Fortis Document Management Software is Expanded Throughout Departments at Austin Community College and is Instrumental in the Success of the Virtual College of Texas

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Following the success in managing student records, the Austin Community College District (ACC) expanded their use of Fortis document management software throughout the college and implemented the solution to maintain faculty credential files for the Virtual College of Texas (VCT). Fortis document management software has helped ACC improve efficiency, meet compliance regulations and improve access to documents.

Westbrook Technologies, a leader in enterprise document management software for the mid-market and one of Deloitte and Touche's 2005 and 2006 "Fast 50" technology companies in Connecticut, today announced that the Austin Community College District (ACC) has expanded the implementation of Westbrook's Fortis document management software throughout various departments at the college. ACC is also using Fortis document management to store faculty credential files for the Virtual College of Texas (VCT).

ACC first adopted the Fortis document management solution in 1998 to replace their microfilm system as a more efficient and flexible method to records management. The initial implementation proved to be an effective online resource that connected their satellite campuses and improved access to student files for past, current and future students. Counselors, advisors, Admissions and Early College Start staff rely on the Fortis document management solution to obtain transcripts and other enrollment information for students.

Fortis document management software also helps ACC in meeting various compliance regulations, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) which governs how student records need to be stored, retained and secured for privacy and the Texas Public Information Act (Government Code Chapter 552).

Following the success in managing student records, ACC began implementation of Fortis document management software throughout the college in the Financial Aid department, Human Resources -Payroll, and Facilities and Construction. Within the next year, Business Services and other departments will have their own document repositories through Fortis. With implementations throughout the college, ACC's document management solution has improved administrative processes so that the college can better serve its students.

One of the most notable improvements in efficiency for ACC has been in the Financial Aid office, which processes more than 22,000 financial aid applications annually and awards over $44 million each year in various forms of aid. Financial Aid Specialists annually review and process documentation for each student, including student verification forms and if the student is a dependent, a parent verification form. These forms contain sensitive financial and household information and often require further research to verify accuracy and make sure the Financial Aid office provides an award based on the correct information.

"We now are able to make decisions in half the time from the time we receive the completed application until we mail the award letter. We attribute this efficiency to the increased accessibility of the files along with improved filing and classification of records," said Terry Bazan, Director of Financial Aid.

Thinking beyond departmental applications of Fortis, ACC decided to expand on their success with Fortis document management software by housing faculty credential files for the Virtual College of Texas (VCT). The VCT is a collaborative effort amongst nearly 40 public two-year colleges to facilitate sharing of distance learning courses among member colleges. All faculty credential files for each member college are stored in Fortis for access by host colleges and most recently by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) during their accreditation review.

According to Ron Thomson, Director of VCT, "With credential files maintained in Fortis document management, personnel from various locations can conveniently access information that would be a formidable challenge if it were not available online. In pragmatic terms, VCT would not be possible without a central electronic repository of faculty credentials. The service provided by Fortis has been vital to VCT member colleges' ability to meet accreditation requirements."

About Austin Community College
The Austin Community College District (ACC) is among the largest community colleges in the nation, offering 180 associate degree and certificate programs, university transfer courses, workforce training, adult education (access programs that get students college-ready), and continuing education opportunities for personal enrichment. ACC enrolls more than 33,000 credit students each semester and reaches an annual combined total of 65,000 students through its credit and noncredit programs. Founded in 1973, ACC has evolved into the primary gateway to higher education and training for Central Texans.

About the Virtual College of Texas
The Virtual College of Texas (VCT) is a collaborative effort to share distance learning courses among member colleges. With the VCT, Texas students have access to a statewide, online distance learning course schedule and may enroll at their home colleges to take courses that are not locally available. Over 40,000 course enrollments have taken place in VCT-facilitated courses since VCT became operational in the fall semester of 1998.

About Westbrook Technologies
Westbrook Technologies provides enterprise document management software solutions for mid-market companies that need to maintain their competitive edge. The Company develops Fortis document management software, Web-imaging (Fortis PowerWeb), ERM (Electronic Report Management), and workflow (Fortis Inflo) software in use at thousands of customer sites in 52 countries. Businesses across every vertical market depend on Westbrook Technologies' comprehensive document management solutions and use them to capture, index, store and retrieve their critical information from anywhere - instantly and securely. For more information, call (203) 483-6666 or visit http://www.westbrooktech.com.

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