March 26, 2014
While all eyes are on OneCarolina’s just-begun second phase, the systems introduced as part of the project’s first installment are continuing to receive regular improvements and updates.
Most notably, UTS and the Office of the Registrar are rolling out a veritable bevy of behind-the-scenes enhancements designed to make registration process more stable and more streamlined. Staff have been holed up the last few months combing through data, analyzing trends, and looking for ways to improve how students access Self Service Carolina and register for classes.
A number of optimizations are now in place allowing more students to smoothly complete the registration process. On top of that, UTS made changes to network and server components to maximize systems availability across the board. And that’s good news, because registration activities for the summer and fall have begun on most campuses and are scheduled to continue through April.
Elsewhere, students now have the ability to order transcripts through Self Service Carolina. To date, over 7,800 transcripts have been ordered. The new system gives students the ability to securely request their transcript as a PDF and have it mailed to them directly.
On the technical side of things, teams are busy upgrading the identity management system, Banner to its most recent version (8.6), and Cognos, the decision support and reporting engine for the data warehouse, to version 10.
Additionally, more interfaces continue to be developed between the Banner database and the various systems spread across USC’s eight campuses. Examples of previous auxiliary systems tying into Banner include the university bookstore, CarolinaCard, parking, housing, and the library.
“One principle we are trying to maintain is that Banner is the university’s system of record, meaning that while data for official reporting and record-keeping is maintained there, it's also extensible to support other university systems and processes so that data can be shared, accessed, and not needlessly duplicated many times over,” said Student Information Systems Program Manager Rita Anderson.
Other news and notes from the student system side:
- The Financial Aid system received an update making it compliant with new federal regulations for the 2014-15 academic year.
- Over 2,500 December graduates were processed through Banner.
- Over 55,000 1098-T tuition statements were processed and mailed to students in January. This was a major undertaking, as data for half of the year existed in the old mainframe system and needed to be converted and merged with Banner data.
- Once every semester, students are now automatically prompted to enter emergency contact information and sign up for emergency alerts when signing in to Self Service Carolina.
- Housing is now using the TouchNet online credit card payment system to accept payments.