CONTACT: Stanford University News Service (650) 723-2558
Long lines and busy signals may soon become things of the past at the Registrar's Office, thanks to a new computer system that will allow Stanford students direct access to their own records.
Scheduled for a trial run this winter quarter, the Student Access System will allow students to update their addresses instantly in the university's computerized directory, submit and update study lists, check their transcripts, file applications to graduate, and declare or change their undergraduate majors - all without stepping foot into the Old Union.
"Our hope is that a lot of the questions that students now ask will be answered by this," said Elizabeth Hodge, systems development analyst in the Registrar's Office. "This should ease our workload by eliminating our work as a middleman."
The system comes at a particularly useful time for the Registrar's Office, which has been forced to lay off staff members and cut back its hours this year as a result of the university budget deficit.
"This should help with the lines at the Old Union, and it will bypass the phone lines a lot," she said. "Generally, students are very enthusiastic about trying it."
The 507 students chosen to participate in the system's pilot program this winter quarter each have been given a confidential personal identification number - similar to that used with a bank's automatic teller machine - to ensure that no other students have access to their records.
The system is designed to prevent student tampering with grades and transcripts.
Students can log in to the system through Folio, on any terminal or computer connected to the university's Forsythe mainframe computer. They may use the system from early morning to midnight every day.
If all goes well, the system should be available to all students in spring quarter, and will become the standard way for students to conduct their business with the Office of the Registrar.
The Student Access System was developed by Stanford's Network for Student Information. Tim Flood managed the project team, which included Bill Roden, systems architect; Pam Petrie, data base administrator; and Dennis Bowen, programmer.
More information is available from Elizabeth Hodge at 723-6226.
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