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New Programs Database Convenient, Cost Efficient

Date: Jan. 17, 2001
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Archive: General News

A new database outlining descriptions of UC's undergraduate programs will bring the latest information on these programs to high school counselors, students and prospective students, all of it readily available on the Web with the click of a mouse.

The undergraduate programs database was developed by David Schumann, former associate editor, University Publications, and Mark Holmes, administrator for the central UC webserver.

Before now, outlines for undergraduate programs were produced on paper and because of the time it took to gather information, design a layout and produce it, the outline could be out of date at the end of production. "Paper outlines are expensive and time consuming," explains Schumann. "A lot of colleges had already put program descriptions online, but they were all over the place, and hard for a prospective student to find. Also, the formats weren't consistent. This will give searchers one place to go and find information in a consistent format." Schumann says the database puts UC "ahead of the curve as a powerful resource" to market programs to prospective students.

"The Web interface makes the program information accessible to anyone with an Internet browser," continues Holmes. "The interface presents each program in a similar, structured format, making it easy for a prospective student to find programs of interest and make an apples-to-apples comparison."

Information seekers can search the database by keyword, college or letter. The database also gives prospective students a direct link to an online application. Mary Watkins, assistant director of public relations for admissions marketing, adds the database is also more convenient and cost efficient for the campus community.

"If we need information about a program, they're all right there in the database. This can include all programs with a code, even noncredit programs. The database will allow for print-on-demand services, bringing costs down dramatically."

  • Here's how the database is kept up-to-date:

  • Assigned staff at colleges and departments enter and update the data.

  • University Publications will edit the entered information for clarity.

  • After the data is double checked by University Publications, it will go online.

  • University Publications will make paper outlines for use by the Office of Admissions and will facilitate paper outlines for departments on request.
  • "The best feature of the programs database is that personnel in each college have control of the programs information," Holmes says. "They can add new programs, update existing programs, and keep information as timely and accurate as possible. In its essence, the programs database is another means for the university to promote its educational products, leveraging the accessibility and universality of the Internet."

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