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As part of the Integrated Systems Procurement project, a Student Services Task Force met from November 1997 through January 1998 to discuss future directions for student processes and systems at the University of Virginia (hereinafter called UVa). The Task Force built upon the work of the Integrated Systems Task Force and the Student Enrollment Services Process Owners Groups in order to develop this strategic direction statement. In addition, the Task Force obtained student input. The resulting beliefs and vision for the future described in this document are intended to help guide the selection of a software vendor and an implementation partner and to assist current and future reengineering efforts.
The Student Services Task Force defined student services as encompassing all of the services and activities from recruitment through transition out of the University:
- Recruit and select applicant/student for admission
- Manage student finances, including provision of financial support and assessment, billing and collection of tuition and fees
- Advise, register and track performance of students
- Provide student life services
- Transition students through career placement and post-graduation support
- Manage information throughout the student lifecycle
The Task Force defined the scope of its discussion broadly to include all types of students (undergraduates, graduates, professional and continuing education students) in all academic programs of the University.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Each of the four sections of the Strategic Direction Statement answers a set of questions about the future:
I. STRATEGIC CONTEXT
- What is the strategic context for change?
- What are the key trends and issues impacting the delivery of student services and information in the future?
- What overarching beliefs does UVa have about student services and how processes and systems should support service delivery in the future?
III. PROCESS FEATURES AND EVENT VIGNETTES
RECRUIT & SELECT FOR ADMISSION
MANAGE STUDENT FINANCES
ADVISE, REGISTER & TRACK PERFORMANCE
STUDENT LIFE SERVICES
- What are the key design characteristics of the processes and systems that will enable the delivery of specific activities in the future?
- Based on the beliefs and process and system design characteristics, how will specific activities occur in the future?
I. STRATEGIC CONTEXT
What is the strategic context for change? What are the key trends and issues impacting the delivery of student services in the future?
UVa faces challenges related to: growing competition to recruit the best and brightest students from diverse backgrounds; the need to offer high quality services and equal treatment to attract and retain traditional and non-traditional students; and increasing demands from applicants, students, faculty and staff to have access to accurate, timely information through multiple delivery modes. In response to these trends, the University plans to create and support an environment in which faculty and staff work together to deliver quality, seamless services to students and alumni anytime, anywhere.
The University faces an increasingly competitive market for students and has recognized the need to conduct proactive and competitive recruiting at the national and international level for undergraduate, graduate and professional students of the highest quality and diversity. The University will continue to strive to maintain a diverse student population in terms of geography, race and outlook. To meet these diversity goals, UVa will need to be more proactive, targeted and personal in its recruiting efforts.
Another challenge is the need to integrate and provide quality services to the non-traditional student. UVa must consider how to change services and use technology to meet the needs of the non-traditional, summer session and continuing education students. More and more, these students are demanding that the University offer them the same level and convenience of service as the traditional student body. For example, they want options that obviate the need to enroll in courses, pay tuition and fees, and complete the final registration process all 'in person'.
Applicants and all types of student customers are becoming more technically sophisticated and have increased service expectations from university administrators and departments. In order to address these demands, now and in the future, the University needs to invest in technology and improve student services to facilitate the provision of accurate, up-to-date information and high quality services through multiple modes of delivery such as telephone, WWW, fax as well as in-person. However, even as the University makes its student processes more high-tech, it is cognizant of the need to maintain the appropriate level of human contact and oversight of the services it offers to its customers.
To provide high quality services to students, schools and administrators require flexibility in how they deliver student services and manage information. This necessitates that administrative systems be flexible and capable of easy, accurate and timely transfer of information. At the same time, the University recognizes the need to standardize policies and processes where possible and appropriate.
What overarching beliefs does the University have about student services and how processes and systems should support student services in the future?
We hold the following beliefs about how student processes and systems should function in the future:
- Students should have multiple ways to receive and provide information.
- Students should have access to a 'single point of contact' for information and any distinctions between administrative offices should appear transparent to them - students should not be required to become experts in the University's administrative structure.
- Administrative offices should have multiple ways to communicate with students.
- The student information system should be designed for all users: students, faculty and administrators.
- The system should be easy to use, update and maintain, even for infrequent users.
- Entry points to the system will need to include but not limited to WWW, Interactive Voice Response, and PCs in both remote and on-Grounds locations.
- The system should be flexible to support diverse and changing needs.
- Services and information should be available as fluidly off-Grounds as on.
- Information should mirror the stages of a student from applicant to alumnus.
Data Capture and Storage
- Applicants, students and staff should be encouraged to initiate transactions as appropriate so that information is entered once at the source.
- Data must be accurate, timely, consistent and secure.
- Data security must be maintained in a new, integrated environment.
- Data definitions should be consistent.
- Flexible tools should be available to access and analyze data. Trend, statistical and demographic analyses will be easy to conduct.
- In those instances where departmental systems will continue to be used, data must be easily obtained from the central, integrated system to eliminate data re-entry at the departmental level.
- Students, faculty and staff should be able to track all transactions on-line with appropriate levels of access and security in place.
- Transactions should be available in electronic format when possible.
- Information and action items should be 'pushed' out to students, faculty and staff as appropriate.
- There should be flexible information and transaction routing.
- Exceptions should be handled intelligently and efficiently.
- Security should not complicate access to system but should comply with legal restrictions.
- The University should work to develop and implement standard policies, procedures, and technology institution-wide, whenever possible and appropriate.
- Track history of all transactions.
Oversight, Training and Support
- Applicants and students should have the ability to answer their own questions using a comprehensive and user-friendly system.
- A 'real person' should be available when the system cannot provide sufficient support, counseling or information.
- Administrative staff should be trained to understand the student service processes from end-to-end to more effectively communicate with students and other constituents.
- Technical and operational support should be readily available for all students, faculty and staff.
- Students, RA's and faculty should be trained to use the system effectively. Refresher training should be available. Multiple types of training facilities should be available including, but not limited to, classroom training, on-line help, on-line training, step-by-step guidebooks, etc.
A. RECRUIT & SELECT FOR ADMISSION
In the future, the UVa will have the student services and supporting systems capabilities to offer applicants, students, staff, faculty, parents, high schools, alumni and all other constituents a positive and informative experience while creating opportunities for students to matriculate and ultimately develop a relationship with UVa.
1) PROCESS & SYSTEM DESIGN CHARACTERISTICS
What are the key design characteristics of the processes and systems that will enable the delivery of specific Recruit & Select activities in the future?
Throughout the Recruit and Select for Admissions process, both external and internal stakeholders need access to accurate information through various delivery mechanisms such as WWW, phone, fax, or in-person. The University should provide the same level of quality services regardless of the stakeholder's location or program interests (e.g., distance learning or continuing education). For ease of understanding, the key design characteristics are segmented between external and internal stakeholders perspectives.
External Stakeholders Perspective
External stakeholders (such as applicants, parents, high schools, alumni, etc.) want to be better informed. To meet these demands, the University plans to provide stakeholders with multiple ways to access current and accurate information. They should have the ability to:
- Use multiple media such as video clips, virtual tours on the World Wide Web, CD-ROMs and admissions staff presentations.
- Obtain information about academic and non-academic programs, distance-learning and continuing education programs.
- Complete application forms in multiple format.
- Rely on interactive capabilities to transmit transcripts, text, numerical data, images, audio, video, etc.. [This capability is especially important between the University and high schools, as well as with other universities, to facilitate the evaluation of candidates and transfer students for admission.]
- Access application requirements, deadlines and on-line status check capability throughout the admissions process.
- Access additional WWW links to locality information and attractions (weather, cultural, geographical) to encourage applicants to accept.
- Receive and accept admissions' offers electronically.
- Once accepted, be able to complete additional applications and documents electronically; for example, housing applications, dining service contracts, student health insurance, etc.
- Have the option to make payments and submit deposits electronically.
- Receive CD-ROM or web-based information delivery (entering students) to replace and consolidate multiple mailings from multiple sources.
Even though new technology will enable many more admissions activities to be automated, the University will ensure that the 'human' side of the process is maintained through appropriate personal interaction and oversight. Applicants, parents, high schools, and alumni will continue to demand that the University preserve a personalized admissions process and seek an understanding of each applicant's sensitivities and unique characteristics.
Internal Stakeholders Perspective
The faculty, schools, departments, auxiliary services and administrative staff should have access to accurate and current information. Their objective is to improve the caliber and yield of qualified incoming students by proactively marketing the University's offerings and contacting prospects and target applicants. In order to broaden the pool of talented and diverse applicants at the undergraduate, graduate and professional student levels, the University will increase access to information about applicants, admitted students, and matriculated students. Updated processes and technology will help to:
- Increase interaction with applicants through personal contact and personalized information and direct e-mails to applicants and develop and distribute enticement packages to promising admitted candidates.
- Facilitate planning, evaluating, reporting and contacting applicants to supply and receive relevant information.
- Easily transfer applicant information from admissions office and provide faculty with web-based and e-mail access to the applicants and their information and status to facilitate planning analysis.
- Make available in real-time necessary information on admitted students to auxiliary services and administrative departments.
- Provide correlated admissions profile information with student performance (e.g., intended vs. actual majors, facilities and personnel resource allocation).
- Increase the possibility of faculty involvement in the recruit and select process by providing easier access to the process using e-mail, letters, telephone, and visits. This would also facilitate matching outstanding prospects with relevant faculty.
- Use new methods of training and training 'products' to ensure the competency of admissions' staff and faculty involved in making admissions decisions.
2) RECRUIT & SELECT EVENT VIGNETTES
Based on the Beliefs and the Process and System Design Characteristics, how will specific activities occur in the future?
Admissions identifies need to target a region of the US
The admissions' director, Adam Direct, accesses the student information system and reviews an on-line student forecast predicting percentages of applications that will arrive from various countries around the world, by state and from within Virginia. He looks at minority and gender statistics of the current student body and reviews the projected budget for recruiting efforts and marketing materials such as CD-ROMS, ongoing WWW site maintenance, market research, and visits to metropolitan areas. Armed with all of this information, Adam determines a need to allocate additional resources to targeted marketing in New England.
Candidate applies for admission to UVa
Jessica Highstone, a High School honor student from New England met with her high school guidance counselor to come up with a list of potential schools. Her guidance counselor has recently received information on UVa and suggests that Jessica should learn more about the University.
Later that day in the high school computer lab, Jessica finds a virtual 'one-stop' center for information about UVa. She is pleased to see information and links to an online application process, current student events, UVa sports, the weather, cultural events, faculty, the course catalog, statistics on majors selected, undergraduate living options in the residence halls, and even job placement information after graduation. She is happy to see statistics on number of admitted students versus number of applications received; the current number of applications being submitted to UVa (real-time); and the option to e-mail volunteer UVa alumnae, students and faculty with questions about the UVa experience. Since she will not be able to visit on-Grounds, Jessica takes the virtual tour of the Grounds and residence halls. She loves the classical architecture of the Rotunda and Lawn as well as the sunny weather forecasts.
For now, Jessica decides to concentrate on the electronic application, deadlines, and status. First she types in her basic information (name, address, social security, education, extracurricular activities, employment, diversity profile, etc.). Next, Jessica completes all of her essays and attaches them plus a few articles she wrote for the local paper. She e-mails her entire application and receives an e-mail notification back from UVa admissions. Finally, Jessica uses pre-written templates for requesting her transcript and letters of recommendation. UVa sends her e-mails and her on-line application file reflects when UVa receives transcripts, letters of recommendation, SAT scores, etc. Jessica can't believe how user-friendly the UVa process is, and hopes that it foreshadows how her experience would be if she were a student at the University.
B. MANAGE STUDENT FINANCES
In the future, UVa will continue to provide financial assistance to applicants in order to support the enrollment and graduation of a diverse student body. Throughout the student lifecycle, varying levels of financial assistance and fund management advice are required. Both the applicant/student and administrative staff will have real-time access to accurate information about each student's entire financial picture, including the award or loan package and tuition and fee payments. Personal assistance on financial matters, either over the telephone, via e-mail, or in-person, will also be available in a seamless fashion.
1) PROCESS & SYSTEM DESIGN CHARACTERISTICS
What are the key design characteristics of the processes and systems that aid in Managing Student Finance activities in the future?
Provide Financial Support
From the student perspective, the financial aid process in the future should include the following services and features:
- Ensure seamless integration and communication of admissions, financial aid, bursar and registrar information and external scholarships into the student's profile, loan/award package, and bills.
- Improve communication with students by encouraging use of the WWW, proactively providing information about eligibility, status and award notices on-line, and providing 'tickler' notices when information is missing.
- Provide entrance/exit information such as budget planning, repayment schedules and basic financial skills in an initial training/orientation so they can help themselves to use the system and understand their financial picture.
- Enable access to comprehensive financial aid information, allowing the student to search for and access information about scholarship and fellowship packages.
- Enable access to tools and control to self-select jobs that are managed around their course schedules and match their student profile/interests.
- Provide timely and constructive counseling to applicants, students and families (e.g., alternative loan and emergency fund options, and award payment options).
- Develop and provide access to 'what-if' tools to analyze impact of changes in financial and academic status. This should include on-line context-sensitive help documentation and on-line tutorials as well as the option to meet face-to-face with a financial aid specialist.
The central financial aid office will work to:
- Train staff to solve problems and answer fundamental questions about financial assistance and bursar activities (the look and feel of a one-stop service center).
- Reduce the amount of paper processing by using on-line electronic forms, electronic signatures (where possible), electronic verification of requirements, exceptions processing and archiving capabilities.
- Continue to determine and verify eligibility and calculate awards electronically.
- Improve accuracy and timeliness of processing student aid/loan applications and the packaging and delivering of aid.
- Facilitate and streamline the printing, sending, receiving and processing of promissory notes for subsidized and unsubsidized (non-need based) loans.
- Develop ability to follow current federal methodology and adapt quickly to changes (e.g., NSLDS, SSCR, Pell Reporting, FISAP).
- Provide a cohesive technological structure in the office with network access, imaging capability and easy access to the WWW.
Other departments will need access to integrated information, including grades, payroll and financial aid information. As appropriate, they should have on-line access to information, including work study information, for management and reporting purposes.
Assessment & Collection
UVa wants to move towards 'no stop shopping' for payment processes. To facilitate this, UVa should:
- Provide bills in electronic or paper formats.
- Support a variety of payment options including accepting authenticated credit card information and automatic deductions from students' accounts.
- Develop the ability to view billing information immediately after registration.
- Provide a single, easy to read financial statement that includes tuition, fees, auxiliary services charges, financial aid, projected income from University employment, grants and scholarships in one place.
- 'Push' information out to entire target population, including students and departments.
- Support better communication with auxiliary services, departments, deans, students, parents/billpayers and alumni.
Of course, there will continue to be a need for personal service. Questions should be able to be handled through a 'virtual' office with a single point of entry. Clerical staff at all common points of entry for inquiries will need to be retrained to counsel and consult rather than process paper and answer routine questions.
Other features that should be in place for the assessment and collection processes to function smoothly include:
- Ability to communicate electronically with external government agencies.
- Automatic system feed of student information into class rolls from on-line payments of continuing education students.
- Clarity on how to handle non-students and determine when someone starts/stops being a student.
- Integration of summer session and continuing education into the University for payment purposes (eliminate redundancy).
- Define separation/differences between the Health Sciences Center and the University.
- Easy transfer of housing and dining information to the bursar system.
- Integration between the student and financial systems.
2) MANAGE FINANCES EVENT VIGNETTES
Based on the Beliefs and the Process and System Design Characteristics, how will specific activities occur in the future?
Student has access to complete financial picture and ability to run 'what-if' models
An undergraduate student, Rick Weston, views and prints a current and comprehensive University financial statement. The report includes all of his financial aid, the athletic grant for soccer, his scholarships, tuition, fee assessments, payments and other charges from around Grounds. Rick holds his breath while he scans down the list of charges and quickly verifies that all of his loans and scholarship monies have materialized. He does not like the idea of having to work while studying but knows that if he is quick, he can procure a job in the computer center that would allow him to study and surf the WWW. Rick uses the system to see which work study jobs are still available, double checks his class schedule, and signs himself up for the morning shift at the computer center.
Next, he uses the system's 'what-if' feature to calculate how his earnings from the computer center help his financial situation. Next year, his parents will have another child in college. Rick enters this change to his personal profile and pinpoints the amount of additional loans he will be eligible for next year and the related interest charges. He tests the effect of moving off-Grounds versus various on-Grounds living options. Armed with all of this information, Rick has a better feeling about being able to manage his financial situation during his remaining years at the University.
System proactively notifies students of delinquencies on bill payments and fines
Rick Weston receives a message in his electronic mailbox from the Bursar's office. It is an automatically generated final reminder message that instructs Rick to pay his library fine before the end of the month or his registration will be blocked. Rick puts a reminder on his personal calendar to pay the fine tomorrow, logs off the system and heads home to take a nap.
Personal support is available to address student's questions
The next morning, Rick looks at his financial statement again and is confused about a $10 charge listed in the fees section. He dials the Help number printed at the top of the report to find out about the charge. Rick reaches a staff member who is trained to field most of the frequently asked questions related to student's financial statements. She explains to Rick that the charge is from the Registrar's office for his replacement student ID. Next, Rick asks the staff member for the interest rate on the unsubsidized loan he plans to take next semester. The staff member provides the current loan rate but advises Rick that the rate is subject to change. She also tells him where the links to the loan rate information are on the Bursar's web page so Rick can keep himself up to date.
C. ADVISE, REGISTER & TRACK PERFORMANCE
To support the educational mission of UVa'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.
1) PROCESS & SYSTEM DESIGN CHARACTERISTICS
What are the key design characteristics of the processes and systems supporting Registration, Advising and Tracking Performance activities in the future?
Process and system features are described from the perspective of the various stakeholders in the process.
Students will have access to more on-line information to assist with course selection, registration and tracking progress. This will reduce the number of 'nuts and bolts' questions that students ask advisors and allow advisors to focus on a higher level of advising. Students will have on-line access to:
- Continually updated class schedules, course availability/open sections
- Qualifying electives and pre-requisite checking
- Course guides, course evaluations and average grade distributions over past 5 years
- Information on instructors (level, credentials)
- 'Smart' course scheduling from time and geographic perspective; for example, a system that lets a student search for all available courses in the same building or within a certain time frame.
- GPA calculator that allows 'what-if' scenarios; for example, a web-form or Java-application that lets students enter in their current GPA and find out what GPA they have to make in their remaining semesters to graduate with honors.
- Information and links to any office imposing registration blocks (i.e., bursar, student health, registrar, or dean of students)
- Expert advisor system with frequently asked questions
- Access to video clips (faculty, students, alumni, etc.) that offer a different approach to advising information
- Advisor appointment scheduling system
- Priority for course enrollment
- On-line grades and free unofficial transcripts
- On-line grade books for all classes, with statistical analysis of class standing, class averages, etc.
- Ongoing degree audit that prompts student for courses still needed and suggests options
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/drops).
The amount of paper processing in the various Registrars' offices should be reduced and reporting enabled through:
- WWW and telephone access for faculty, staff and students to registration and academic progress related information
- Use of electronic forms and signatures for grade and status changes and course scheduling transactions
- Electronic transmission and receipt of transcripts, grades, transfer credits, and other information
- Improved capability to manage course conversion (i.e., from community colleges)
- Better course scheduling from a section, time and geographic perspective
- Standardized use of an alternate student-ID number (not social security number)
- Flexibility to handle multiple starting/end dates for academic terms
- Reports that are easy to access, read and use
This 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:
- Capability to conduct on-going degree audits and check electives in a prompt fashion
- Development of on-line reference to find answers quickly
- Availability of contact list of experts as references for students
Graduate advising will continue to be more individualized and involve more direct contact. Nevertheless, the same on-line capabilities and services available to undergraduate students will be available to graduate students as well.
Schools, Departments and Faculty
Schools, departments and faculty will have the ability to monitor registration real-time. They will be notified of course demand and waiting lists so that they can consider new sections.
Within the system, schools will have the ability to use school specific flags and data elements. They will have easy access to information available by law, in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended (20 U.S.C. 1232g) and Rules of the Department of Education (34 C.F.R. Part 99), commonly referred to as FERPA or the Buckley Amendment.
Departments will have the ability to place/remove registration blocks and the option to place a block automatically in certain situations. Similarly, appropriate departmental administrators should be notified by e-mail when a student has a registration block placed on his/her account.
Faculty should have additional tools available to facilitate the administrative aspects of teaching. For example, features will include:
- Access to on-line grade book and submission of grades
- Capability to conduct item analysis for on-line, multiple choice exams
- Provision of on-line class roll with bulletin board, chat-room/WWW page, and e-mail IDs to automatically generate distribution lists
- On-line course evaluations
2) ADVISE, REGISTER & TRACK PERF. EVENT VIGNETTES
Based on the Beliefs and the Process and System Design Characteristics, how will specific activities occur in the future?
A Continuing Education student registers quickly and easily on-line
Beatrice Henderson has decided to take more courses at UVa after a ten-year break to raise her children. She connects to the Internet and goes to UVa's homepage. After reviewing the accounting courses offered, she decides she needs to start with the basic class to get a refresher on all the concepts and terminology. Beatrice does not have time to go to Grounds to register, so she is very pleased to see that she can self-register over the WWW. Beatrice enrolls in the accounting class, pays her tuition and fees via credit card, and completes the final registration process all on-line through UVa's site on the WWW.
An undergraduate student registers and reviews his progress toward degree completion
Rick Weston is now completing his third semester at UVa. During his first semester, he took advantage of the optional orientation course and learned how to use the student system's various self-help options while on-Grounds or from home. The Electronic Expert Advisor feature provides answers to many of the nuts and bolts questions about the registration and degree completion process. Rick has learned how to access his own personalized student profile and related activity report. Part of the report allows him to view and print his current progress toward his degree requirements, along with recommendations for upcoming classes that he needs to stay on track toward his career goals.
Today, after class, Rick walks to the student center to grab lunch with a friend and to check his personal electronic mail on the student kiosks. When Rick logs on, he sees two unread messages in his e-mailbox. The first one concerns a Spanish class that was closed when his registration priority came up. Based on his degree progress report, he knows he needs it as a prerequisite for the next level. While self-registering, Rick discovered the class was closed, took advantage of the system's waiting list option and indicated his preferred time slot. His waitlist request was added to the department's daily report capturing enrollment levels and the number of requests for Spanish classes. Based on demand, the Foreign Languages Department knew they could fill another section and opened one this morning. Rick gets an electronic activity confirmation that he has been automatically registered in the new Spanish section that fits his schedule.
The second message notifies Rick of a passing grade for the current semester in a Computer Sciences course on his activity report, indicates that he has now completed the basic computer competency requirement for his current degree program, and shows a recalculated cumulative GPA. Thinking of pursuing a double major, Rick goes on-line to use the 'what-if' analysis tools to view a simulated degree audit report of how this newly-completed course and others he hopes to complete will fit into a couple of other majors he selects from the pull-down menu. Encouraged by what he finds, he takes the opportunity to send a message, attaching part of his calendar, to schedule a meeting with his advisor to discuss his options.
Faculty advisor meets with student
Mary Smith, a faculty member in the English department, checks her electronic workflow in-basket and finds a message from Rick Weston asking to schedule an appointment to discuss pursuing a double major. She confirms a time for the next day.
Rick Weston comes in as one of Mary's student appointments the next day, and Mary accesses his up-to-date degree audit for his planned double major (based on information that Rick entered in the system earlier). They discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a double major. As they discuss planning strategies and use the system to do 'what-if' scenarios, the system's search capabilities helps them find courses in Rick's areas of interest which will meet his major and other core requirements. Mary agrees with Rick that the double major is feasible and seems to make sense.
After her meeting with Rick, Mary records her advisor notes in the system, which will enable other faculty members who work with him in the future to build on her conversations. Students have the option to allow or refuse access to these notes and Rick has allowed other faculty members access to his past advisor notes files.
D. PROVIDE STUDENT LIFE SERVICES
Student Life Services include student affairs, student health, housing, student activities, dining, parking, career placement and others. Students should be able to access one place for information on these services and the other student support services described above. However, the Student Services Task Force was in agreement that it would not prescribe exactly what student life functions should be available but rather ensure that there is flexibility in the future student information system. With a flexible future system, UVa will be able to adapt the system as it responds to student demands and makes decisions about how to deliver student life services in the future.
1) PROCESS & SYSTEM DESIGN CHARACTERISTICS
What are the key design characteristics of the processes and systems supporting Student Life activities in the future?
The following are some examples of the types of services the University may decide to offer in the future:
- Intelligent networking that enables a student to identify other students and organizations with similar interests and affiliations
- Ability for students to create customized pages to track their own information
- Ability for University to 'push' certain information out to students
- Ability to apply on-line for housing, parking and dining services, paying deposits electronically.
- Ability to use ART$ dollars and reserve tickets for local events on-line.
- Scheduling of programming and classroom space on-line, with search capabilities that allow students to find events by group, by location, by time frame, by types of events, etc.
- Better information about the local housing market and electronic links to real estate management companies
- Ability to order textbooks using the WWW
- Electronic links to organizations, concerts, plays, and entertainment, both on-Grounds and in the Charlottesville community
- E-mail accounts for applicants before they enroll to receive and provide information about themselves to the University
- Access for off-Grounds students to all relevant student life services (for example, access to student events, auxiliary services, library card catalogs, library loans, on-line databases)
- As appropriate, share information on students with police, student health and other interested service providers
2) STUDENT LIFE SERVICES EVENT VIGNETTES
Based on the Beliefs and the Process and Systems Design Characteristics, how will specific activities occur in the future?
Student Begins Life on-Grounds
Jessica Highstone decided to come to the University and is now recovering from the excitement and blur of moving-in, orientation activities and the first week of classes. Already she can't remember much of what she heard and saw. Her roommate has gone to a movie, but it was one that Jessica had already seen. So Jessica goes to her computer, opens her e-mail and personalized home page. She finds several messages waiting for her from the Student Life System. To her dismay, she notes that the real-time balance on her cash card is already getting low. The names of her resident staff members, points of contact in the Housing Office, Dining Services and other offices are there, with links to send e-mail to any of them. Based on the data in her application package and on-line interest inventory she completed during orientation, the system generated a list of student organizations and activities she might find interesting, with links to their web-sites. The interactive "First Year Student Directory" has helped her put together a personalized address book of the people she's been meeting, including their pictures and biographical summaries. Since she provided her religious affiliation, there are also links to local churches of her faith. Jessica spends some time surfing in and out of the links and discovers that UVa has an ice hockey club. She signs up for the hockey club tryouts and e-mails her mother and her best friend from her high school hockey team before going to supper at Runk Hall.
Student Applies for on-Grounds Housing
Rick Weston and Jerry Smithfield have been roommates since Opening Day last year. Rick has used the 'what-if' capability of the student financial application to determine that he cannot afford to move off-Grounds until at least his third year, assuming he can land a computer programming job next summer. Jerry, on the other hand, wants to share an apartment at University Heights with some other friends. He has already notified the Room Selection utility of his intention to move off-Grounds when his contract expires. Rick has to decide whether to stay in the room or apply for a single room in another residential area. He uses the Room Selection utility to check for a match for Jerry's space. He clicks some capatibility characteristics about himself (smoking/non-smoking), typical sleeping habits, music preferences, attitudes about guests, etc) and clicks the 'match' icon. The system provides three names of students whose preferences match his. He recognizes the name of a friend on his intramural basketball team and clicks the link to send him an e-mail to invite him to apply for Jerry's assignment. The system records a pending assignment and will hold the place for Rick's friend for a week. After that time, Rick can start over, either checking someone else, or applying for a single room.
Group of Students Select a Housing Assignment
Shania Martinez is a first year student living on-Grounds. Checking her e-mail, she opens an automatic reminder from the Housing Office that the deadline for applying for on-Grounds housing for the next year is approaching. Using the link embedded in the message, she goes to the Room Selection utility. Last time she had been in the utility, she had entered the names of three friends who want to share an apartment in Copeley or Bice House with her next year. The system had saved her choices as pending room selections. All of her prospective roommates had received e-mails and replied, confirming their intent to form a group. At this point, there is an apartment available in Copeley, but none in Bice. Two of the four had already accepted the assignment. She accepts the assignment for herself and returns to her e-mail. The Systems will make the assignment final when the fourth roommate accepts.