Refinement of Online Registration

COMPLETED FALL 2009

Start:  February 7, 2008                                    End:   July 31, 2008
Lead: Jim Nesbit
Team:  Robert Reeder, Robin Vanderbilt, Kay Vorholt

Outcome:  Fewer registration errors, increased student satisfaction

AQIP Criterion to which this primarily relates: Supporting Institutional Operations
Briefly describe what you would like this project to accomplish.
Our goal has been to move from a faculty- and staff-oriented registration process to one where students have ownership of registration for appropriate classes in their selected curricula and knowledge about their graduation requirements through use of degree audit.  This will be accomplished by staff and faculty working together to refine the student registration information, curricular orientation for students, and modification of the business processes that support registration.

Where did the idea or stimulus for this project originate? Since the first time the college administered the Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory in 1999, scores for the item “The business office is open during hours which are convenient for most students” has rated lower than national group means (with difference statistically significant at the .001 level).  Being a small college with some evening programs and many adult learners who work, we knew that the primary way to address this concern was developing online capabilities for our students.  The college implemented a student-centered online registration in 2007.  It was beta-tested with a small number of academic programs in winter 2007 and was rolled out to almost all the students for the fall 2007 semester.  These two registration periods highlighted several technical and processes challenges that have a significant impact on the long-term effectiveness of the new system.

Which specific needs of your students or other external stakeholders would be better met if you accomplished this project? How?
—Students will be able to register for the courses without guessing which ones are reserved for specific groups.
—Students will be able to confidently use degree audit for determining courses they need for graduation.
—Students will be able to accurately register for courses for which they are eligible instead of having to register in the “audit” field because the computer thinks the pre-requisites were not yet completed.

How would doing this project allow you to better meet your employees’ needs? Which, specifically?
—More effective management of the wait lists for courses in high demand.
—Ability to reduce or better manage the number of reserved courses, which will greatly aid the faculty advisors.
—Greater use and accuracy of degree audit for registration and graduation tracking, which will eventually positively affect graduation preparations.
How would accomplishing this project change or affect your institution’s culture?
Further refinement of online registration will build consistent confidence in the new system.   Faculty, staff, and students will know that the online registration process serves their needs consistently and effectively.

What leadership and employee enthusiasm and support is there for doing this project now?
Great enthusiasm for online registration exists with most faculty, staff, and students.  Enthusiasm will increase when the system is trouble-free.