Team # 860 -- Integrated Student System for Outreach (ISSO) World Campus Development Team
University Outreach (Continuing and Distance Education)

January 2008

Objective

To implement a new registration and records system, Integrated Student System for Outreach (ISSO), which would allow staff of Adult Learner Enrollment Services to provide better service to students studying through the World Campus. In addition to the system change, the World Campus moved from an independent learning, rolling enrollment environment to a paced, or semester-based environment. With this change, the World Campus could integrate with the University system.

With the World Campus growth rate of 17-18% per year, it was evident that we were not able to properly serve the World Campus students to our full potential. Each registration had to be touched manually, and added in as many as five systems that did not “communicate” with one another. With the registration numbers, it was impossible to ensure all students were registered in a timely manner. In addition to the registration process, the proctored exam process was manual and very time consuming, which could have resulted in errors and time delays. Using ISSO, the registration systems and proctored exam systems were combined into one. This resulted in the ability to provide better customer service to World Campus students by being timelier and efficient. In addition, because all student information is in one system, we can be more efficient and knowledgeable to our students on the phone.

Innovation was the foundation on which ISSO was built. The development helps streamline and automate many processes with an end result of providing better service to our students and improved work efficiencies for the front line staff. End users were encouraged to come up with creative ideas for improving their processes, and time and time again, the developer created solutions to make it happen. The ISSO pilot team continues to meet monthly to evaluate the current processes and look for improvements and enhancements. As ISSO is used for more by the frontline staff, creative thinking of “wouldn’t if be nice if…” is a common occurrence. These ideas are taken back to the ISSO team where development can be reviewed and implemented. Any bugs or issues with the system are tracked and fixed in accordance with their importance in the day to day operation.

ISSO was built to integrate to the University main system and fulfill custom requirements. It was essential that the data was placed where it needed to be when transferring to the University system. It did take many years to build and was thoroughly tested before the system went live. The University had to approve all programming which would transfer data back and forth between the main system and ISSO. With all of the staff time for development and testing, it was difficult to attach a total cost. Although the cost may seem high, the time savings to the staff are tremendous. In addition, you can not put a cost on excellent customer service.

Team Membership

  • Tom Alterio, Member
  • Tom Collins, Member
  • Anita Colyer, Member
  • Sarah Cook, Member
  • Bonnie Dailey, Member
  • Rich Genovese, Member
  • Tracy Gross, Member
  • Paula Hamaty, Member
  • Xiaoping He, Member
  • Kimberly Ishler, Member
  • Lisa Komidar, Member
  • Linda Mc Donald, Member
  • Sandy McClain, Member
  • Jean McGrath, Member
  • Tammy Myers, Member
  • Cheryl Seybold, Member
  • Steve Welshonse, Member

Results Achieved to Date

  • ExpectedResults: In looking at an 8 month time frame, 15,474 Welcome Letters were emailed which resulted in a total savings of over $6300 in postage alone. This does not include the staff time that is saved by not typing, then stuffing envelopes. The registration process has been streamlined from 8 steps and 5 systems to 2 steps and one system. Because of the system, overtime during peak registration rush has been greatly reduced (to almost not being needed). By streamlining the exam process, we are saving staff time, paper (being more environmentally friendly), and saving mistakes. These are only a few items that have resulted from implementing ISSO for the World Campus.

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The Pennsylvania State University
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