integrator system, according to Dr Joe Viljoen, manager of the Data and Information Unit at ORBIT. This, he adds, was obviously extremely time-consuming and meant that students had to manually complete forms.
“Understanding that student registration is always a taxing time for any educational establishment, and stretches resources and systems in all departments, Adapt IT recommended the iEnabler solution.
“We obviously have a short period of time to assist a large number of students and our student population itself is growing at an alarming rate. The manual nature of the original system inevitably led to long queues and therefore irritated students,” he says.
“The ITS iEnabler system was identified as the means to solve the myriad challenges we faced. These included the length of time our data capturing was taking, as well as the system becoming very slow, due to too many users in the Back Office. ITS iEnabler has thus helped us to streamline both our administration processes and our communication with our students.”
Karen Cupido, the Adapt IT consultant working with ORBIT on the project takes up the story.
“The ITS Integrator iEnabler system allows students and staff quick access to their information through user-friendly, browser-based applications. Access can be gained either over the Internet or the Intranet of the institution through secure log-ons, making these self-service applications widely available to their respective target audiences.”
Cupido points out that the system allows for data entry and validation by the end-user, resulting in data ownership and higher levels of data accuracy. Automated routing for notification is also performed. Additionally from a compliance perspective, it allows for the online registration of the financial auditors.
“At ORBIT, the decision was taken to structure the roll out of the iEnabler system in phases, with the first phase focusing on the critical issue of student online applications and registrations.”
Viljoen suggests that the mere fact that the iEnabler offers an electronic means of capturing the data, along with a few validations, checks and balances, and copying it to the ITS Integrator system, means that it has massively reduced data capture efforts.
“Moreover, it has provided students with easy to use, real time information, and since more students can be assisted while less staff are needed to provide support, it has freed up the academic staff to concentrate on what they do best.”
“On average, the time it takes students to complete the online registration process has now been reduced to mere minutes and we have received positive feedback from staff and students alike. In fact, we are now looking forward to the start of our next academic year, because as far as student registrations go, we anticipate that this will be the smoothest year ever,” concludes Viljoen.