Solutions

Student Records Office brings its records–management system up to date with FileMaker Pro
Scholarship in action. Student Records Office uses FileMaker Pro to oversee a vast mass of student data - who's who, who's where, and who's taking what course from whom

Syracuse University

Scholarship in action — that's the philosophy at Syracuse University. From its venerable Hall of Languages to the famous 50,000–seat Carrier Dome, the Syracuse University campus is home to students, faculty, and staff who share a commitment to academic excellence, one which stands ready to evolve with the demands of the times. This commitment extends to vital support functions as well. At the Syracuse University College of Arts and Sciences, you'll find the latest technologies ensuring smooth operations — technologies like the powerful data–management tools found in the new FileMaker Pro.

Overview

  • Student Records Office manages data on students, faculty, advisors and staff.
  • Approximately 25 employees in office and other locations at the university

Industry

  • Higher Education

Solutions

  • Customized FileMaker Pro application, AutoReg, automates the complex course–scheduling function for new students.

Benefits

  • Time required to complete course–scheduling process drops from 75 minutes per student to 30 seconds.
  • Estimated cost savings of $10,000 per summer over previous procedures.
  • PDF Maker function speeds course registration information direct to students, faculty and staff without intermediate steps.

FileMaker Pro is a great product. The enhancements over the years take it way beyond what its name suggests. I would not dream of trying another product — it's hard to imagine another product delivering so much sophistication while remaining so easy to use.

— Ann Marie McGinnis, Director, Student Records Office, Syracuse University College of Arts and Sciences

Business Challenge

Ann Marie McGinnis likes to get the job done right. She's the Director of the Student Records Office for the College of Arts and Sciences, and from her desk in the Hall of Languages, she oversees the processing of a vast mass of student data - who's who, who's where, and who's taking what course from whom. With around 1300 first–year students in her system at any given time, along with faculty, advisors, and staff, the data presents a significant management challenge.

Years ago, the University set up a system in Oracle PeopleSoft to handle this data, but as time's gone by, the system's failed to keep up with evolving demands. "The PeopleSoft system fails to meet our expectations in many ways," Ann Marie explains, "and since enhancements to the system make it very difficult to perform upgrades, the University decided not to customize it."

So how did Ann Marie make up for those deficiencies? She needed a powerful, flexible, adaptable, cross–platform database application — and those demands carried her straight to FileMaker Pro.

Successful Solution

The most important FileMaker Pro tool in use by the Student Records Office is AutoReg, a custom application that Ann Marie built to process course registrations and scheduling. It's a complex task requiring the manipulation of multiple levels of data to ensure that all schedules are completed in a timely manner. AutoReg comprises a total of 35 FileMaker Pro databases, containing over 100,000 individual records.

I'll be using FileMaker Pro to send PDF documents to students, faculty, and staff. It's a great feature - students will get a confirmation of their course selections via PDF, and faculty will have the option of receiving necessary information via PDF and Fast Send.

— Ann Marie McGinnis, Director, Student Records Office, Syracuse University College of Arts and Sciences

Customer Benefits

AutoReg dramatically streamlines what was a long, cumbersome, aggravating process. "Prior to its development, the Registrar's Office performed its functions using the PeopleSoft system," Ann Marie recalls. "As reported by them, it took an average of 75 minutes per student to complete the process. I've reduced that time to approximately 30 seconds per student for 80 percent of the first–year student population, and am working to improve the system so that we can get closer to 100 percent. This is a cost savings of approximately $10,000 each summer — along with a much better outcome, providing more students their first–choice schedules and fewer incomplete schedules."

Ann Marie is moving forward enthusiastically with upgrading the AutoReg system to take full advantage of all the features of FileMaker Pro, using the Tab Control, Fast Send, Calendar Drop Down, and Script Variables features to speed development time. And conveniences built into FileMaker Pro will mean real benefits for end users as well, "I'll be using FileMaker Pro to send PDF documents to students, faculty, and staff," Ann Marie says. "It's a great feature — students will get a confirmation of their course selections via PDF, and faculty will have the option of receiving necessary information via PDF and Fast Send."

There's no end to the data flowing through Ann Marie's office — and no end to her enthusiasm for the labor–saving, money–saving features of FileMaker Pro. "FileMaker Pro is a great product," she declares. "The enhancements over the years take it way beyond what its name suggests. I would not dream of trying another product — it's hard to imagine another product delivering so much sophistication while remaining so easy to use."

For FileMaker:

Kevin Mallon
Public Relations Manager
FileMaker, Inc.
408-987-7227
kevin_mallon@filemaker.com
http://www.filemaker.com

For Syracuse University/College of Arts and Sciences:

Ann Marie McGinnis
Director, Student Records Office
Syracuse University/College of Arts and Sciences
325-443-2205
mcginnis@syr.edu
http://www.syr.edu

For Management Counseling Services:

Steven Blackwell
Developer
Management Counseling Services
703-751-6018
shblackwell@earthlink.net
http://www.FMP-Power.com