EDUCAUSE - Administrative Experience


Taking care of business online

Your campus experience will include some time spent taking care of practical matters, such as registering for classes, requesting transcripts, and paying tuition. Find out which transactions and the services that support them can be handled online and at a distance.

Managing Your Personal Information

Q: What personal information can you view online—your contact information, grades, degree progress, financial status, or other information?

Using Self-Service, a Web-based system that interfaces directly with the administrative system, students can view their own grades, course schedule, unofficial transcript, and billing and financial aid information. Students can also view their address and demographic information.

Q: Can you update any of this information online yourself?

Using Self-Service, students can update their own address and demographic information.

Conducting Business

The following functions are available online:
     • Make a payment via credit card on an outstanding balance
     • Register for, add, and drop courses
     • Access course grades online as soon as they are posted in the administrative system
     • View and print unofficial transcripts
     • Make campus bookstore purchases

Q: What campus and community services are covered by debit-card, smart-card, or one-card systems?

Each student’s Campus ID card serves as a smart card. The Campus ID card serves as a debit card for bookstore, meal plan, and snack bar purchases. The ID card can also be used in the library to check out books and it provides off-campus access to electronic databases. Additionally, resident students use their Campus ID card for access to their residence hall.

Q: Are the school catalog—including course descriptions, degree requirements, and academic policies—and the semester/term schedule of classes available on the Web?

Alvernia University publishes the course catalog on its Website with detailed information on course descriptions, degree requirements, and academic policies. In addition to the current university course catalog, we also keep previous three years of catalogs on the Website. The semester schedule of classes is accessible via the universities Web-based Self-Service system.

Privacy, Security, and Usage Rules

Q: What security and privacy policies are in place to protect student information?

All students must login with unique usernames and passwords to university computers. Passwords are changed every 120 days. All students must login with unique usernames and passwords to the Blackboard course management system and to the Self-Service student information system. Student information is hosted offsite and is available to limited numbers of staff, whose roles strictly limit their access to such information.

Q: How does the campus protect students from identity theft?

IT personnel actively scan student-owned computers for spyware and other malware, and educate students about protecting themselves from identity thieves. The network has multiple layers of protection against viruses, Trojans, spam, spyware, and other hacking attempts.

Q: How does the campus notify students of their rights under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)?

Our FERPA statement is in the catalog, the student handbook, and on the Alvernia Website. At the start of each semester, the freshmen are given a FERPA waiver form to complete if they wish to allow parents/guardians to discuss academic issues with the university.

Q: Is network bandwidth limited for peer-to-peer software, gaming, Web cams, or other programs requiring high levels of network resources? Are Web pages filtered?

Bandwidth for peer-to-peer sharing is limited at all times; in some cases, it is blocked. Gaming use of bandwidth is limited during regular business hours, and is opened up on evenings and weekends. Game boxes are not allowed on the network. Students using a disproportionate amount of available bandwidth have their bandwidth use limited. We do not host Web pages.

Q: Is there a campus code of behavior about using computer resources?

Yes; our Responsible Use Policy is on the Alvernia Web site.

Q: Does the campus have policies addressing peer-to-peer file sharing, virus software, and copyright?

Yes; the unauthorized sharing of any copyrighted material via computer data lines is forbidden.

How does the campus manage e-mail spam?

The network administrators use several devices, including firewalls and antispam servers, to filter spam from campus e-mail.


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