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Software to ease advisement process

Tech purchased new software last fall that will allow students to become their own advisors.
Degree Works is a new software system Tech projects to be implemented and given to faculty Sept. 9, 2013. Students should receive it January of next year.
“Right now everything is a little bit ahead of schedule,” said, Robert Hodum, associate vice president for enrollment management and student success. “Everything is going very well, and currently, the University is paying Ellucian to scribe the Tech catalog into the software which will speed up the whole process a little bit.”
The new software will not be ready until September, but advisors will get the software first so they can learn how the program works and be familiar with other functions of the program.
“Faculty and advisors will receive the program first that way they will have a chance to learn the system before the students receive it,” Hodum, said. “Students will probably have questions and they will turn to their advisors for help, so it will be a lot less frustrating if the advisors were already familiar with the new software.”  

Degree Works was purchased by Tech for of $262,456.
“It’s hard to determine an exact dollar amount because the University is paying Ellucian by the hour to scribe the catalog, and they have given estimates as to how long it should take them to complete the catalog,” Hodum, said. “Also, the University is paying by the hour for Ellucian to come in and train some people here how to work the software. They have given an estimate as to how long that should take as well, so it’s hard to know the exact dollar amount until everything is finished.”
Admissions is working closely with the Information Technology Services department in setting up the software once Ellucian has completed the catalog and training processes to learn the system and get everything set up.
“Once the software is completed, the ITS department will get all the information that has been done to create the software in document form,” Rick Cumby, director, administrative systems support group, said. “ITS will then be responsible for setting up the server and all future upgrades and patches that will be required for the software to continue to run efficiently.”
Jerri Winningham is the project manager of the software operation and is working with Kristy Cunningham to learn the system and try to get it implemented to students on time.
“Everything is still kind of in the beginning stage of the whole process,” Kristy Cunningham, systems analysis, said. “In the next couple of months we should know more about the software.”
Ellucian will begin training secessions for Degree Works to some faculty members sometime in June.