One of 23 community colleges in the Virginia Community College System, Blue Ridge Community College is partnering with Coursedog to implement our integrated platform of catalog, curriculum, and scheduling solutions. We sat down with BRCC CIO Steve Young to interview him about the recently completed college-wide calendar project and the related implementations he has planned.
Get all the details about current and future Coursedog implementations from Steve in our webinar scheduled for August 6, noon ET. (Register here.) But first, here’s a preview of BRCC’s Coursedog story.
“We came to the decision to go down the Coursedog path after we had demos of several other scheduling and curriculum management platforms,” explained Steve. “Ultimately, we recognized that by offering an integrated platform Coursedog provides big value in efficiency.”
Other vendors had a decent standalone product, but, as Steve says, all these things are really meant to work together. “Our Colleague SIS is a nice platform, but it leaves out these essential components,” he continued. “So, when we engaged with Coursedog for a full demo and saw all that integration work, we recognized this as the extra bolt-on piece to our SIS.”
Today, the college-wide calendar is all those things and more. And to satisfy those who still want a printed copy, there’s a streamlined way to create a PDF of the whole site by just clicking a button.
“We’re really happy with it, and have gotten several comments from students and faculty that the new catalog looks great and is easy to search,” Steve commented. “I have to refer to the catalog a lot and having a giant PDF is not the same. This is a lot nicer.”
As an IT guy, Steve shared that by looking at the backend of the Coursedog platform and comparing it with competing products it’s clearly not a legacy software application being dragged along into the future.
“It’s truly built from the ground up using modern user interface principles,” he said. “The fact that Coursedog clearly uses HTML5 and has a very fluid UI means that IT people will like it.”
Although the college has not yet fully implemented Coursedog’s curriculum and scheduling solutions, Steve is clear about the benefits of doing so.
“Our current scheduling is done mostly on paper, but with Coursedog we can make that an easy- to-use electronic process with a customizable workflow,” he said. “This accommodates the hierarchy of approvals needed and limits personal contact during COVID.”
“Also, we have agreements with high schools and other partners that allow for certain classes at certain times of the day,” continued Steve. “So, being able to implement that centrally with the ability to define and enforce rules eliminates a lot of complexity and workload for faculty and makes sure they are not just scheduling classes based on their own preferences.”