University Business November/December 2019 - 24

BEY

ND THE

lists of the courses required to finish a program. But web-based catalogs
can go further than that. For instance,
Bakersfield College's new catalog includes
a "Program Pathways Mapper" that provides students with a road map of how
they can complete a program in the most
efficient way.
The catalog also allows users to easily search and move between connected
programs. "These are things that couldn't
have been done using the previous format," Moseley says.
Similarly, at Southern New Hampshire University, a new digital course
catalog provides more detailed program information compared with past
catalogs-an important piece because
SNHU's College for America offers
competency-based degree programs
with direct assessment for working
adults. "Users can click through to see
all the competencies that are assessed in
each program," says Romki Constant,
assistant vice president of academic operation and strategy in the Office of the
University Registrar.

2

Integrate the catalog
with other systems
The ability to connect and interact
with various systems is a hallmark of
an online course catalog. For example,
the University of Colorado Boulder
integrates its catalog with scheduling
and curriculum management systems,

More online: Course catalog
management providers on
challenges faced by colleges:
UBmag.me/catalog
More coverage on academic
affairs: UBmag.me/affairs
allowing information from the catalog
to flow directly into such systems, says
Registrar Kristi Wold-McCormick.
When a user conducts a search in the
online schedule of classes, the course
description is pulled from the current
catalog and displayed. The catalog and
schedule of classes also integrate with
CU Boulder's faculty profile system, so
a student can view the research interests, published works and backgrounds
of instructors associated with the selected programs or classes.
As digital transcripts become more
widely embraced, robust course catalogs
can also enhance those documents. CU
Boulder administrators are also working to pull key academic information
from the catalog, including program
descriptions and learning outcomes,
and add it to digital diplomas and credentials, Wold-McCormick says.
At Southern New Hampshire, the
online catalog is also connected with
the course management system for automatic updating. "If there is a change
to a course or a program of study in an

"Our online catalog allows for a level
of personalization and support that
will allow students to complete their
education in less time, and for less money."
-Bill Moseley, Bakersfield College

24 | November/December 2019

academic year, we make the change in
our curriculum management system,
and once the change is made, it's automatically updated in the catalog and
in the addendum," Constant says. "So
people can look at the online catalog
and know that it always includes the
latest information." In addition, anyone can view the searchable addendum
to see all the changes that have been
made during an academic year.
"We try to limit the number of
changes to a catalog once it is published
for a given academic year, but if there is
a new policy or correction that must be
made, it's possible to do so in the online
catalog," Wold-McCormick adds. "We
had to live with errors in the days of
printed publications."

3

Improve accessibility and accuracy
Digital catalogs allow institutions
to provide better service to students,
faculty and other users. For instance,
a mobile-friendly course catalog means
users can easily access it anytime, anywhere, says Wold-McCormick.
In most cases, web-native catalogs
are optimized for accessibility as well.
At CU Boulder, the registrar's office
collaborated with its catalog vendor,
Leepfrog Technologies, and in-house
accessibility experts to ensure compliance with accessibility best practices.
"We worked together to reduce barriers
to access for users of all abilities, including those accessing the catalog through
assistive technology devices," says WoldMcCormick.
The ease of access and the presentation of catalog data-especially in an
age of mobile devices-results in better
service for students, faculty and staff,
says Moseley, of Bakersfield. "The integration of the Program Pathways Mapper component allows for a level of personalization and support that will allow
students to complete their education in
UniversityBusiness.com


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University Business November/December 2019

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