Western Connecticut State University Eliminates Pain Points with FormAssembly

Oct 5, 2018

The Form Advocate

Jeffrey Shpunt

Manager of Digital Strategy & Communications

Case Study Snapshot

When Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) underwent a business process re-engineering effort five years ago, they quickly identified several pain points in their administrative processes for both students and staff. Along with identifying their need for a CRM platform by working with TargetX, the university chose FormAssembly to help further eliminate data frustrations caused by outdated processes across campus.

About Western Connecticut State University

  • Undergraduate and graduate programs that combine liberal arts and professional education
  • Over 4,000 students enrolled for the Fall 2017 semester
  • Composed of two campuses in Danbury, Conn. (Midtown and Westside)
  • Well-known in the region for nursing and visual arts programs

The Numbers

10000

(estimated) applications filled out using FormAssembly

1600 hrs

(estimated) work hour saved from implementing just one form process

2013

year of FormAssembly implementation

1400

orientation registrants processed in 10 min

The Problem

Extra Burden on Students and Staff

As is the case in many university systems, WCSU previously used paper forms to complete various administrative processes. Often, this meant that students would have to print a paper form, walk it to a separate office on campus, receive a signature, and walk the form back to its origin.

Additionally, during busy times of the year, there was “paper overload,” as Shpunt described it. Offices simply had too many forms coming in, and each new form meant more hours spent on manual data entry or processing. Unfortunately, with no digital integration, keeping up with an increasing student population and workload became harder to manage.

The Result

Integrated, Usable Form Data

When WCSU opted to use FormAssembly, Shpunt said that they saw an improvement in customer satisfaction and a reduction in their pain points.

FormAssembly in itself makes it very easy to create forms, even for a non-technical person,” Shpunt reported.

Aside from eliminating noticeable areas of frustration and having the ability to create user-friendly forms with little or no technical training, WCSU staff also experienced several crucial benefits made possible by certain FormAssembly features. These features include data validation, field requirements, and Google integration capabilities.

Data Validation

FormAssembly’s data validation options play a key role in helping WCSU stakeholders attain the information that they need, how they need it. This features is just one of the many ways that FormAssembly helps provide well-rounded data in an efficient way. By using key data validations, staff eliminate the need to edit data into usable formats.

“Data validation can tell respondents on the fly that we’re looking for something like a date field. This makes it easier for processing down the road,” Shpunt said.

Required Fields

WCSU has also noticed that required fields play a significant role in their ability to process form data quickly and efficiently. When certain fields aren’t marked as required, students and staff are more likely to skip over the information that university offices require. Although it’s a rather simple feature in the form-building process, required fields prevent the need to chase after certain individuals for missing information.

Google Sheets Integration

“There’s been a number of occasions where departments will request data from a certain data range because they can’t manage all the emails coming in,” Shpunt said.

FormAssembly’s ability to integrate with Google services provides a handy workaround for this type of reporting scenario. Reporting is quick and easy with the ability to sync form data with Google Sheets, without an additional manual data entry or spreadsheet upkeep.

Use Cases

WCSU uses FormAssembly for a wide variety of forms processed by the campus registrar.

The Registrar’s office at WCSU offers a centralized location for students to find and submit forms that come in handy as they make changes regarding their personal contact information, courses, majors, or graduation plans. If necessary, students who wish to withdraw from school can even use a simple web form to initiate the process.

Although PDF options are still available in some instances, WCSU is able to expedite the administrative processes for several typical student requests. This helps to effectively eliminate staff burden and to implement more modern technical features like e-signatures.

Add/drop form housed on Registrar website
Student-requested withdrawal form housed on Registrar website

The university’s online admissions application process is powered by FormAssembly.

Through their work with TargetX, WCSU developed a streamlined admissions application form for new and incoming students. The revamped admissions form system enables the entire process to run automatically. In fact, Sphunt estimates that this one form alone has saved up to 1,600 working hours for staff who process and handle new applicants. To date, the university is just shy of 10,000 applications using the FormAssembly-powered admissions process.

Undergraduate application for admission

What’s Next?

Although WCSU’s use of FormAssembly is well-established, Sphunt has a goal to incorporate more campus offices in the form-creating process.

“Right now, it’s still primarily an IT process, where we are fielding requests from other people to build certain forms,” Shpunt said.

Looking for more ways that universities have found success with FormAssembly? Check out our “Talk Data to Me” case study featuring the University of Michigan.

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