UM-Dearborn grade change process goes electronic

With COVID-19 and working from home upon the university community, leadership at UM-Dearborn identified the need to move the paper-based process for grade corrections known as Grade Change into an electronic format. There was an additional pressure: the “busy season” for grade changes was just a few weeks away.

Salesforce was chosen as the solution—it was already in use, which meant no additional cost and minimal training.  

Within a week of identifying the need, all of the associate deans from the four colleges outlined the scenarios and approval steps needed to consent to a change of grade. The Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Team within Dearborn ITS then translated these requirements into a workflow prototype that was then custom built with UM-Dearborn’s Salesforce instance. This was a perfect use case to pilot the workflow engine.

Within another two weeks, the newly-designed electronic workflow was live in production. Some of the bells and whistles include a faculty-facing web form, automated next steps in the approval process, and automatic email alerts to notify groups that there is a review waiting for them to complete. Upon approval, there is a queue of records that the Office of the Registrar uses to complete the data changes and mark as “closed.”

Moving the paper-based process into Salesforce eases the burden on staff to reduce the need for processing paper forms and manually, both while working from home and when staff come back to campus. This method also greatly improves data tracking and reporting.

“The University took a paper-based process, and made it digital. The Registrar’s Office has long been interested in implementing workflow, and it is wonderful to see it come to fruition,” said Tim Taylor, University Registrar.

“ITS and the colleges were great partners in this implementation. With grade changes now being handled via electronic workflow, the process becomes more convenient, efficient, and accurate.”

Special shoutout to Associate Provost, Mitch Sollenburger, Registrar, Tim Taylor, and the CRM Team (Cole Motley, Ethan Savage, and Greta Valmassoi) for pushing this project over the finish line.