In the summer of 2010, ECS enhanced the School of Engineering’s (SoE) Account Management system to resolve several issues and to improve student service. This system will increase accuracy of accounts and mailing lists to nearly 100%, improve response time for student computer services, and reduce support time allowing us to focus on other technical services.
In particular, the new Account Management system resolves the issues below. The diagram below is helpful in visualizing the given descriptions.
Students should have engineering accounts immediately after arriving
A daily synchronization process runs at 9:00AM every morning and reads data from the Student Admin Data Mart (PeopleSoft). All new Engineering students, as well as non-Engineering students taking Engineering classes, are added to the SoE database. Every 10 seconds throughout the day, a process will read the SoE database and create new accounts. No forms, requests, or phone calls are needed to have students added to our system.
Email lists must remain 100% accurate
A second process runs after the daily synchronization that reads all changed data in the SoE database and updates all student mailing lists.
Forwarding addresses should be verified before email is redirected
Students, staff, and faculty have always been able to forward their engineering email to other systems. Previously, we did not verify the intended address allowing mail to bounce if the user had a typo in their input. We are now verifying that the person receives mail at the provided address by sending a test message before updating our system.
Student email should be periodically verified to ensure they are receiving email
“I didn’t get that email!” is a complaint that we hear periodically. Now, we can assure that everyone will get every email. How?
1. All new student accounts will automatically forward email to firstname.lastname@example.org – their official university email address.
2. Before a student can change their forwarding address, they will have to verify that they own and read the desired destination address.
3. Periodically, we will send out notices requesting students verify their off-site email addresses. Failure to respond after two notices, will result in automatic redirection of the student’s email to their official university address.
Automatic Notification of Engineering Account
Students will be notified immediately of their Engineering account via email (routed to their official university email address) when it is created. Instructions will let the student know how they can activate their new account using their University NetID. No longer will passwords be handed out nor will the student have to come to the help desk before they can start using our systems.
All account processes should be automatic or self-managed
The above describes how the system automatically responds to student arrivals to provide SoE services without manual or personnel intervention. Our Accounts Management page provides the self-service interface of account management. Combined, these two systems improve accuracy and speed of our services while reducing the cost of support. Of course, we will always be here to help those with questions.
Accurate accounting of students currently active in the SoE
Our SoE database is a large step toward having an complete view of the SoE population which is current to within 24 hours. In future developments we plan on sharing this information with faculty and staff who need access to it.