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Continuing Education honored for offering
secure class registration via the Internet

The Division of Continuing Education received a first place award from the Learning Resources Network (LERN) for streamlining student registration.

The award was granted at the 1997 International Conference on Lifelong Learning Programming in San Diego in December, in recognition of the Division's online system to register for classes on the Internet.

The system was developed by June Miller, project specialist, and David Morrow, publicity marketing coordinator, with support from the chancellor's office, to offer a convenient way for students to register for credit programs during summer and winter intersessions and for spring and fall graduate classes.

The site allows for registration by non-degree students taking graduate level courses and part-time graduate degree-seeking students. The online application through the division's website lets students enter a Visa or MasterCard number to complete the registration process.

Matthew McLoughlin, assistant dean of continuing education and director of credit programs, says "We want to be on the cutting edge in terms of current methods of providing customer service and the Internet is a natural for this."

Developing the system posed not only technical challenges, but issues of security. "It was a challenge to develop a tight system that is safe and secure, free from illegal interception of information -- especially the credit card numbers and other personal information of students registering online," Miller says.

The site began accepting on-line registration for last year's summer sessions and met with a favorable response from students. "There were over 200 online registrations for summer 1997, when the system became functional for the first time," says Morrow.

Selected from more than 100 nominations, the program was one of only four organizations to receive recognition. It was cited as "the way to win in the 21st century" and as "providing an example of the direction that other organizations should pursue."

Currently, Continuing Education is working on putting the course catalogs on the Internet and hopes to get them online by summer 1998.

Starting this spring, online registration will be available for non-credit courses for selected programs offered by the division.

Usha R. Palaniswamy and Mark J. Roy