Student Services Demonstration Script : Student Records

By June 21, 2015

To support the educational mission of VU’s academic departments, the administration plans to build on its efforts to provide easy ways for students to register and enroll for courses, receive advising assistance, and monitor academic performance and progress. In the future, students will be better able to assess information and make informed choices about academic opportunities through a user-friendly student system that provides answers to commonly asked questions. High quality and timely services will be provided to all students whether they are on or off-Grounds. Students will have access to more on-line information to assist with course selection, registration and tracking progress. This will allow advisors to focus on a higher level of advising.
All students, whether on-Grounds or off, will be able to register via telephone or WWW and have the same privileges and access to service. While the priority system will most likely continue, students will have the option to pre-enter their course selections at a time that is convenient for them. Also, students will be notified automatically about deadlines (i.e., add/drop).
The amount of paper processing in the various Registrars’ offices should be reduced through WWW and telephone access by faculty, staff, and students; electronic transmission and receipt of transcripts, grades, transfer credits and other information; the use of electronic forms and signatures for grade and status changes and course scheduling transactions; reports that are easy to access, read and use; and an improved capability to manage course conversion from other institutions. Capabilities such as these, and others to yet be included, should allow for a reduction in the amount of time devoted to clerical activities. As such, staff will need to be retrained on new technologies and service delivery approaches and redirected to higher value activities.
Advising for undergraduates and, to a lesser extent, graduates and professional students will become more consultative, philosophical and exception based as students are able to locate answers to routine questions themselves. Support for advisors should include the capability to conduct on-going degree audits, the development of on-line reference to find answers quickly, and the availability of contact list of experts as references for students.
Schools, departments, and faculty will have the ability to monitor course enrollment real-time, and will be notified of course demand and waiting lists so that they can consider new sections. Faculty should also have additional tools available to facilitate the administrative aspects of teaching. For example, features will include: access to no-line grade book and submission of grades; the capability to conduct item analysis for on-line, multiple choice exams, an on-line class roll with bulletin board, chat-room/WWW page, and e-mail Ids to automatically generate distribution lists; and on-line course evaluations.
1 Course Catalog
A professor has proposed a new course. Accessing the on-line catalog, the relevant course data such as course description, course number, title, credit hours, etc. are entered into the system. The proposed course is sent electronically to the department chair/appropriate approval committee for consideration. The approval committee activates the system to check for duplication and overlap with existing courses. The system indicates that no overlap was found. The committee then considers the value that the course will bring to the curriculum. Approval is granted and authorization is made in the system.
Course catalogs are updated electronically to the new course. If a faculty member chooses to review it an electronic notification of students eligible to take the course is available.
Demonstrate the ability to:
1.1 Enter the course into the system. Include the following information: course number, long course name, short course name, course description, credit hours, instructor, anecdotal information about the creation of the course, prerequisite courses, required texts, syllabus, and any other information the system maintains about a course
1.2 Archive the Course. Indicate the period during which the course was active.
2 Course Schedule
The new course, as well as like-term courses, is electronically transmitted to the department for review and update with specific room requests. Updated information is electronically transmitted to the Registrar for room scheduling.
Room scheduling software is electronically applied to proposed offerings, and schedules sections in appropriate rooms according to utilization, room characteristics, etc. A copy of this schedule is electronically sent to the department chairs, through the dean if necessary, who then electronically sends a schedule to the faculty.
The Registrar’s Office downloads the course offering data to the publisher and web sites.
Demonstrate the ability to:
2.1 Create and maintain an unlimited number of terms, which have flexible start and end dates.
2.2 Create a preliminary list of fall term courses by rolling forward the previous fall term’s courses.
2.3 Modify current term course records including title, instructor, credits, duration, meeting schedule, location, etc.
2.4 Selectively choose the semester to which a class will be credited.
2.5 Process payments to adjunct faculty according to the course schedule, rather than by the semester in which the course is credited.
3 Course enrollment
Halfway through the fall semester a student is deciding, with the help of an advisor, the best courses to take during the spring semester. They review a degree completion plan that was generated when the student entered, based on an initial planned course of study. In preparing for the course enrollment period, the Registrar’s Office establishes priority for release to the system (based on decisions of Provost), runs batch jobs for assigning advisor access codes for undergraduates and appointment times to every student. Advising cards are printed and forwarded to advisors for pickup by students. This insures that academic advising will occur for all undergraduates. Graduate and professional students are alerted to time of access through printed copy and web instructions.
3.1 Demonstrate ability to assign priority for course enrollment based on various data fields such as academic level (academic hours earned), registration type for student, and so forth. Provide random assignments within groups.
3.2 Demonstrate ability to assign advising access codes for undergraduate population and ability to assign appointment times, in addition to making this available to advisors, or ability to provide alternate methods to insure that advising occurs.
3.3 Provide capability for assigning special security or access code for enrollment in individual courses that require permission of instructor.
3.4 Create and maintain eligibility criteria, i.e., holds, academic progress, etc.
3.5 Identify the student population to register, i.e. currently enrolled, admitted, etc.
During the course enrollment appointment, the student uses a PIN and advising access code to access the system, if required by school of enrollment, and selects courses. One of the courses the student wishes to take requires the completion of a prerequisite course. The student is currently enrolled in the prerequisite course, so registers for the next level course for the spring semester. The system notifies the student of any conflicts and suggests alternatives.
3.6 Allow real-time enrollment for current and future terms.
3.7 Disallow enrollment in a course if restriction criteria are not met and notify students of unmet eligibility by preferred method, i.e., real-time, IVR, email, web, and so forth.
3.8 Detect and notify student of scheduling conflicts (on-line, real-time).
3.9 Compile course data by student and produce student schedules for access on-line, interactive voice response, web, and so forth.
The student makes the necessary adjustments to the schedule and is wait-listed for a course. One of the courses selected requires instructor consent. The instructor-provided consent number is entered in the system to allow enrollment. At the end of the course enrollment session the schedule and fee statement are sent to the student using the current student address. For enrollments for future terms, system should provide capability for selecting addresses other than current.
3.10 Allow the student to be “wait-listed” for closed courses and provide on-line reports to support departmental course management of wait lists. Functionality should be available on a course-by-course basis.
3.11 Allow students to “add” and “drop” courses and switch course sections, based on multiple begin-end dates approved by individual schools. Adjust tuition and departmental awards accordingly.
During the course enrollment process, a new course is quickly filled. Due to the demand, the department chair decides to add a section (with a minimum enrollment limit). By the first day of classes, however, the minimum enrollment has not been met. The extra section is canceled and all students who had enrolled in that course are notified by their preferred method.
3.12 Cancel a course, notify enrolled students and delete canceled courses from a student record.
Unfortunately the student fails the prerequisite course during the fall semester. The system automatically notifies the student of ineligibility to enroll in the course with the prerequisite, and drops the student from the class list. Additionally, the system suggests alternatives, such as re-taking the failed course, and sends notification of enrollment for the wait-listed course along with its accompanying lab, if appropriate. The department, when notified of the demand by the registrar, opened an additional section of the course to accommodate the wait-listed students.
3.13 Automatically withdraw a student from a pre-enrolled course, based on failure of a prerequisite course.
3.14 Automatically enroll students into courses linked together, i.e. a lecture with lab, and the ability to also drop students from linked courses.
4 Final registration
Enrollment in courses does not constitute final registration for a particular term. Final registration is based additionally on academic and disciplinary eligibility, and payment of fees. Every student must verify, at the beginning of each term, his or her final registration status. All student privileges (i.e., meal plans, access to athletic facilities and events, and so forth) are accorded or revoked based on this action.
4.1 Demonstrate ability for student to complete final registration at the beginning of each term.
4.2 Demonstrate capability for multiple academic and administrative offices to place and remove registration blocks. Display to student a prescribed level of detail about existing blocks.
4.3 Send confirmation of final registration to student by preferred method, i.e., interactive voice response, web, e-mail and so forth.
5 Grading and Grade Reporting
Faculty would like to use a variety of systems to report final student grades. Some would like to utilize central support for entering grades; others would prefer to have access that allows them to enter grades directly into the system. Grade sheets must use student identification numbers, not social security numbers.
Demonstrate ability to:
5.1 Generate final grade sheets for faculty.
5.2 Provide for batch processing of final grade sheets submitted by faculty, in addition to accepting electronic grade submission.
5.3 Allow different grading systems, and the ability for individual schools to selectively choose acceptable grades and award different grade points for identical letter grades.
6 Faculty Advising and Degree Audit
In advising students faculty must have access to a student’s current transcript, program of study and degree audit information. Demonstrate the security that allows only the current advisor access to an individual’s academic transcript.
6.1 Demonstrate an advisor appointment scheduling system.
6.2 Provide a student’s transcript on-line to an authorized faulty advisor. Demonstrate authorization process.
6.3 Provide a degree audit with capability of evaluating current program of student, by matching a student’s transcript to a given program of study and evaluating missing requirements, in addition to “what-if” scenarios and individual specific programs. Make copies of evaluations available to advisor and student by web, e-mail, hard-copy reports, and so forth.
7 Transcripts and Certifications
The most important document produced for a student is the academic transcript. The registrar’s office must also verify registration for other purposes: scholarship awards, good-student discounts for insurance, loan deferments, and credit-card issuance being the most often requested.
7.1 Demonstrate on-line transcript production.
7.2 Provide a tracking system for transcripts requested and sent.
7.3 Provide on-line certification system for individual requests by student, and tracking system for same.
7.4 Demonstrate production of complete transcripts (all work attempted at institution), in addition to transcripts by degree earned, i.e., undergraduate, graduate, and professional.