USC launches new course registration site as part of OneCarolina project

Students will use Self Service Carolina to sign up for Fall 2013 courses

Students will begin registering for Fall 2013 classes using the new Self Service Carolina online system Monday.

University registrar Aaron Marterer said he believes the registration process through the new module will be “intuitive” for students.

Self Service Carolina is in the process of replacing VIP as the online system for student academic and financial services across all USC campuses. Registration for Summer I and II 2013 classes is still being done through VIP.

Registration for the Columbia campus will be the first large-scale test of the system.

USC’s Salkehatchie, Sumter and Union campuses began using Self Service Carolina for fall registration this week, Marterer said. The process has gone smoothly so far for those students, Marterer said, and he is “cautiously optimistic” that it will continue without problems.

A special support team will spend the next four weeks solely focusing on handling any problems students may have with the system, according to Marterer.

“As I’m telling our advisers and administrators in the colleges, we’re looking to everybody to help be quality control agents and help make sure that things are working properly,” Marterer said.

Features of the new course selection module include the ability to browse courses in more than one subject at the same time, filter courses by time and by day, view seats available in multiple sections at once and view full course descriptions.

“We hope that this meets people’s expectations. And certainly, part of that expectation is just having it be intuitive,” Marterer said.

The key for students to make a smooth transition between VIP and Self Service Carolina is to log in early to the system and become familiar with navigation on the site, Marterer said. Students must log in to Self Service Carolina to find out what time they are scheduled for course registration.

Students’ login information for Self Service Carolina is the same as their current VIP IDs and passwords.

The registrar’s office has sent emails in the past week to students reminding them to log into Self Service Carolina. Marterer said there has been a noticeable increase in the number of students who have logged into the system this week.

This first year of Self Service Carolina will allow administrators to make sure the system is working properly before making enhancements in the future, according to Marterer.

One of the “most exciting” future enhancements is the addition of prerequisite checking to the course selection module, Marterer said, which will give “more upfront information to students” by showing them whether they have already taken the necessary prerequisite courses. That feature was not added immediately because of the ongoing transition from VIP to Self Service Carolina, Marterer said.

“There are a lot of things we have the ability to turn on, such as prerequisite checking, and it’s really just a question of, ‘OK, is this going to help our particular institution or not?’” Marterer said.

Self Service Carolina is part of the university’s multiyear OneCarolina project to overhaul and integrate its digital academic and administrative systems across all its campuses.

“It seems like the university’s moving more and more in the direction of integrating … across the system to provide students with better opportunities,” Marterer said. “And (with) this type of database, it’s the perfect time to put this in, because it is an integrated system. So it kind of reflects what we’re doing on campus. It’s a very exciting time.”

The first stage of Self Service Carolina went live last summer for students applying for admission for Fall 2013. Those students and anyone entering the university from the fall onward will never use VIP, OneCarolina officials have said.


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