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The Graduate School


The Graduate School is developing a Web-based system called MyGradProgram as a complement to the MyUW portal that will soon be released for campus use. It will improve communication between the Graduate School, graduate students, and academic departments. MyGradProgram will also be the mechanism for conducting Graduate School administrative services using the Web. Streamlined administrative services will take advantage of Web-based workflow to simplify and speed these tasks, greatly reducing staff effort, both in the Graduate School and in academic departments. The technical infrastructure to support this effort will be extensible, scalable, and compatible with other University technologies.

Considering the number and diversity of graduate programs at the UW and the decentralized nature of graduate education, it is perhaps not surprising that the Graduate School's Process Improvement Team has found communication to be a major factor complicating the Graduate School's ability to effectively fulfill its function of ensuring quality in graduate education. MyGradProgram will address these communication issues by providing a Web portal for targeted communications to graduate students, graduate faculty, graduate program coordinators and graduate program assistants. The content of the Web site will be customized especially for the role of the viewer. The system will record milestones and events for students on a nightly basis and store them in a student profile record. MyGradProgram content will reflect the achievement of these milestones and events. The following examples illustrate these capabilities:

After initial display, users will have the option to turn off these milestone/event links. As with MyUW, they will also be able to add links and customize the site in various ways.

MyGradProgram will also serve as a framework for providing a variety of administrative services using the Web. The Process Improvement Team has constituted two Process Action Teams to design the first of these new services: an on-line master's degree application and a doctoral supervisory committee system. With the increase in evening, distance, and three-campus programs it has become more burdensome for students to file master's degree applications at the Graduate School. The new process will enable students to obtain online degree audits, submit degree applications on the Web, receive email status confirmations, and submit Exit Questionnaires on the Web. Graduate departments will also receive email status updates. Supervisory committee assignment paperwork will be replaced by an online process. Authorized departmental personnel will be able to set up and reconstitute committees online. Other administrative services identified as potential additions to My GradProgram include petitions, program transfer requests, applications for informal concurrent degree status, on-leave applications, departmental interface to the online application for admission, and electronic submission of theses and dissertations.

It is very important for MyGradProgram to be secure, extensible, scalable, and compatible with other UW electronic initiatives. MyGradProgram will use the Computing and Communications (C&C) developed Pubcookie authentication mechanism used in MyUW. It will be developed using systems and tools consistent with the USER project and will be deployed on a multi-node redundant computing cluster that will be optimized for fault-tolerance and scalability. The Graduate School already maintains records of graduate program coordinators, graduate program assistants, and graduate faculty. These records will be extended to provide authorization information for MyGradProgram. MyGradProgram will use student information from the C&C Student Database Warehouse.

Contact: Marsha Landolt
Dean, The Graduate School
Allocation: $42,723
Date Funded: December 1999