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PC Zach Garmoe

Registrar goes paperless

Making it happen_colorAs times have changed and classes have become more technologically-based, so have the offices that handle student records. Here at UMBC, the Office of the Registrar is responsible for a student’s academic record, which includes transcripts, degree audits, transfer credit evaluation and oversight of the graduation process.

Pamela Hawley, acting registrar, discussed how the office has evolved over the years and the act of going paperless.

“We are trying to make forms accessible online and provide more of a workflow for the setup online to make it a more straightforward process for students,” said Hawley.

The first to be available online is the change of major form.

“The change of major form is what we are trying to make into the first true e-form so that it can be approved before it is submitted to the office [of the Registrar],” said Hawley.

The way that the system is currently set up makes it so that some majors require departmental approval before being able to submit the actual form to the registrar. With this improvement, the approval will already be in place so students just have to fill out the online form.

A huge stride in becoming an electronic service came in 2009 with the introduction of the Peoplesoft program, which students use to enroll in classes.

“Peoplesoft was a huge stepping stone in going paperless, as it provided so many more services than the program we had before it, Legacy,” said Hawley. “Before that, professors used to have to fill out grades through Scantron; now they just go into Peoplesoft and enter the grades and they are done.”

From here, the office is looking to partner with the Department of Information Technology to explore different avenues to improve student scheduling. Through this, students would be able to schedule around other obligations such as work or extracurricular club meetings.

Another tool this would provide is academic planning that would use the degree audit to plan out classes to take over their projected four years at the university.

Overall, the switch has been successful as some of the administrative processes have been moved online, which provides a more self-service format for users.

Students should be on the lookout for changes, like the partnership with DoIT, which will be in place by the spring.