Graduate Student Tracking Database

Description: I have created a FileMaker database that collects data from currently unrelated campus databases – ISIS, HRMS, and OCG – to track applicant, student, and student financial / appointment information. Applicant information from ISIS/Cognos is uploaded to the database and exported to a Google Drive spreadsheet for faculty to review. Student ISIS/Cognos reports, like the enrolled student and degree reports, are uploaded to track student information each semester. Additional entries are made in the student’s database record to track critical milestones, paperwork, notes, and progress. Graduate student appointments (RA, TA, and GA) are tracked and scheduled to help PPLs monitor the appointments and changes to the appointment funding sources – from OCG data. 

How does this benefit the University? Using the database to export applicant information to the campus Google Drive has provided a means for faculty to easily review application details, make decisions about applicants, and communicate those decisions with each other and back to me, the Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC), in order to notify the applicant of a decision. This time-saving, closed-loop procedure has improved our application processing time and communication, while reducing paper waste.

Using the database to track student progress reduces academic completion and paperwork errors. Student and their faculty advisers can, at a glance, understand the progress to degree through time-stamped transaction entry. The result: more student inquiries can be processed efficiently on a daily basis.

Tracking RA, TA, and GA positions through the database links HRMS, OCG, and student information together to provide a means to schedule position entry, capture historical position information, and export financial and student data on demand. In April 2014, the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences Dean’s office requested and was given a detailed student funding report. 

Implementation status:  This database solution has been implemented in Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering (CEAE), while other departments are demoing the use of the database for tracking graduate and undergraduate data and another large department has been using the Cognos down-load feature since 2011 for their application process. Within our CEAE department, my goal has been to further expand the user base to more staff – providing an opportunity to cross-train staff and increase customer efficiency – and give faculty access to student records using the same web access version used to report applicant decisions. 

Submitted by Pamela Halstead Williamson, Graduate Student Coordinator, Civil Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder

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