New DSPS online system to save time for students and faculty

ISABELLE SINIBALDI, Channels Staff

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City College will be streamlining Disabled Student Programs and Services by changing to an online accommodation system next week.

The switch will make it easier for students, faculty and counselors to schedule appointments and keep track of each other.

The first phase is set to launch this upcoming spring semester, and some of the services will be offered starting Nov. 9 include online accommodation requests and applications. The second phase will start during the summer session and will expand to allow students to book test accommodations.

“We’re going to have more time to work with students who need help rather than spending our days filling out lots of laborious paperwork and forms,” said counselor Clark Hochstetler, who is leading the project. “It will give us the ability to continue to provide really high quality services to students.”

In order to help students and faculty move to a paperless system and seamlessly process accommodation requests, the program will be using new software.

The Clockwork software goes through the banner student information system, and will be used for students to apply, make accommodation requests and for teachers to accept or deny those requests online.

The program must keep a record of confidential student information that goes through Clockwork such as a student’s educational contract, case notes and use of accommodations.

“It allows each of us to access that students case information very quickly, no lost files, no misfiled files,” said Hochstetler. “It’s just a lot of benefits in terms of case management for us.”

Hochstetler said that in the past it was more difficult for students to get their requests for accommodations processed. They had to do a lot of extra work by scheduling an appointment and waiting in line to get a signature from their counselor just to fill out paperwork, then get another signature from their teacher. It was time consuming and paper intensive.

Now teachers will be notified when a student has made a request for an accommodation through email and will be able to review and confirm it online, saving students and teachers time.

“I can only imagine that an online sequence of steps in order to get accommodations would be helpful but it depends on how well the online system works,” said Nathan Hayden, adjunct design fundamentals instructor.

Starting this summer, the online system will allow teachers to upload their tests directly, where the office can distribute it to students. Previously, teachers had to bring all of their tests to the office.

“It’s a real time saver for faculty,” said Hochstetler. “It can be a real lifesaver for our adjuncts that are only here two days a week.”

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