How Chaminade University & Ashland University Use Coursedog and Colleague Together

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How Chaminade University & Ashland University Use Coursedog and Colleague Together
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When evaluating potential solutions, Chaminade University was looking to replace paper-based processes and streamline curriculum, catalog, and scheduling management with one system. Ashland University was looking to evaluate existing class & event scheduling processes and identify areas for improvement alongside digitization. 

Institutional Overview

Chaminade University

Location: Honolulu, HI

SIS: Ellucian Colleague - Ethos

Ashland University

Location: Ashland, OH

SIS: Ellucian College - Ethos

The Challenge: Manual Processes and Lack of Transparency Plague SIS Users 

Prior to Coursedog, many elements of their academic operations had to be completed via manual processes: spreadsheets, forms, email, etc. As a result, both institutions experienced some problems. 

“[Colleague] is a good service, but can be clunky,” said Mark Britton, Registrar at Ashland University. After working with departments to get all the necessary scheduling information the Registrar’s Office, Mark added, “it’s not long before departments say ‘I can’t see our stuff in Colleague.’” While Colleague is excellent for holding this data and serving as a central information system, it’s not designed for end users to collaborate or innovate with their academic operations. 

The lack of visibility was an ongoing frustration at both institutions. “We were looking for complete transparency in the process. We wanted everyone to see where everything was and have access to it,” said Jenn Creech, Assistant Vice President for Student Success & Registrar at Chaminade University of Honolulu. As a small university on an island, the Chaminade team has to be strategic and intentional with their scheduling and space utilization to best optimize the resources they have. The lack of visibility into Colleague reports and data posed a major challenge . 

“We’ve all had the experience of having to hijack our systems somehow to try to make them work and make them fit,” said Mark when speaking about some of his frustrations about trying to make Ashland’s process work with the tools they had prior to Coursedog. Ellucian Colleague is a great tool for so many things, but it doesn’t quite meet all of Ashland’s needs. 

Goals: Encourage Staff Innovation & Student-Centric Processes 

When talking about how manual processes affected her team, Jenn said, “When I’m hiring people for my team, I’m not looking for people to process, I'm looking for strategic thinkers and high energy. These manual processes didn’t align with the time of employees I was hiring.” When her team was burdened with this manual work, Jenn wasn’t able to take advantage of the true talents of her team because of the amount of time they spent on basic administrative processes. 

Not only does the administrative ability to focus on strategic thinking and innovation bring greater success to the institution as a whole, but it is also one of many other factors that affect student success. The time that these manual processes take combined with their complete lack of transparency can create a lot of issues. “In the past, when we would do the schedule manually, someone would just enter it in and no one would think about it,” said Jenn. When administrators are unable to intentionally build a schedule with students in mind or pull data after each semester and review it, it’s extremely difficult to refine and optimize a schedule for student success. 

Results: Elevated Ability to Leverage Colleague and Focus on Student Success 

Now that Ashland and Chaminade are using Coursedog, they are excited that Colleague is doing what it was made to do, and Coursedog is reducing manual processes and allowing them to optimize for student success. 

“[Coursedog] is making what you are doing in your SIS fresher and easier. This sitting on top of your SIS makes a huge difference,” said Mark. While many institutions are frustrated with clunky tools that either need updating or just are too big to replace, Mark sees great opportunities for using Coursedog on top of Colleague in order to more easily modernize their processes without already worrying about how to handle this tool becoming outdated as well: “[Coursedog] is something that changes with us, and that is something that will be so great for many years to come.” 

At Chaminade, Jenn is particularly excited about is solving for the issues of transparency and lack of insightful data. Now Colleague can hold all the information it should hold, and Coursedog is the platform where Chaminade can handle all of their academic operations processes and report on them for ongoing innovation and optimization. 

“When we are talking about standardizing things, I would say going to a platform where you are able to pull data to show that there are barriers in place to prohibit student success, Coursedog gave us the platform to be able to talk about that.”

- Jenn Creech, Assistant Vice President for Student Success & Registrar at Chaminade University of Honolulu

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