Western Nevada Community College will take one more technological step toward the approaching millennium with a new registration process that will offer students more security and save time.
The new system will allow students to check their semester grades over the phone as well as download their unofficial transcripts off the Internet. These services are in addition to the previously offered options to register, add or drop classes and pay fees with a credit card.
However, as the availability of information over the telephone and Internet increases, so does the need to ensure the students' privacy.
"We want to be able to offer more services, but in order to do that, you need to be more secure," said Anne Hansen, WNCC's director of marketing and information.
With the emphasis on privacy, it is now more difficult to gain access to an individual's account. Under the old system, a student's PIN - personal identification number - was determined by that student's month and year of birth. Now, each student must choose his or her own four-digit PIN.
Elementary education major Stephanie Cordova said she prefers to check her grades over the Internet rather than the old method of receiving them in the mail.
"It's a lot more convenient," she said. "This way, I can check them when I want to and if I don't want to see them, I don't have to."
However, others are not as pleased with the new system.
Mike McGarvey, a 20-year-old art student, said he doesn't think it is necessary to change the old PIN.
"Nobody could ever get into your account because you use your own Social Security number," he said.
To others, it is just one more thing to remember on top of everything else.
"It's going to be a big pain," said Joyce Lynn, a 20-year-old student. "We have enough to remember with finals."
Hansen said she has received some complaints about the system but most of the feedback has been positive. She said this system, as when Internet registration was introduced, may be a bit daunting at first.
"Just like when we started the Internet registration, people were a little afraid," she said. However, she said 30 percent of the registration this year was done over the Internet. She said she is confident that the new system will succeed as well.
"Our students are definitely taking to the new technology," she said. "This is just one more way to help them save time."
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