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California State University East Bay

Public university speeds admissions decisions and transfer credit evaluations.

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The challenge

With one of the most diverse student bodies in the United States, California State University East Bay (Cal State East Bay) takes pride in drawing students from a wide variety of backgrounds. Unfortunately, like many higher education institutions, the school had become overburdened by manual, time-consuming transcript data entry and reviews during peak admissions periods. This led to errors, a need for additional staff and delays in admission decisions and transfer credit evaluations.

Cal State East Bay needed a solution that could automate the initial capture and evaluation steps for incoming transcripts.

That is why the school turned to Hyland's Brainware for Transcripts and OnBase, hosted in AWS.

The solution

“The decision to go with Brainware for Transcripts was an easy one,” said Angela Schneider, university registrar at California University East Bay. “We were already using Hyland’s OnBase, so with the trust and reliability we had in that product and the OCR and template-free nature capabilities of Brainware, there was no question what we should do.”

Speed admissions decisions and transfer credit evaluations

Prior to implementing Brainware, the university’s Admissions Office had to manually enter incoming paper transcripts from every transfer student and match it with the correct student in the student information system — before they could finalize the applications for admission and evaluate credit transfers. This process could take up to four weeks during peak periods, creating delays in confirming admission decisions and course evaluations.

Brainware scans transcripts and automatically extracts information on courses, units and grades and imports them into Cal State’s PeopleSoft student information system (SIS). This automation makes the process more accurate and efficient, allowing for a quicker turnaround in posting transfer credits to the student’s record — which speeds admission decisions and enrollment. A process that used to take up to four weeks can now be completed in one week during peak periods.

“With Brainware, admissions staff, advisors, faculty and students are able to view the information much earlier, which assists with advising of incoming students and their course selection,” Schneider said. “Getting this information and our decisions back to students quickly is definitely a competitive advantage in securing and enrolling applicants faster.”

After deploying Brainware, the information from incoming paper transcripts is now entered into our student information system much earlier and has eliminated the need to hire additional staff for manual data entry.

— Angela Schneider, Registrar, California University East Bay

Remove the need to pull staff from other departments

During peak admissions periods, Cal State East Bay brings in more than 20,000 transcripts for processing and review. With manual data entry and review, registrar staff would become overburdened with the large volume of work needed, forcing the department to bring on temporary staff — or worse, pull existing staff away from other departments to keep up with demand.

“After deploying Brainware, the information from incoming paper transcripts is now entered into our student system much earlier and has eliminated the need to hire students for manual data entry. We also don’t need to pull staff from other departments, which would get in the way of work in other areas,” Schneider said. “Now, the entire process is essentially handled by just two people.”

With Brainware for Transcripts, Cal State East Bay not only saves time and money in the Registrar’s and Admissions Offices, but increases efficiency in other departments by allowing them to advise students much earlier on course selection and inform them about transfer applicability. By working collaboratively with Hyland, the school was able to quickly implement the solution to transform the student and staff experience and make a difference across the university.

The difference

Speed university-wide access to student information

With Brainware automating the front-end work of data entry, Cal State’s student information system is updated much more quickly. This enables the Admissions Office to confirm acceptance decisions significantly faster and provides advisors with the course information required to give advice on the clearest path to graduation.

Provide template-free optical character recognition (OCR)

“One of the biggest reasons we chose Brainware for Transcripts was because it had the ability to automatically capture transcript information without the need for our staff to create a template for every potential transfer school,” Schneider said. “This allowed us to deploy the solution within the short timeframe we hoped for and saved our staff a lot of work.”

Empower continued efficiency for staff working from home

With Brainware for Transcripts, Cal State employees were able to meet the demands for reviewing transcripts while staff were forced to work from home during the global pandemic. Since Brainware automates such a large portion of the transcript data capture and review process, there was a considerable downstream impact across campus. All of the departments that rely on this information, including admissions staff, department/academic advisors and transfer credit evaluators, had immediate online access to the information they needed, thanks to the tight integration between OnBase, Brainware and PeopleSoft.