A McMaster initiative will change the way students interact with the University online.
The school is working on a project called Mosaic, an initiative that aims to replace the current business process with a new enterprise resource planning, or ERP system.
The project is set to be fully operational in the Fall of 2015, though the MUGSI/SOLAR revamp was originally slotted to launch this summer.
Mosaic is a “student service centre that will provide students with self service capabilities and one place for all their administrative information,” said Melissa Pool of the University Registrar.
Students will be able to log in and see their admission status, student fees, scholarships and awards, registration, schedules, and degree audits, according to Pool.
Students will also be able to request their transcripts online, as well as view their unofficial transcripts.
“You will be able to see your full record, as opposed to just partial like it is now,” said Pool.
MUGSI and SOLAR will be replaced with a new registration system. Students will still have designated times to log on and register, but will no longer receive that annoying message that the website is full.
“The rush to register at midnight will be replaced with staggered registration times that guarantee system access,” said Pool.
Students will be able to see their timetables immediately, and register into preferred sections if they are available.
“It really takes the anxiety out of the process,” said Pool of these changes.
However, if there is no room in your preferred section students will have to continue to check for spaces.
Staff and faculty across the University are already using a Mosaic system. This part of the project launched at the beginning of Dec. 2013 and is being used, mostly, for financial purposes such as research grant applications and awards.
The undergraduate application process will remain the same for the University but the grad school application process will be a part this new web system.
As it becomes closer to being ready for student use, Mosaic hopes to get student representatives to help in the decision-making processes.
“About 130 people are currently working on it in total,” said Sheldon Smart of Mosaic.
These people are always changing as different aspects of the project are put in motion. So far the new system has approximately 700 users per day. The project is also involved with Deloitte consulting firm, financial affairs, and University Technology Services.
Smart did not comment on how much exactly this project will be costing and if these costs will be affecting students directly. Students will not see the cost of Mosaic specifically on their list of student fees, but financing for the project will be coming out of the overall budget of the University.
A couple months into the project, Smart noted that there have been anticipated challenges as the system is brand new and training for users is ongoing.
Smart and Pool both believe that this project will result in an improved experience for the McMaster student.
“We are really excited to provide this for students,” said Pool.