A new $10.5 million software system, approved by the Board of Trustees, could completely transform everyone’s electronic interaction with the campus. 

The new Banner software, by Ellucian, will change most aspects of students, teachers and staff’s interaction with each other and the college.

With one central database running numerous components, “there will be so many services, … things that [the students] never even had the ability to do … it will really be a totally different world,” said Dwayne Cable, Vice President of Information Technology.

“The new Automated Information System … will allow students to access all of our administrative services, anytime, anywhere, using any kind of a device.”

“Your phone, a PC, whatever. You don’t have to come in here to stand in line, to pay your bill, to get your financial aid, to register to communicate with a counselor.”

The Ellucian Banner Software, approved unanimously by the Board on Sept. 15, is planned to have student services up and running by the fall of 2013, and be fully completed by the end of next year, said Cable.

The Banner system is broken down into numerous components.  In DegreeWorks, students will be able to access their student career: past, present and future.  What classes they have taken, what classes they are currently taking, and what classes are needed to complete their degrees, with different scenarios available for alternative degrees, said Rick Legoza at the Board of Trustees meeting.

CourseSignals will allow teachers to access information about students in real time, and the program will highlight underperforming students.

The system will integrate almost all the systems on campus, including Financial Aid, Human Resources, and College Finances.

“I think that PCC has been so far behind in technology,” said Trustee Linda Wah. “It’s really damaged our ability to deliver service to students and also to give the tools that are needed to our staff to really do their job effectively.”

VP Cable said the computer system currently in place was initially installed in 1984 to 1986. “We are running off an HP3000.  That is an antique,” said Cable.

“Four years ago the board of trustees commissioned a report,” said President Mark Rocha at the Board of Trustees meeting on Aug 29, “that essentially said that our current computer system … is basically dysfunctional.”

The funds for the software will come from the Capital Outlay Fund 41.  The total payment for the software of $10.5 million will be spread over five years, with the first year’s payment to be $3.5 million.  There is also budgeted $1.8 million in hardware upgrades from Fund 41.

The final vote for the software was to be held at the Oct 3 board meeting, but according to Cable and Rocha, the price of the software was to be raised by half a million dollars in the middle of September, so the vote was moved up to the board meeting on Sept 15.

An open meeting presenting the new Ellucian Banner software to the college will be held at the Creveling Lounge at both 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Tuesday October 2.

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