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GCC software sees hard times

PeopleSoft system intended to improve registration is suffering from bugs.

July 24, 2010|By Max Zimbert, max.zimbert@latimes.com

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Glendale Community College officials are working to overcome problems with new student registration software before the onslaught of the fall semester.

The PeopleSoft software installed months ago was designed to streamline and consolidate several college online services, but unexpected bugs have slowed them down.

Issues began last spring semester when some students were unable to register properly. The problems are being dealt with as fast as college staff and computer consultants can manage, said Ricardo Perez, vice president of student affairs.

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"We are rolling with the punches and doing our best," he said at a Monday meeting of the college Board of Trustees. "Any issues, I'll be right on them."

College officials were swift to alert students when the system began crashing during registration for spring semester, outgoing student board member Lilya Avagyan said.

"It hasn't been easy, like any other change that happens," she said. "They are trying really hard to improve. It's not like they've changed it and said go ahead and do whatever, and we'll see what happens."

PeopleSoft was designed to combine the college internal log in and schedule pages with a registration page, and be able to handle the immense traffic that's typical during open enrollment, Avagyan said.

"Once it's improved and perfected, I'm sure they'll like it more than the other one, because it contains everything you need," she said.

In its faults, the system has mostly prompted error messages or not allowed students to register.

Still, the system has had a fair share of successes and benefits in just a short time, said Mary Mirch, vice president of instructional affairs. Faculty members, despite having setbacks of their own during the transition, have also said the system gives them new tools, she said.

"That they can click a button and e-mail all of their students is a change," she said. "We're finding things we used to do a certain way would be better served if we did it a different way."

At worst, the system would require computer consultants through at least September, which would mean more money, said Ron Nakasone, vice president of administrative services.

"As we go through the errors or bugs we're finding, and coming up with the fixes, we'll adjust that accordingly," Nakasone said.

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