Carnegie Mellon Revolutionizes Student Registration Process

Article excerpt

Recognized as a pioneer in the use of computing in education, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania offers degrees in several technical fields including engineering, computer science, technology and science. Its "Andrew" computing network, named for benefactors Andrew Carnegie and Andrew Mellon, is among the most advanced on any campus today. However, until recently, the school's antiquated and cumbersome enrollment process was one of the top frustrations for the school's 3,000 graduate and 4,500 undergraduate students.

Survey Says

Five years ago CMU surveyed its students to see what the institution could do to improve student satisfaction. The response was unanimous: fix the school's enrollment process. To get the classes they wanted, students would camp out overnight to be first in line. Then they would spend an entire day walking from one department to another to register for classes. The worst part, according to Martha Baron, director of information services at CMU, was that students felt the system was unfair. "They wanted a consistency in the process. They wanted the same rules for everyone." They were also embarrassed that Carnegie Mellon, home to one of the world's best computer science departments, was still using a paper enrollment system.

Thus, CMU embarked on a project to replace the old enrollment system with a solution they now call OLR or OnLine Registration.

CMU's goals were to:

* Create an online enrollment process that was fast, simple and student-friendly.

* Ensure that course registration was a fair and consistent process for all.

* Build an application to support online enrollment.

One Solution for All

After careful consideration, CMU staff decided to go with Hewlett Packard's enterprise solution package based on their price and performance. …