Digital transformation is using technology and shifting your mindset to improve outdated processes and achieve your unique goals. Digital transformation in education allows you to find solutions to common problems, such as a lengthy and tedious admissions process, while also helping you prepare for the future. Parents expect schools to stay with the times to prepare their children for the future adequately. More industries are revolutionizing the way they do business through technology. Schools that use digital transformation are better equipped to set their students up for success, making these schools more appealing to families. Ravenna’s enrollment management software can be the solution you need to help you thrive in a digital world. This software has many features, including:
- Improved analytics: Data is essential to help you understand your current processes and make improvements when necessary. Ravenna’s software offers unmatched analytics to provide high-quality reporting to improve your enrollment and sustain student retention.
- Automated processes: Automation can replace many manual tasks, allowing your administrative staff to focus on more significant tasks and keeping families engaged.
- Centralized accounts and platforms: Parents can rest easy knowing all the information they need is located in one easy-to-access account. They can fill out applications, view their decision letters, and make payments in one convenient place. You can also access your essential data in one place, reducing the need for paper copies and a filing system that would waste valuable time to sort through.
- Customizable forms and processes: No single school is alike, so your software shouldn’t be either. Ravenna’s software lets you configure your processes to maintain your unique personalization and relationship with families.
- Simplified access: With Ravenna’s software, you can access the information you need from anywhere at any time. The data you need is at your fingertips, saving you valuable time as you focus on building connections with parents and prospective students.
- Enhanced relationship management: Ravenna’s software helps you foster your relationship with families, which can improve your enrollment and retention rates. You can track the progress of prospective applicants, effectively communicate with existing families, and enhance engagement.
- Simplified tuition payments: Families can pay for their tuition in one place, and you can send invoices and payment reminders to help families stay on track.
- Integrated data: You can make it easier to transfer student data from admissions to enrollment through the software. One click will transfer all the essential information you need.
This guide will help you understand digital transformation and how updating your processes can be a digital solution for education. We’ll also guide you through how you can implement digital transformation within your school and how it can benefit specific processes, such as admissions, financial aid applications and awards, enrollment, and tuition payment collections.
Chapter 1: Digital Transformation: What It Means and How It Works
Many industries are shifting their focus toward digital transformation to improve their processes and meet customer expectations. The digital transformation process revolutionizes how different industries do business, setting them up for success in the modern world. The education industry can also benefit from digital transformation as it can replace outdated processes and set students up for success as they strive towards their future. This section explains what digital transformation is and how it can benefit the education industry. We’ll also help you determine whether or not digital transformation is the right choice for your school.
What Is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation refers to using digital technology in businesses, changing how the fundamentals of how the company operates to fulfill customers’ requirements and expectations. The goal is to make processes more effective and efficient than using older methods. Digital transformation helps businesses and organizations consistently change and challenge the status quo, allowing them to experiment with new opportunities. To implement a digital transformation properly, businesses and organizations often have to turn away from traditional practices and be willing to try something new. This requires a cultural shift within the organization. If you update old practices with new technology, you’re simply digitizing, not transforming. You can only digitally revolutionize your business by shifting your thinking about current processes. Team members should do the same thing, but it can take time to transform the mindset and culture within your organization, especially if your team members are accustomed to outdated practices. You can encourage the cultural shift by fostering innovative ideas and reporting measurable improvements after you implement changes. Digital transformation always starts with:
- A problem statement
- An opportunity
- A strong goal
Understanding why your business or organization is making the digital transformation can help you outline the elements above. While digital transformation can be effective in many businesses and industries, the education industry can benefit significantly by making the change. As we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic, the education industry relied on technology to keep students on track and engaged in online lessons. However, there are more applications for digital transformation in education than just virtual learning. Digital transformation can target any individual within the educational industry, including teachers, students, administration, and staff. You can streamline various processes and create new opportunities for learning through digital transformation. Digital transformation trends in education include:
- Admissions registration via web or mobile apps
- Online student organization
- Student progression and intervention programming
- Online or remote learning options
- Online admission assessments
- Interactive learning materials and platforms
- Performance tracking
- AI assessments and analysis
- AI proctoring
- Online payments, transactions, and financial aid
Technology has many applications in the educational industry, whether you’re streamlining the admissions process, tracking student progression, or looking for new methods to further learning. Using technology will also set you apart from other schools that haven’t transformed, increasing your enrollment rates and student retention.
Is Digital Transformation Right for Your School?
Digital transformation is a process that takes some thought, consideration, and planning. You will need to get your team on board to make the switch, and it’s not something that happens overnight, but the benefits are worth the effort. The next chapter will go more in-depth about the detailed digital transformation process. For now, we’ll talk about why digital transformation for schools can significantly benefit students, faculty, administration, and staff. Think about how processes currently run in your school and see if you notice any problem areas. For example, maybe you struggle with enrollment and admissions because your process is outdated and unorganized. Digital transformation can help you find a new approach that simplifies the process for families, making it simple to input information, submit an application and view a decision letter. The right software can allow families to complete these processes in one convenient location while allowing you to view the applications and shift the prospective students to enrollment with ease. Digital transformation is the best option for any institution looking to solve complex problems and achieve short- and long-term goals. Technology can simplify many traditional practices, making it easier for administrative staff and families. The time you save allows you to focus on bigger projects, foster learning, and achieve meaningful and measurable goals.
Chapter 2: How Digital Transformation Can Help Your School
Digital transformation can help your school perform at peak efficiency and stay up-to-date with the latest technology to facilitate learning. You can effectively transform your educational institution, but you must create an action plan first. This chapter walks you through developing your own digital transformation strategy and how digital transformation can benefit your school.
Creating a Digital Transformation Strategy
Digital transformation is about more than building a new website or creating a new app. It’s a complete overhaul of old processes for something new and innovative. If you’re going to commit to digital transformation for your school, you need to have a strategy to make the transition smooth and efficient. A digital transformation strategy requires thorough and systematic care to implement new technology. A clearly defined plan can help you unlock the full potential of these new technologies and processes.
The Key Elements of an Effective Strategy
When creating your digital transformation strategy, include specific core elements to ensure you’re transforming your school and not just digitizing your outdated processes. Each member of your team needs to have an open digital mindset so you can truly make the changes you need to achieve your goals. Consider the following elements when creating your own digital transformation strategy:
1. Identify Your Problems and Goals
Before you start implementing new technology and processes, you must first identify why you’re committing to digital transformation. If you move forward without starting with this essential element, then it will be challenging to see any real success. Identifying issues and creating goals allow you to measure the results of your digital transformation strategy so you can make changes when necessary. First, look for any problem areas within your school. If you’re struggling with admissions on the financial side of things, you’ll want to implement technology that can help streamline these processes and maximize your efficiency. Next, you’ll want to identify the goals you want to achieve. For example, you may want to improve communications between administrative staff to assist with project and meeting planning or implementing new educational initiatives. If you identify this goal, you can work on executing it by using automated technology that allows you to deliver messages and collaborate with other administrative staff members.
2. Prepare to Foster Cultural Changes and Handle Resistance
Digital transformation is more than just digitizing old processes. It requires an entire mindset shift, and some people are bound to be resistant to these changes at first. After all, people are at the heart of digital transformation, not technology. It will take time to transform the mindset and culture of every individual, especially if they’re accustomed to older practices and processes. Ensure that you’re fostering these cultural changes and equipped to handle any resistance. Communicate your values with all team members, including teachers and administrative staff. Encourage them to find innovative solutions to some of the problems you identified in the first step and provide them with the digital tools to spark their creativity. The more you foster these cultural changes, the less resistance you’ll meet over time, and individuals will start to understand your vision for the school’s future.
3. Start With Small Changes
Since the cultural shift will take time, starting with small changes can help make the transition easier and set you up for future success. Ensure that the changes you make are meaningful to the goals you’re trying to achieve or the problems you’re attempting to solve. Choose a single project and measure the results after a short period. For example, you may want to have more data regarding student progress through the current curriculum to identify where you can make improvements. Start by implementing technology teachers can easily use to input students’ scores and monitor their progress through their course. These small changes can set you up to make more significant advancements in the future and give your digital transformation momentum.
4. Create a Technology Roadmap
Once you’ve established a foundation and solid strategy, you can start implementing new technology to achieve your goals and foster change within your school. You shouldn’t start with this step because you need an effective strategy and must understand why you’re making these changes before using the new technology. With a vision in place, you can use technology to leverage your strategy and successfully achieve your school’s goals. Start by outlining what technology you plan to implement first and what you want to use in the future once you’ve achieved some measurable goals. The roadmap will help you keep track of your goals and what will be your next step.
5. Choose the Right Technology and Partners
Not all technology is made equal. Some technology won’t scale as your organization grows, and the partner you select may not be able to support you in the future. When you’re looking for technology for your digital transformation strategy, choose technology that you can use to achieve your short- and long-term goals. You’ll also want to pick a partner with the right expertise and knowledge in your application to prevent any problems that could set you back. Your chosen partner should complement your strengths and help you be more efficient as an educational institution, driving results and committing to your goals.
6. Collect Data, Analyze and Take Actions
With the other elements in place, you can define what measurable goals and results you’re looking for from each new initiative. Let all your team members know what your quantifiable goals are so they can help you collect data. Analyze the data you’ve collected to determine whether you’re reaching your goals. If you’re not reaching your goals, the data should tell you where you’re falling behind. You can also collect feedback from teachers and staff to determine if the implemented programs are working as they should or if there’s another problem preventing you from achieving your desired results. Once you’ve analyzed your data, adjusting is essential to having a successful digital transformation. Having a roadmap in place beforehand will help you continue down this new path.
7. Keep up Your Momentum
Once you start seeing results for your short-term goals and minor changes, it’s time to continue with the momentum you’ve gained. You can begin to scale your transformation and accommodate larger, long-term goals. Your results will also help shift the culture within your school in favor of digital transformation since it will simplify many processes for various types of staff. More ways to digitally transform your school will emerge as time goes on, allowing you to continue finding new opportunities to become a successful educational institution.
The Benefits of Digital Transformation in Education
If you’ve never used innovative technology in your school before, you may be unaware of the benefits of digital transformation. Your educational institution can benefit from digital transformation in the following ways:
- Allows you to go paperless: Using digital technology allows you to leave paper behind, reducing the need to sort through files or store them in filing cabinets. You’ll also reduce your carbon footprint by going paperless, making your campus more eco-friendly.
- Improves data analytics: Technology allows teachers and staff to easily track student information, making it effortless to determine how individual students are progressing through the curriculum. Integrate your various systems to spot problems and find practical solutions. You can also use data analytics to enhance your performance.
- Saves time: Digital transformation saves you time with your processes, allowing you to focus on achieving your goals and implementing other strategies for success. You can also maximize teachers’ time by using online learning options for students and help families save time by making applying and enrolling in your school easier.
- Streamlines processes for families: Families appreciate it when processes are simplified, such as enrollment, tuition payments, and communication with and within the school. Through digital transformation, students and their families will have access to technology that streamlines operations. They can get tuition payment reminders, enroll multiple students at one time, and communicate with your staff to ask questions.
- Automated tasks: Digital transformation allows you to automate tedious and time-consuming tasks, letting your staff focus on other projects and tasks that require their full attention and contribute to your goals.
- Improved efficiency: Technology lets you complete manual tasks in a few simple steps rather than a long, drawn-out process. Many tasks can be completed automatically, and you can access student files and other important information in one place.
Chapter 3: Streamlining the Admissions Process
The admissions process is the first step for parents and students interested in your institution. You want to streamline the admissions process to improve the experience of parents and prospective students, making it easier for them to access information and submit their applications. Learn more about private school admissions solutions and how using technology can improve your admissions process.
The Disadvantages of a Traditional Admissions Process
Student and parent expectations of their school environment are rapidly evolving as we delve deeper into the digital world. Innovative digital practices and technology are helping modern education institutions quickly leave behind those that continue to use outdated processes and techniques. The traditional admissions process relied on parents and students reaching out to an institution and creating a relationship with the admissions team. These teams would provide parents and students with the information they need to enroll in the school. However, technology has shifted the admissions process, and prospective students and busy parents can easily find the information they need online. They can often start the admissions process without ever contacting the admission department. If your school still uses traditional admissions processes and a paper system, parents and prospective students could become frustrated and instead choose a school with a streamlined application process. You could even lose top students by failing to meet their expectations. Traditional admissions also leave room for implicit bias, which can affect decision-making. Implicit bias is when a person makes a judgment about a person based on unconscious stereotypes, which disproportionately affect minorities of varying races, sexualities, and genders. Digitizing the admissions process can help prevent implicit bias from influencing the admissions process and allows for more objective decision-making, giving parents peace of mind and establishing trust between your institution and prospective families.
Using Technology to Improve Admissions
Using private school admissions software can help you improve the admissions process and prevent the problems of traditional admissions processes. The benefits of Ravenna software in the admissions process include:
- Centralizing the admissions process: Parents can easily apply from one account and apply for multiple students. Families can also submit forms, plan for events and view admission decisions in one convenient location.
- Reducing paper usage: Traditional admission processes require an extensive paper trail of information, which often trades hands and can get misplaced or lost. Using technology allows you to keep important information in one place, reducing the risk of human error and allowing you to access files easily.
- Improving the interview process: Ravenna’s software allows your interviewers to take control of their scheduling, saving you time when you’re determining their availability. The software can even automate scheduling processes while maintaining accuracy and transparency, improving the admissions experience for potential students.
- Using flexible configurations: You can configure the software to your unique needs. With Ravenna, you can use your forms, questions, events, and processes to create a personalized experience for potential students.
- Streamlining processing: Rather than spending a copious amount of time processing applications, the Ravenna software allows you to process admissions documents quickly, saving you valuable time.
- Employing automation: Ravenna’s software uses automation tools to handle all of the hard work for you, including application segmentation, flagging files, and delivering admissions campaigns. You’ll save more time using automation technology and improve the admissions process for administrative staff and students.
Chapter 4: Efficient Financial Aid Processes
Financial aid is a significant part of the education sector as many families rely on aid to attend their desired institutions. While many schools offer aid, they may be using outdated processes that make it more challenging for families to access the assistance they need. Learn how digital transformation can make your financial aid process more efficient for your institution and prospective students.
Managing the Increasing Demand for Financial Aid
Tuition is often a significant barrier for parents and students, preventing them from enrolling in their chosen school. However, financial aid for private schools is available to help parents and students cover the costs, allowing them to attend their ideal institution. As more people become aware of financial aid opportunities, the demand for financial assistance has increased. Some private schools report that as many as 46% of students receive some form of financial aid to assist with tuition costs. Students and parents can fill out forms from their desired institution to apply for assistance, but using a traditional system can make it challenging to keep up with demand. Not using technology means parents or students may have to endure a long, tedious process to apply for aid at your institution. The process is decentralized, creating a complicated procedure for families and administration. Paperwork can get lost, misplaced or completely missed during the process, requiring more time and effort from all involved individuals. Financial aid management software provides a solution for administration and families, reducing the risk of human error and drawn-out processes.
Centralizing and Simplifying Financial Aid
School & Student Services (SSS) is a financial aid software that integrates with Ravenna, providing two solutions for financial aid processes. Both of these technologies help centralize and simplify the financial assistance process. SSS processes applicants’ information in an unbiased manner, giving families peace of mind that their applications will be processed objectively. All the data that SSS collects integrates into Ravenna’s admission profiles, allowing you to access everything you need in one convenient location. Using SSS alongside Ravenna’s software has many benefits for the financial aid process, including:
- Quick document verification: Once families upload their tax forms into the system, they can receive document verification in an average of 15 hours.
- Fast application delivery: After families have submitted their applications, the system will create a detailed folder that you can access within an hour, allowing you to process applications sooner.
- Streamlined application monitoring: The integrated system enables you to monitor an individual’s progress through your application process. You can use this information to reach out to these individuals who didn’t complete the application to encourage them to finish their financial aid applications so they can be processed.
- Easy access to documents and files: The system allows you to view documents and files as soon as families upload them. Having access to these documents as quickly as possible makes it easier to streamline the financial aid process.
- Flexible configuration: The integrated system allows you to customize the configuration. You can create a portal that will remind families to complete their financial aid applications and keep them on task.
- Applicant award tracking: You can centralize your award tracking using the SSS system, keeping track of applicant data and proposed or approved rewards in one location.
- Centralized experience: Families will appreciate the enhanced experience of having a centralized system. They can use just one form, regardless of the number of children in the household, and they’ll have access to professional help and assistance throughout the process. A centralized experience will also make it easier for you to process financial aid applications.
Chapter 5: Automating the Enrollment and Tuition Process
Enrollment and tuition are essential to your school’s success, as they help maintain student retention and keep your institution well-funded. When you’re working on your digital transformation strategy and setting goals, consider how you can use technology to revolutionize your current processes and make enrollment and tuition seamless processes for administrative staff and families. This chapter details the benefits of using enrollment and tuition management software and how they can be a solution for outdated processes.
Easier Enrollment for Everyone
The enrollment process is a crucial factor in an institution’s success, and using the right software can make enrollment management easier for your administrative staff. Enrollment management refers to using strategies for enrollment decisions to help you achieve your goals. Enrollment management often includes marketing campaigns, scholarship programs and other financial aid programs to increase retention rates. The more successful your enrollment management strategy is, the better your school can foster student learning. It becomes challenging to sustain your school’s success and provide an exceptional education to your students without quality enrollment rates. That’s why it’s essential to focus on improving the enrollment process through an online enrollment management system. Using digitized school enrollment software can help make the process easier for your school, parents and prospective students. The benefits of this software include:
- Faster enrollment process: Enrollment comprises many aspects, including contract delivery and deposit collections. Ravenna’s school enrollment software can help you speed up the process, allowing you to deliver agreements to families within seconds and send invoices to collect deposits online. You can also create customized contracts to suit your needs, whether you’re looking to integrate aid awards, collect essential data or add unique attachments.
- Reduced need for paper filing systems: Enrollment software allows you to stop using outdated paper filing systems where files can get lost or damaged. You also won’t have to spend as much time sorting through all the paperwork to find the information you need. With Ravenna’s software, the data is at your fingertips in one convenient place. An online system can also make enrollment easier for families since they won’t have to print out any paperwork or deliver it to your location. Instead, they can fill out the enrollment information online and deliver it electronically within seconds.
- Faster data collection: Digitized enrollment software uses automated tools to improve your enrollment process. Automation can collect data quickly and allows you to access any student’s data in one place at the click of a button. You can even customize these automated processes to suit the unique interests of your applicants. Faster data collection will also help you move through the enrollment process more quickly, allowing you to respond to families sooner with your decision letters.
Simplify Tuition Collection
Financial concerns can often be a significant problem for schools as tuition costs can dissuade families from enrolling and prevent your institution from receiving the funds you need to be successful. Ravenna’s tuition management software can help you manage and relieve some of these concerns by providing solutions that suit your school and families. The key features of this software include:
- Multiple payment options and flexible tuition agreements: Some families are more than willing to enroll their children at your institution but might have trouble covering the costs. Ravenna’s software lets you easily meet parents where they are, allowing them to make scheduled payments. You can also customize flexible tuition terms to accommodate different families’ needs while sustaining your school’s financial stability. Providing these options to families allows you to maintain a diverse student body and helps ensure long-term success.
- Centralized accounts: Families can benefit from Ravenna’s tuition management software by having a centralized account to manage their tuition payments in one location, regardless of the number of children they have enrolled. They won’t be required to make multiple accounts or provide identical information to make additional payments, saving them time and effort while making it easier for your institution to collect tuition. The streamlined payment process will also be easier for families to meet deadlines.
- Enhanced accuracy and efficiency: Ravenna’s automated software can help you collect tuition payments, deposits and fees through a simple process. You’ll save valuable time and reduce the risk of errors that could slow tuition payments. The software also allows you to create customized invoices, send payment reminders, and automatically apply awards or credits to families’ accounts. Automated reporting helps ensure your data and collections are accurate and up-to-date.
- Simple integrations: It can be time-consuming to transfer data manually during the primary admissions and enrollment season. The automated software can transfer essential data from enrollment to tuition for you, including financial aid awards, deposits, and remaining tuition amounts.
- Improved communications: Ravenna’s software makes it easy for you to customize your communications with families, allowing you to send invoices and reminders to the correct accounts. You can also customize your communications to reflect your institution’s mission and unique brand, personalizing your contact with families and helping build your relationship.
Ravenna’s tuition management software allows you to exceed families’ expectations and streamline enrollment and tuition collection. The software can integrate all your processes into one convenient location, improving your overall workflow, reducing the risk of errors, and increasing your chance of long-term success. Enrollment and tuition software should be a part of your digital transformation strategy to help you revolutionize your school and make the most of the digital landscape.
Conclusion: Bring Your School Into the Future
Outdated systems and processes often leave families and administrative staff frustrated. Relying on paper filing systems and other traditional practices can make the admissions, enrollment, and tuition collection process more challenging for busy parents looking to work with your school. Digital transformation modernizes outdated techniques to improve processes for everyone involved. Digital transformation refers to using new technology to make your processes more effective and efficient. Technological advancements can benefit both administrative staff and prospective or current families in the education sector. Digitizing once manual processes is becoming the norm for many people as the world continues to rely on more technology. Digital transformation is essential to stay competitive in our society. Before you can start implementing new technology, it’s essential to have a strategy to understand the importance of transforming and how it can help you achieve your goals. Schools can use the following steps to create their own unique digital transformation strategy:
- Identify problem areas and establish specific, achievable goals.
- Be prepared to encourage technological changes and ready to handle potential resistance from staff.
- Start with small changes that allow you to see measurable results.
- Determine what technology you want to use first and create a guide for what you plan to implement moving forward.
- Find the right technology or software and choose a partner that will help you grow.
- Collect and analyze data to determine if you need to make any changes.
- Sustain your momentum and continue to implement new processes and technology.
Using these steps, you should start to see changes within your institution. Families and administrative staff will notice and appreciate changes that simplify processes and sets your school apart from the rest. The benefits of digital transformation include:
- Centralized data
- Reduced need for paper filing
- Improved communications and family relationships
- Simplified integration
- Improved data collection and analysis
- Automated processes to save time and reduce costs
- Increased efficiency
- Simplified access to essential data
These are just a few of the many benefits of digital transformation. You can apply new technology in many ways to bring your school into the future and stay relevant in the evolving world. Ravenna’s enrollment management software can provide you with all of these benefits and more. Learn how we can help you solve complex problems and set you up for success by requesting a demo today.
Thank you for downloading our online guide on digital transformation for private and independent schools. In this guide, we’ll help you learn the importance of digitizing traditional or outdated processes and shifting your institution’s culture and mindset towards innovation and creative solutions. We’ll help you understand the particulars of digital transformation and how you can create a unique strategy to start making changes within your institution. Revolutionizing your school starts with creating an action plan to address problems within your current processes and identify short- and long-term goals. Look at how your school currently functions and determine if any procedures have become outdated or could use a digital overhaul. Then establish where you would like your institution to be in the next few years and create actionable goals to help you achieve your vision. Once you’ve established areas for improvement, you can focus on how digitization and software can help you enhance your institution’s processes, allowing you to provide quality education to your students and reducing the burden on administrative staff. Digital transformation can help you with problems and goals related to:
- Financial aid
Ravenna’s management software helps bring your school into the digital world and prepares you for the future as more families expect institutions to keep up with the modern world. Transforming your current processes with this software can help your school in many ways, including centralizing your data, improving relationships with families, and enhancing your admissions and enrollment processes to increase student retention. Try Ravenna’s software demo today and learn how we can help set your school apart from the rest.