CEC Theses and Dissertations


A Plan For Implementation of A Computer Assisted Academic Advising System At Centenary College Of Louisiana

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Science


Center for Computer and Information Sciences


George Fornshell

Committee Member

John Kingsburry


Centenary College, a small private liberal arts college, used a completely manual method of academic advising. Success of the system was based only on the dedication of the individual faculty advisors. Errors in degree plans and academic advising were frequent and sometimes resulted in an extra semester or extra courses for the student.

Preliminary work in the form of interviews with administrative department heads and a survey of academic advisors indicated great support for a computer assisted academic advising system. The academic dean approved the results of a feasibility study and authorized development of a systems analysis for a computer assisted academic advising system.

A project steering committee was appointed to serve as the primary evaluative body for the project, and a detailed systems analysis was completed. The analysis included a description of the manual method, list of current system deficiencies, list and discussion of new system requirements, list of restrictions that will limit the implementation of the new system, and a description in both narrative and graphic form of the process and data flow of the new system.

A prototype of the degree audit process was developed. The prototype used official transcript information that was downloaded for the mainframe computer database and manual entries to reflect exceptions and transfer courses. The prototype used college, core, and major requirements from the 1990 - 1991 Centenary College Catalogue. To validate the prototype, a degree plan audit was performed for the records of twenty students who graduated in May 1991. The results of the prototype were compared to manual degree plans and the evaluation by the registrar of those manual degree plans. The systems analysis and the plan were approved by the entire committee and the academic dean. The dean authorized computing center personnel to begin development and implementation of the system

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