CCE Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences


Marlyn Kemper Littman

Committee Member

Trudy Abramson

Committee Member

Sumitra Mukherjee


College and university campuses present an ideal environment for smart card systems and offer one of the best opportunities for the early adoption of smart card technology in the United States. This study investigated the design, development, and implementation of a smart card system in the university environment, specifically Nova Southeastern University. Additionally, this dissertation investigation developed a paradigm for a university-wide smart card student identification system capable of providing multiple applications such as portable identity, secure access, and electronic purse function. This dissertation investigation employed a Modern Systems Development Life Cycle (MSDLC) methodology along with a case study strategy. Through case study analysis, in concert with an MSDLC methodology, this researcher determined how other colleges and universities implemented smart card systems and examined smart card capabilities and constraints.

The proposed model is based on an analysis of 23 colleges and universities currently utilizing smart card technology as part of their campus card systems. In this multiple-case study, the goal was to build a general paradigm that fits each of the individual cases, even though the cases varied in their details. This paradigm documents the development and implementation of a smart card system in a university environment. As noted in this paradigm, the campus card combines magnetic strip and smart chip technology and is a managed card system. In addition, the campus card system includes strategic partnerships with merchants, banks and long distance carriers and is implemented in a phased process. The findings and conclusions of this dissertation inquiry can be generalized to other academic institutions investigating the viability of a smart card system.

It is important to note that this paradigm is based on an investigation of the small number of colleges currently utilizing smart card technology. However, this paradigm represents key considerations that should be addressed by academic institutions contemplating the installation of a multi-application smart card student identification system. The paradigm is subject to change as a consequence of innovations in the technological domain. Therefore, the smart card information system paradigm should be regularly reviewed and revised to reflect technological advancements.

  Link to NovaCat