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Home > CITS > Communications > Archives > Newsletter > June 2004 Edition > CITS eNews Volume 1, Issue #3, Page 4

What’s New in SIMS/SURFS?

[Editor’s Note:  SIMS, the UMB Student Information Management System, facilitates the management of all student processes, including those related to pre-application, application, admission, enrollment, progression, and academic history.  It also maintains a central, electronic repository of current and historical student data.  SURFS (Student UseR Friendly System) is the Web companion to SIMS.]
SURFS Admissions
A new SURFS feature allows perspective students to Apply for Admissions directly from the Nursing School’s home Web page.  Once an application is completed via SURFS, the application is stored in the Student Information Management System and is then ready for the school to begin processing the applicant’s application.  Applicants can track the status of their applications by going to the admissions link on the school’s web page.  This tracking feature enables the applicant to see what required application documents have been received by the Admissions Offices, as well as the status of his or her application. CITS is currently working with the schools of Social Work, Physical Therapy, and the Graduate School to expand their SURFS Web Admissions capabilities as well.

SURFS Financial Aid
Effective April 2004, CITS, working with the Office of Financial Aid, has greatly enhanced the SURFS self-service capabilities in this area.  Not only can students see their possible Financial Aid awards, but they can now accept all or part of an award, decline awards, view loan information, check on loan disbursement status and see any message that may pertain to the student’s requirements to receive aid.

SURFS Personal Info
CITS, working with ORR (Office of Records and Registration), has enhanced the SURFS student self-service capabilities.  Students can now add, change and delete their own email addresses (not including the campus e-mail address), emergency contact and marital status information, all online.  Previously, students were able to submit requests for these types of changes (excluding Marital Status) via SURFS, which generated an e-mail message containing the new information.  The data entry was done the next business day by ORR.  Now the changes are instantaneous!

SIMS Team Attends Summit

SunGard SCT, the organization behind the Banner software that powers UMB’s Student Information Management System (SIMS) held its annual user conference, “Summit 2004,” from March 28 through March 31, 2004 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The conference is designed for participants to meet, network with and learn from over 6,000 fellow Banner/2000 users, SunGard SCT software specialists, and vendors.  The UMB campus members attending this year's conference and contributing to this article were:
• CITS–Buzz Merrick, Larry Masters, Gary Nelson, Deno Tufares
• Financial Aid–Terra Jones, Acting Director, Financial Aid and Tanya McMillian, Academic Program Specialist.

Deno and Buzz both did presentations at the conference.
  It was announced at Summit 2004 that participants from last year’s conference voted Buzz "number one” presenter for the second year in a row.  Way to go, Buzz!

All attendees agree that this year’s conference provided an excellent vehicle for gaining first-hand knowledge of “what’s to come” and where others have gone before.  With the SIMS Project Team about to undertake the migration to Banner 6, there were a lot of  “lessons learned” to be gained from other institutions that have all ready made the leap.  

First State Broadband Conference Held
On Friday, April 16, 2004 more than 100 individuals from across the state of Maryland, representing higher education, government (state, county & local), health care and state agencies, met for a day-long discussion of network connectivity across the state.  Representatives from NetworkMaryland, Sailor, Maryland Department of Transportation, Mid-Atlantic Crossroads (MAX), and UMATS spoke about their state networks in the morning and then participated in a panel discussion in the afternoon. 

NetworkMaryland is the statewide fiber infrastructure that has been deployed over the past four to five years connecting western Maryland with Baltimore and Annapolis.  Plans to extend the high-speed bandwidth to the Eastern Shore are being finalized.  Sailor is the network that connects public libraries and the state county education systems. The Maryland Department of Transportation Network provides connectivity for numerous state operated units that fall under this department. MAX is the connection point for Colleges, Universities and other research entities to Internet 2.  UMATS is the University System of Maryland network that connects the thirteen USM institutions and several community colleges.   It was the first time that all of these participants have met to discuss cooperative networking opportunities.  There are plans to follow up this “summit” conference with biannual meetings to enhance further cooperation.

Several members of the UMB community were in attendance and played an active role in the afternoon panel discussion.  It is hoped that by cooperating with the various networks the cost to get to strategic locations in the state will be reduced.