Providing a comprehensive system for managing the full grants process is exciting.
Daytona State College, whose mission includes embracing excellence and diversity as well as fostering innovation, has been a leader of technology and federal grant administration within the community college and public education sectors. In 2004, Nancy Morgan, Director of Sponsored Programs guided the college with the investment of a grant management software system, the College AdministratorTM Grants Management Module and began a long term technology partnership with Information Technology Works, Inc.
Between 2004 and 2008, the college significantly increased its federal grant funding and transitioned from a community college to Daytona State College, a four year, Level II State institution. In 2011, in order to accommodate the significant growth, Daytona State College expanded its technology partnership with Information Technology Works, Inc. with the implementation of the Effort Administrator system for Effort Certification and Reporting. As technology continued to progress, Daytona State College saw the need to upgrade its systems. This led to the migration of their existing grant management solutions to the Information Technology Works’ Blue Wren product suite in 2016.
Daytona State College’s upgrade to the Blue Wren Software product suite occurred shortly after the arrival of Grants Management Coordinator, Mary Rhodes. Like her predecessors, Mary understood the need for “systems that were effective and accurate, and would empower her team to be proactive in addressing federal compliance requirements.” While at the request of senior management, Mary investigated other solutions, “the other companies didn’t have time and effort reporting at all or their functionality wasn’t as sophisticated as what was currently being utilized.” Not only that, history provided plenty of evidence “that Blue Wren would continue to offer quality products and service.” The Blue Wren Software suite was thus a natural progression for Daytona State College as it continued to address their grant management and effort reporting needs with innovative functionality as well as the latest technologies.
Daytona State College implemented two Blue Wren Software modules, Blue Wren GRM for grant management and Blue Wren Effort for effort certification and reporting. According to Mary Rhodes, Blue Wren GRM is user friendly and provides the Daytona State College Office of Sponsored Programs with a way to manage all their grants in one location, track more data effectively, easily make amendments to existing grants, and generate reports easily. With its interface to Daytona State College’s payroll system, Blue Wren Effort creates an automated effort certification system that “makes it easier to get the actual certifications completed because employees can complete them online and there is no need for paper records. It is a key component in making information quickly accessible to all who need it.”
A specific example of success occurred during a recent audit by the Florida Department of Education. During their onsite review of records, auditors requested a set of time and effort reports for a specific three year time period. With Blue Wren Effort, accurate reports were quickly generated and the auditors were very happy with the information that was provided.
Implementing Blue Wren Grants Management system has changed many things for Mary’s team. They are enthusiastic about the reporting functions and the enhanced productivity. Mary Rhodes says that “providing a comprehensive system for managing the full grants process is exciting. I haven’t even scratched the surface of the amount of information that I can get out of it from a reports standpoint. And our results have already been eye opening for senior management.”