A Foundational Approach to Improving Registration
Sandi Herrera, District Manager, Academic Scheduling at Collin College understands the importance of starting with a strong foundation. Herrera, who will celebrate 10 years with Collin College in September, began her academic career at the institution as a Campus Provost Executive Assistant. This role played a key part in knowing what those in the dean, assistant dean, and provost roles need to succeed.
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Report Hero: Sandi Herrera
Institution: Collin College
Location: McKinney, Texas
Undergraduate Student Population: 35, 392 (Fall 2020)
Campuses: Celina, Farmersville, Frisco, McKinney, Plano, Technical, and Wylie
Collin College streamlined its registration process across seven campuses, exchanging Excel sheets and post-it notes for streamlined, reliable data and dynamic, actionable visuals.
I strongly believe Ad Astra has a product they don’t need to sell; it sells itself. The products give institutions the tools and resources they need to meet the goal of prioritizing student scheduling needs.
After several years of successfully using Astra Schedule, Herrera saw an opportunity to improve Collin College’s registration process by incorporating Ad Astra’s Monitor, a registration tracking and collaboration tool. The use of Monitor informs where registration is at any given time, while Astra Schedule allows the support team to see room and resource scheduling options.
The implementation of Monitor also offered campus leadership a dynamic way to eliminate the paper trail and reduce inconsistencies created through the use of Excel sheets and post-it notes.
When you build a community and have the right tools, it’s amazing.
Convincing campus leadership to embrace the benefits of Monitor started with sharing the “why.” Herrera had to make a case for why using Monitor was better than their current approach. She reasoned that Monitor provides immediate access to the historical and current registration data and includes dynamic visualizations. Herrera’s primary purpose was to equip Collin’s campus leadership teams with an efficient tool to guide enrollment management and foster a culture of data-informed decision-making. Her confidence in the system prompted a pilot program that brought together Ad Astra and leadership from Collin College’s largest campus.
To further boost the pilot’s success, Herrera created informational packets for the training sessions and offered a workshop for users to try Monitor and ask questions. Just one semester following the successful pilot, Collin College launched Monitor across all 11 campuses in Fall 2021.
Now, use of Monitor at Collin College is a daily occurrence for deans and associate deans in the weeks leading up to registration. Color-coded section bullets inform decision making, offering insight regarding the addition or cancellation of a course, along with the ability to see the enrollment on those dates. One feature that’s quickly becoming a favorite is the ability to store conversations as part of the historical data.
The addition of Reports is also helping optimize the process. Favorite reports include the Seat Fill Utilization Analysis and Schedule Change Tracking, which offer dynamic visuals of the dates sections were edited in order to take a deeper dive into the registration process. This is coupled with high use of the Enrollment Ratio Comparison report, tracking courses at Collin’s two new campuses that are also offered on older campuses. Regular use of Monitor is also helping Herrera become more technically inclined to view and implement the data in new and better ways.
About Scheduling Heroes
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