Selected Current Projects
Information Technology implements, manages and supports technology-related projects at Pima in collaboration with other College departments.. Here are a sampling of some current IT projects.
In Spring 2017 PCC began implementing upgrades to Banner, the software product that Pima uses to support administrative and student business functions. These upgrades, called Banner XE, will provide enhanced functionality and services.
The first change occurred to Banner Forms on February 18. This upgrade impacted PCC staff who enter data into the system, look-up student records, etc. The second half of the project will begin in March 2017. We will review and implement BannerXE upgrades to specific services to improve student and faculty systems such as student registration and faculty grade entry.
Information Technology is partnering with the Registrar's office to implement eTranscripts. This system will allow the College to accept secure online transcript orders and fulfill those orders automatically through National Student Clearinghouse (NSC). The NSC will handle FERPA consent, credit card payments, and delivery of electronic transcript PDF files. When implemented, this hands-free approach will improve the quality and timeliness of transcript services while reducing the workload in the Registrar’s Office.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)
This pilot project uses Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) technology to enhance student access to computing resources. VDI is software that moves the desktop environment from a specific desktop, for example in a specialized computer lab, to a centralized server. This provides students with "anytime, anywhere" access to resources that were traditionally only offered in the computer lab. We anticipate that this technology will enhance student success by allowing access to files and curriculum-related software from any computer – on-campus or off-campus. As of February, two pilot groups are using VDI: West Campus nursing students and an online CIS class.
Enrollment Rx is the new system that students will use to apply for admission. In addition to a sleeker, more modern interface, Enrollment Rx will allow PCC to collect a richer set of data from applicants. This information will be used proactively to provide appropriate guidance and services to incoming students. Enrollment Rx passes this student application data to Banner in real time, where the admissions process is completed. The initial implementation, which will launch mid-March, will be a First-Time College Student application. Phase 2 will start shortly with additional application types (e.g., international, adult education, transfer students)
21st Century Classrooms
IT is working with faculty at all campuses to upgrade classrooms with instructional technology that supports new models for teaching and learning. The 21st Century Classroom initiative provides funding for selected classrooms that will give faculty and students the opportunity to explore these new tools. Current projects include Room C207 at West Campus room which will use laptops, movable furniture, and interactive “huddle spaces” to support active learning. Room F204 at Desert Vista campus is being designed with an emphasis on collaborative learning with laptops and tablets that connect wirelessly to multiple large displays that students can use to share their work. Both rooms will also be equipped with webcams and cloud-based conferencing software so they can connect for cross-campus collaboration.
IT is part of a large, cross-functional team working to implement Starfish by Hobsons. This system will impact student retention by supporting individualized student advising and early academic alerts. Starfish can be customized to meet specific use cases at Pima, and the reports generated by the system will help identify which services and interventions are working.