MU Launches MyZou
Brenda Selman, the MU Registrar, says the purpose of this new system is "to bring us really into this century, and into the kinds of computer systems that most universities of our caliber are using, we needed to move to this."
In the coming weeks, administrators are launching myZou, a new net-based student registration and record system with an estimated price tag of $5,000,000. "It's basically an entire student records database that can be easily accessed by various web browsers," said Selman.
Besides having the registering and grade-checking capabilities of STARMU, myZou will also have the combined aspects of Tiger Tracks, which is MU's online bill paying system, and TigerFAN, MU's Financial Aid Network. The fact that all of these aspects will now be combined allows them to be in real time, whereas before those systems shut down in the evenings to sync up information. This allows students to access myZou 24/7 and, because it will be online, from any web browser.
This gives myZou an advantage over it's predecessor, STARMU, which required students to download extra software that didn't always work with their browsers. Mizzou has used basically the same computer system for registration since the mid-70s, so some advisors say they're excited and anxious about the change.
Advisors Forum Chair, Jeffrey Wiese, says he thinks the transition for students and advisors will be easy. And while it may seem like sending students to the web may lessen an advisor's impact, tools like a degree audit system, and pictures and messages about each student allow for more valuable meeting time.
"If you spend all of your time looking at a sheet of paper and checking off what a student has completed, or searching around and trying to remember what different codes we need, the interaction with the individual was not as positive," Selman says.
"You know, not just stamping, and saying, OK this is what you need, but having those deeper discussions with students," says Wiese.
Administrators say it's worth leaving STARMU behind. "It definitely has served us well, and I think it has earned retirement," says Selman.
All four campuses in the UM system will be using this technology. Each system is tailored to each campus. University of Missouri-St. Louis' program is called MyView, University of Missouri-Kansas City's is known as OneStop, and University of Missouri-Rolla's is Joe Miner's Self Service, named after their mascot. Laura Stoll, Registrar at the University of Missouri-Rolla, says these new registering systems are worth it.
"Our program has been well-received by advisors, instructors, and students," said Stoll. "We've had variations of it in place for the past couple of years and [we have not] had many issues."
Selman has presented the new system to many university student groups and has received positive reactions.
"The only question they have is 'why haven't we had this sooner,'" said Selman.
MyZou is set to be available for student use on March 5th, during early registration.Students will still use STARMU for the remainder of this semester, and to register for classes this summer. Students will receive an e-mail at the end of February to alert them to the upcoming changes.
The system will be fully operational for the fall semester, and STARMU will be gone.