Like large universities, community colleges also deal with account management issues. They might be on a smaller scale, but these problems interfere with productivity and efficiency just as much as those faced by larger universities.
In any type of college there is often frequent movement of students, from the time they enter the school, transfer, and leave or graduate once they are done with their program. Their accounts need to be also kept up to date with their class information and majors. Additionally it is extremely common in community colleges for students to take a few classes and then transfer to a different college or university.
Though this may not seem like a huge deal, it can be a big headache for the IT department, especially when staff makes these changes manually. Even the task of creating accounts for an entire entering class can take hours or even days. Each student needs to have the appropriate access to all of the systems and applications they need for their classes. All of these tasks and issues become intensified by the fact that the IT department at a community college is often smaller than that of a larger university. So, any small account or password issues can be a big issue and take up a great deal of time from an IT staff member.
Often, community colleges have to hire a full-time employee whose sole task is to provision student accounts in the summer before the beginning of the term. Even with this full-time employee, there are often issues with the process, and students begin their classes without the correct access to the resources they need.
An example of this is MassBay Community College, of Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts. The community college was manually creating Active Directory and Gmail accounts for all of its students each semester, and its IT department had to manually update student information in its student information system (SIS) on a regular basis.
The college solved the issue with a solution used by many community colleges, an automated account management solution. This solution allowed school leaders the opportunity to automate their account management so that accounts were automatically created in the appropriate systems once the student was added to the student information system.
“It has been a great help in creating AD and Gmail accounts for our students and also at making updates to usernames when changes are made in our SIS system,” said Terry Kramer of MassBay Community College.
An automated account management solution allows the community college to reduce the cost of account management so that there does not have to be a full-time position for handling accounts, and IT no longer has to spend its time handling account and password issues.