In 2011, a task force was formed to modernize the general education requirements for Illinois State University students. The original requirements were implemented in 1998 and had not been modified since 2005.

Faculty and staff contributed numerous hours of research and hard work for the redesign of the new structure, and in April 2012 the final recommendations from the task force were approved by the Academic Senate. After the approval, Administrative Technologies (AT) was brought in to reprogram the new requirements on the mainframe.

The project team, which involved both AT staff and functional members from the registrar’s office, devoted more than 2,000 hours to the project, including gathering requirements, developing a plan, programming the mainframe, testing the new system, and deployment. In addition, and Oasis, the student advisement portal, had to be updated to reflect student degree programs.

The team encountered challenges during the implementation of the new general education requirements on the mainframe. The degree audit program, which was currently in place, was not well documented; therefore, the programmers and analysts had to spend a lot of hours deconstructing the applications to understand its components and how it worked. This phase had to be completed before AT could begin programming the new requirements.

Programming involved updates to display screens, batch printing processes, Web services, and degree audit logic in the mainframe to support the new general education requirements. Meticulous testing by the AT quality assurance team and the registrar staff was completed to ensure the accuracy of the work.

Although there were obstacles, the team was able to complete the project on schedule. The project also embodied great teamwork between AT, the registrar’s office, and Web and Interactive Communications.