QLess technology allows Broward College students to schedule appointments for activities such as applying for admission, applying for financial assistance, class registration, and gaining access to academic advising. Students no longer wait in long lines to access the services they need; instead, they register for appointments via on-site kiosks or with the help of student affairs staff using tablets. The students can then leave to engage in other campus activities and return at their appointment times to promptly and quickly complete their business.
“When I arrived on Broward College in 2014, the college president gave me a very specific task – make the lines disappear,” said Dr. Rolando García, South Campus President for Broward College. “With the QLess solution, we’ve come a long way toward achieving that goal and have gained remarkable insights about the services we provide that are helping us improve the entire college experience for our students.”
Every year, 67,000+ students return to Broward College lining up to register for classes, apply for financial aid, and request academic advisement and tutoring. The peak of these activities typically happen at the same time each term with everyone showing up at once. The long lines and lengthy waits for services place a great deal of pressure on faculty and staff trying to assist their students.
“Our student affairs offices provide student services from one building at each of our locations,” said Dr. García. “Typically, the lines of students would stretch out of those offices, through the building, and even out the doors.”
In addition to reducing the time students wait for services, a major goal for Broward College was to gain deeper insights into how to better provide those services, how effective they are, and how to administer them more efficiently.
While researching queue management systems, Dr. García discovered QLess and within a short period of time led the college-wide implementation of QLess technology across Broward College’s three main campuses and four centers. The goal was not only to reduce the amount of time students wait for services, but to also gain the insights to provide a college experience for students across all locations that is excellent and consistent.
“At South Campus, we saw a positive change almost immediately with lines dropping off to a minimum,” he said. “When I demonstrated the solution to our college provost and other campus leaders at one of our college leadership meetings – joining our provost to a remote queue at one of our campuses from our Downtown Center – they saw how effective this QLess solution is, and they were all in.”
Students access the QLess solution to register for appointments and services via on-site kiosks. During peak periods, campus staff circulates with tablets to assist students and help them schedule a date and time to return. The students can then depart to attend class, study, or participate in other campus activities, returning at their appointed times. Students receive regular updates via text or voice message with any delay or schedule change.
“The data we get from the QLess solution helps us chart the peaks in student activity so we can better plan and manage services,” said Dr. García. “By plotting when the peaks will occur, we can ensure that there we have enough staff at the right locations to assist our students in a timely way.”
Broward College is adding QLess features to conduct customer service feedback surveys and market campus activities and programs that may interest students. Additionally, students will be able to access the QLess app to schedule appointments via their mobile devices, tablets, and PCs.
While the QLess solution has helped Broward College move toward its goal of eliminating lines, another major benefit has been gaining access to insights from students. For example, QLess allowed the college to determine that academic advising at South Campus alone had over 28,000 student visits in 2014.
“In higher education, access has historically been the primary priority but we have now moved into an era where student success is our top priority,” said Dr. García. “With QLess, we are not only able to see how many students used advising services, but who they are, how often they use that service, and how those services correlate to their academic performance. With this information we are able to continuously improve the quality of the services we provide.”
Dr. García also cites that during an outage of their student information system, staff was able to use QLess to continue scheduling student appointments and gather key student data until the system was restored. Without QLess, all student services activity would have come to a halt.
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