Starting this spring, class registration will be revamped with the addition of new software, aimed at facilitating the process.

Students will register for their fall 2009 schedules using Banner Unified Digital Campus, an administrative software program designed specifically for universities. Next fall’s applications to Georgetown’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences will be processed using the new technology as well.

John Pierce, university registrar and assistant provost, said though the current goal is to fully switch over to Banner services by fall 2009, the university will wait to implement the software until it is sure the transition will go smoothly.

“If there was a choice between launching the system when it might not work perfectly and postponing it, we would postpone it,” Pierce said.

The current system used by the university is Student Information System, which supports financial aid, scheduling and Access Plus.

ost students are content with the performance of Student Access but recognize that there is room for improvement.

“It took me a little while to learn how to use the software, especially the scheduling software, but after I got used to it I didn’t think it was that hard to use. Student Access seems a little outdated, though, and I think it could be organized better,” Lauren Reese (COL ’12) said.

“I think it’s a pretty good system, but it’s hard to see when schedules overlap in the way it’s laid out,” Ben Omer (MSB ’12) said. “That’s the one thing I would change.”

Pierce has been part of the transition process since the beginning and does not anticipate that there will be any long-term problems adjusting to Banner Unified Digital Campus.

“It’s a major undertaking anytime a university does this,” Pierce said. “After 10 to 20 years, the system has to be replaced like any other software, but it’s a major event.”

University Information Services and registrar offices of the university Medical Center and Law Center have been working together to implement the new software. The group has been working together for over a year to find the best system to replace SIS.

The Office of Financial Aid, Office of Student Accounts, Office of Graduate School Admissions and the Deans’ Offices have been involved as well, as they will be feeling the most immediate effects of the change, Pierce said.

“These offices will have to rethink the way they do business and will have to learn new pathways to the same services and information,” he said.

Other Banner customers include George Washington University, George Mason University, Brown University and Notre Dame University, Pierce said.

The university adopted the current Student Information System in 1989. After almost 20 years, the university is making the change in order to update the technology. SunGard Higher Education is planning to phase out the current registration system by 2011.

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