Argos Makes the Grade for Student Transcripts
University of the West of Scotland
In 2006, University of the West of Scotland (UWS) moved off their old in-house written database and on to Oracle, and purchased Ellucian Banner as their ERP. At the time, they were using a third-party product for their transcripts. Using this product in their new set-up would’ve required it to be completely rewritten. Even then, they couldn’t be sure that it would work.
In addition, they wanted to use this opportunity to unify transcripts and their corresponding processes across all schools (campuses). Previously, each of the schools were doing their own thing for transcripts, with their own standards. An initiative was put forth to unify these processes into one common process and one set of standards for everyone.
Around 2008, knowing that Evisions was a strategic partner of Ellucian, the Banner Team manager at UWS looked into Argos as a potential solution to their transcript needs. The University installed Argos on a few stand-alone PCs for testing. Soon after, they realized it was possible to use Argos’s banded reports to create transcripts that were reliable, accurate, and that met their standards. Those doing the testing also were pleased by the user-friendliness of Argos.
They installed Argos on their central server and, since then, University of the West of Scotland has been using Argos to produce both unofficial and official transcripts. The primary beneficiaries have been their students and their Registry department.
UWS students can log into the Banner Student Record System online portal and generate an ‘interim’ transcript. These transcripts are unofficial. The contents are current up to the date run and are typically used by students to get quick access to check certain details. This solution, produced through the Student Record System online portal, calls Argos to generate a PDF which the student may then download and print.
These self-service interim transcripts are important to UWS students, as it enables them to produce on-demand transcripts 24/7. It is utilized thousands of times per year. (In 2022, UWS issued just over 3,500 transcripts on demand to students using Argos.) For official transcripts, students may request these from the UWS Student HUB, which will produce and print an official copy that a student can come and collect.
Registry Staff, using individual on-demand or batch query reports, may generate a variety of transcript formats for students, investigation of student records, reference requests, and graduation purposes. The batch function is most useful following graduation ceremonies, when the entire cohort of graduating students is selected by ceremony code and transcripts are generated for distribution.
There are also other ways UWS is utilizing these transcripts. The University’s School Board of Examinations meets regularly with academic colleagues, and they rely on Argos’s transcript reports to determine if a student should be progressed to the next level of study or not.
Each of the schools also use Argos extensively. They have access to the ‘internal’ version of the transcripts (batch and individual), the Prospective Credit Transcripts, and the Prospective Credit Reports. They use them to establish the status of a student, as they provide data in one place rather than having to find the same information in several different places in Banner.
Lastly, with recent advancements in their Student Record System online portal, UWS has improved their ability to track grades, marks, decisions, GPAs, etc., by specific programs of study. The University is now looking to, over the next year, amend their transcripts to interpret and display this information.
“I find Argos straightforward to use. The data loads quickly and I have never had any issues with it.”