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DoIT is upgrading BraveWeb services for students

by Kelly Mayo, Managing Editor

June 13, 2012

UNCP Campus
Summer on campus near the water feature and clock tower.
Photo by Alexis Prine

Applying for graduation is a pain. So is requesting a transcript. Running a degree audit is even worse.

The Department of Information Technology (DoIT) understands that, which is why it is updating many services and applications students use on BraveWeb to increase University efficiency.

Streamlined forms

A four-person enterprise application team is working on updating BraveWeb's software so that the improved applications will be ready to use by fall 2012, according to Les Davidson, director of enterprise applications.

"It's a joint project, but each person has individual responsibilities based on skill set," Davidson said.

One of those responsibilities involves moving the process of applying for graduation online.

Davidson said that after DoIT's upgrades, students will be able, from their own computers, to fill out the form, make required payments and send the form to each department that requires a signature.

"This will save some shoe leather for the student," Davidson said.

DoIT will also shift the transcript request process online.

Students will be able to request and pay for a transcript online, then either pick it up at the registrar's office or have it sent to them or prospective graduate schools and employers.

Davidson said that DoIT will also overhaul the online degree audit process.

"We'll be upgrading the software, transfer the data to new software, and I expect in the fall we'll be using it," Davidson said.

The new software will be easier to work with than the old software," according to Robert Orr, CIO and associate vice chancellor for information resources.

"U.Achieve is the software package we'll be implementing. It's a much more user-friendly interface," he said.

Orr also said that since the registrar's office owns the information that goes into a degree audit, DoIT will work in conjunction with the office to improve the audit process.

Ad-free texts

Another task DoIT hopes to complete by fall 2012 is the collection of students' phone numbers and carrier information to send personalized text messages relating to "critical" information regarding their BraveWeb accounts.

"We won't be advertising an event. It will be something like 'you need to see Financial Aid',' Orr said.

Easier for students

Orr said the goal of DoIT's endeavor is to improve student services and, in the case of the text messages, viral communications with students.

He also said that "there's a lot more things in the pipeline," including working with Campus Police to put parking information online and collaborating with the Bookstore to enable online purchases.

"It will make it easier for students and easier for the university as well," Orr said.

Davidson said that DoIT wants students to know about and become involved with the updating process so that the department will know if it is on the right track.

"We need some feedback on what works and what doesn't work," Davidson said.

Spring 2012 graduate Noah Clark said he was glad that some of the more tedious aspects of graduating were being improved, but wished he could have benefitted from the updates.

"This would have been helpful in the fall when I was applying for graduation," Clark said.

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Updated: June 7, 2012
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