Online Registration Increases Matriculation Options

ALISON GELLER
El Vaquero Staff Features Editor

Students have had to listen to the overly friendly voice of the STARS registration woman every time they want to register or pay for classes by phone, but now they won’t have to because they can register online.

GCC has decided to step into the 21st century, and students who enroll in classes for Summer 2006 will be able to use the new system WEBREG, online registration.

What got the ball rolling for the college to start setting up WEBREG was “students asking for online registration and us wanting to keep up with the other colleges,” said Michelle Mora, the Assistant Director of Administration and Records.

“You have to do what all the rest of the schools [do],” said Sharon Combs, Interim Vice President of College Services and Dean of Admissions and Records. “A lot of people like to do everything online; they don’t want to use the telephone; they don’t want to do it in person; you have to meet the needs.”

WEBREG took two years to get up and running. The new online registration has been in use since students could register for the second set of eight-week classes for Spring 2006.

Mora said that the school is hoping this will help boost enrollment and make it easier to enroll in classes.

“I hope it’s easier for [the students],” said Combs. “I believe the telephone is fairly easy for most people, but we all do things differently. Some do it through sight and some do it through hearing and touch and feel. I’d rather do everything on the computer than I would on a telephone. I like to see what I’ve done.”

With WEBREG students can definitely see what they are doing, making sure they’ve added or dropped the correct classes, choose to get a parking permit or not and see how much they owe and what they are paying.

So far, more than 100 students have used Web registration to sign up for their second eight-week classes.

“It is like STARS,” said Mora “You’re just able to see it now.”

“It’s very easy,” said Combs. “It’s not difficult at all. I think that was one of the things the developers made sure they put in there, that it was very easy to understand and follow.”

WEBREG had a trial run in the beginning of the spring semester; Mora and her team had a random sampling of students, student workers and office workers test the program and give feedback.

“We really listened to their feedback and changed a lot of programming based on the student’s comments,” said Mora.

According to Mora, the main problem that people had with the original program was the terminology used on the site.

“We wanted [WEBREG] for [students], so we wanted the words of the students out there,” said Mora.

The same rules apply to WEBREG as they did with STARS, but all students will need is their GCC ID number, password and the ticket numbers to the classes they want to try to add.

“It also lets the student change their mailing address online, which is a new feature, which they could not do on STARS,” said Dionne Encinas, the Enrollment Services Support Tech, who was part of the team that worked on WEBREG along with Mora, Robert Gaane, Dave Roswell and David O’Donnell.

“This is just a stepping stone to the implementation of the ERP, the Oracle System,” said Mora. “[Oracle] is the new system that we bought that is going to take over all our online processes for the college. I’m looking forward to hearing the student’s feedback so that when we are ready to create our new registration system through Oracle we’ll have all the feedback we need and it’ll be very much geared for the students,” said Mora.

The Oracle System will be put in place sometime in the next three to five years.

Combs said that WEBREG is currently unavailable in other languages, though it may be available in multiple languages after the Oracle System is in place.

Combs also said that students wanting to give feedback regarding WEBREG are more than welcome. The best way to do so, according to Combs, is to talk to Mora, or put it in writing and send an e-mail to Mora or herself.

“We expect our summer registration is going to be very busy so the system might be a little slow, so that’s our warning, but please be patient and let the system run its course,” said Mora.

To get to WEBREG, log on to www.glendale.edu and click on the WEBREG link on the homepage. It is available for use between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. Students will be able to get to WEBREG through any computer with Internet connection, so students can sign up for classes from most of the computer terminals on campus.

Also, the ever-present STARS telephone registration system will still be available to students to register by phone, so they need not worry about losing STARS or the STARS woman’s pleasant greeting: “Hello and welcome to STARS, at Glendale Community College.”