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Brooklyn College Information Technology Services (ITS) Cited for Innovation

Brooklyn College Information Technology Services (ITS) Cited for Innovation

A sample page from the Brooklyn College WebCentral portal, showing automated registrar features.

EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology, has cited Brooklyn College as an exemplar in innovation in a recently released case study. The report, "Optimizing Business Processes at Brooklyn College and The City University of New York" is a supplement to a larger research study entitled "Good Enough! IT Investment and Business Process Performance in Higher Education."

The case study, authored by Judith A. Pirani, a fellow at the EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research, explores how Brooklyn College and The City University of New York optimized their student advising process through technological innovation. The idea--to create a consumer-friendly administrative environment that allowed students to use online resources to complete tasks that previously required a visit to a campus office--supports the larger strategic goal of being a "student centered campus" and works to enhance student enrollment and retention.

According to Mark S. Gold, Assistant Vice President for Technology, the College seeks to give students fast and efficient student services and minimize time spent away from studies. "When a student is used to getting an answer on Google in five seconds," Gold explains, "waiting in line for the answer to a simple question is unacceptable."

Through a process of continuous innovation over the past eight years, spurred by a $1.75 million Title III grant to build a virtual student support center, the Brooklyn College Web site now offers many much-needed online services for students, faculty, and staff. Students may visit the BC WebCentral Portal, a unified services portal (VSSC), to view their transcripts and grades, build schedules, compute their grade point average (GPA), search for courses by various criteria, and view their degree progress. They may also apply and pay online for pass/fail, F-grade replacement, assessment testing, scholarships, graduate admissions, late withdrawal from courses, and parking permits. Instructors may submit attendance records and post their grades online, allowing students to receive notification of their grades by e-mail as soon as they are posted.

The easy accessibility of this information online allows the Registrar's Office to handle routine inquiries through automation, freeing the office staff to devote more individual attention to students. The system has worked so well that Brooklyn College departments now regularly request Information Technology Services to redesign processes and streamline business procedures. The innovations developed by Brooklyn College's ITS staff have also served as a model and are being adapted tby registrars and IT offices in other CUNY schools.

The BC WebCentral Portal is the College's primary source of information, online services, and much more, for students and faculty. Register to use it and come back often at BC WebCentral is the gateway to all your college needs.