Great Basin College
Great Basin College (GBC) enriches people’s lives by providing student-centered, post-secondary education to rural Nevada. GBC offers associate and baccalaureate level instruction in both career and technical education. About 3,800 students are enrolled online from across the country and at campuses across 86,500 square miles, two time zones, and ten of Nevada’s largest counties.
The Veterans Resource Center (VRC) at Great Basin College is committed to supporting academic excellence for its service-connected family. The not-for-profit organization is a safe and encouraging environment, offering veterans a single point of contact to help maximize military education benefits and support services. The VRC offers several support services and amenities for veterans and their dependents and networking with local veteran organizations to provide further resources to veterans on campus.
When VRC Coordinator, Jennifer Koopman, started her position with Great Basin College in July 2019, she entered with fresh eyes and new ideas for how to streamline the communication process between students, other departments at the college and the public.
The Veterans Resource Center was established under an initiative introduced by the previous governor of Nevada, with the plan of providing a “single point” where vets can connect to resources and find direction to navigate through the process of continuing education. Jennifer, as the Veteran Affairs School Certifying Official is the communication link between the college and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Having this role housed within the VRC creates fewer steps for veterans to register, apply and ultimately use their VA education benefits to attend college at GBC. However, having the VA School Certifying Official housed in the VRC initiated a move of stored documents from another department to the VRC. In moving the stored documents, the need for a document management solution became clear as it is required to retain VA student records for at least three years. Student files can range from ten documents to hundreds and require a lot of floor space to store.
Additionally, coordinating with other departments at the college was challenging as staff were required to print and/or copy documents and then hand carry them between departments across campus. With the manual system in place, paper was a bottleneck, information security was at risk and human error/loss of personal data became a serious concern.
Jennifer, along with the VRC’s Assistant Coordinator John Green, realized that moving the student records to a digital format would free up much-needed office space, improving collaboration between departments while providing a secure environment for exchanging sensitive information. Jennifer and John discovered they already had access to a document management software solution that required a TWAIN compliant device, so John reached out to the TWAIN Working Group for a document scanning solution.
The TWAIN Working Group provides a royalty free, open standard for software developers to enable communication between applications and document scanners, offering an end-to-end scanning solution. The TWAIN Working Group reached out to its member companies, and Alaris, a Kodak Alaris Business, generously stepped forward, by donating a scanner to assist the VRC’s initiative to digitize its documents.
Alaris sent the Veterans Resource Center the Kodak E1035 document scanner. The E1035 is easy to set-up and integrate with existing business processes and applications – from network to Cloud – and enables users to scan up to 35 pages per minute right out of the box. The E1035 features Smart Touch technology and an 80-page document feeder, which is the largest capacity in its class. Last year, Keypoint Intelligence – Buyers Lab (BLI) selected the Kodak E1000 Series Scanner as winner of its Summer Pick award based on key attributes such as usability, image quality and value.
The Kodak E1035 scanner, working with TWAIN drivers and the VRC’s document management software, is now providing the Veterans Resource Center the ability to digitize its 3-year backlog of student files.
“The scanner from Kodak Alaris is quick with no jams and produces great images,” Veterans Resource Centers Assistant Coordinator John Green said. “We have had no need for rescans which really speeds up our process. In the future after the student file scanning is complete, I see us using this system to more effectively communicate electronically within the community, as we do on a regular basis.”
“With the help of the TWAIN Working Group and Kodak Alaris, we expect to have our 3-year document backlog digitized in a number of months. After that, we can start tackling the new student files,” said Jennifer Koopman. “The addition of this technology has enabled us to provide continuity and collaboration between departments here at the college in a far more secure environment. Most importantly, digitization is allowing us to better advocate for our veteran students. All departments can now work together more efficiently so our students can achieve their education goals smoothly and in less time. Physically, the office is less crowded, allowing our veteran students and veteran volunteers a great space to share information and ideas. We are most grateful to the TWAIN Working Group and Kodak Alaris for their support of such an important resource for our veterans and their families.”