Over the past two years, the U.S. education system has experienced a digital transformation of epic proportions. Rightfully so as expectations for educational environments have also evolved rapidly. Fully remote and hybrid classrooms were pushed to the forefront, serving as a catalyst for this seismic shift. As institutions return to the new ‘normal’ many of their processes will remain predominantly digital even in a post-pandemic world.
In response to this digital-first approach, many schools are opting into paperless signing processes. Some are student-facing forms like course add/drops or incomplete grade contracts. Others are operational forms like vendor contracts and onboarding packages. These organizations are realizing immediate time savings while ultimately preparing for a future in which more education is delivered virtually.
An AFTIA Solution in Action
One such higher education institution that did not hesitate to adopt electronic signatures is one of AFTIA’s clients. They needed to reduce the time and effort that they were spending on administrative processes. Previous attempts to automate these processes had failed. The solution would need to integrate with student records and content management systems, but also be easy to maintain. Most importantly, it had to be flexible enough to take on more HR, student, and faculty processes over time. They identified their Incomplete Grade (iGrade) Student Record Contract process as the first use case to automate. This process allows students and instructors to collaborate on a plan of action to address incomplete grades. Once prepared, the student, instructor, and school administrator sign off on the assignment plan.
AFTIA Solutions used the Adobe Document Generation API, Acrobat Sign, and Microsoft Power Automate to automate the generation of the student contract, route it for signatures, and archive the signed copy. Developed in a few weeks, the solution integrates with the college’s Peoplesoft and OnBase implementations. The solution was designed to easily incorporate other administrative processes at the college and can be quickly adapted in order to help other institutions with their digital transformation.
Implementing eSignature Solutions has never been as easy or necessary
eSignature solutions enable resilience and adaptability in today’s unpredictable education landscape and will continue to do so even beyond the pandemic. Electronic signatures guarantee workflows remain consistent even when working or living conditions change. In fact, access to digital services like eSignatures is a vital component of technology parity, ensuring that all employees and students have secure access to the resources they need.
eSignature solutions have become far more than beneficial, they have become essential to the long-term stability of the education system. By minimizing error, safeguarding private data, streamlining applications and vendor agreements, and increasing operational efficiency, seamless digital signing serves as a key administrative cornerstone for forward-thinking educational institutions.