IT Matters

Business Improvement: Ellucian DegreeWorks

The University of Scranton is proud to announce the planned implementation of Ellucian DegreeWorks, an easy-to-use, online suite of academic planning tools that assist students and advisors in planning, tracking and auditing academic progress and completion of degree requirements.  DegreeWorks is a web-based audit tool that will provide a clear and convenient method for: viewing and tracking requirements for the degree program declared by a student; supporting more timely degree certification by reducing paperwork and manual degree certification checklists; and aiding departments in forecasting course capacity demand. The program compares degree requirements against coursework completed to produce an easy-to-read, online worksheet that displays degree requirements by categories (GE, Major, Minor, Concentration).  The University’s decision to adopt DegreeWorks, the most modern educational program planning tool in the higher education marketplace, was highlighted as a strength by the Middle States Peer Review Team in their oral debriefing.

DegreeWorks also features a Transfer Equivalency (TE) module designed to articulate and map external coursework to University of Scranton equivalencies. Its self-service tool will allow high school and transfer students to forecast their transferable credits, a utility that will greatly improve the timeliness and processing of transfer credit for these applicant populations.

Susan Bowen, CIO, and Julie Ferguson, Registrar, are the executive sponsors of the DegreeWorks project. “DegreeWorks is a university-wide initiative that will further enhance the student user experience at UofS,” states Ms. Bowen.   Ms. Ferguson added “An implementation committee, co-chaired by Rose Ann Jubinski, IT Business Applications Analyst, and Lisa Cornell, Associate Registrar, will include cross-campus representation from TAG, Faculty Advisors, Advising Centers, ORAS, Financial Aid, IT, Dean’s Offices and the Office of the Provost. Advisors, Department Chairs and Program Directors will be routinely consulted throughout the coding and testing processes.”  Extensive training will be provided to all users.

DegreeWorks is expected to launch in Fall 2020; the product will be available to undergraduate and graduate students admitted in Fall 2020 and thereafter.  CAPP will be used to track the degree requirements of students admitted prior to Fall 2020.


Written by Julie Ferguson, Registrar

Security Spotlight: Security Awareness Training Matters

Cybersecurity, data breach, privacy, phishing attempts– I am sure you are most familiar with these words, as they have been frequently used these past years in our campus presentations, national news reports and articles in industry magazines (just to name a few). The threats these words represent are escalating, complicated and quite frankly too important to dismiss.

Listed as the single most pressing issue in the Top 10 IT Issues 2019 from Educause (a non-profit association that helps higher education optimize the impact of IT), it is a University-wide challenge that we must address – together.

Our Information Security Office (ISO) has seen a steady increase in the number of phishing and social engineering attempts. Thankfully, in part due to our programming and outreach (such as cybersecurity month, wellness day presentations, email notices and training) constituents have become more aware of these types of attempts and are increasingly reporting them to the ISO and the Technology Support Center.

The ISO encourages everyone to take advantage of the security awareness training available through SANS to learn more about phishing and social engineering, and recommends that everyone regularly perform a “Malwarebytes Full Scan” to guard against malware (this program is already installed on our campus computers).

As we continue to develop our University security strategies, we ask that you remain vigilant, and never hesitate to call or email us to confirm the validity of an email or phone call. You can reach the Information Security Office at 570-941-4226 or email infosec@scranton.edu.

Free Security Resources

  • The  THINK. CONNECT. ™ Campaign is a national public awareness campaign aimed at increasing the understanding of cyber threats. https://www.stopthinkconnect.org/resources
  • Through StaySafeOnline, the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) empowers users at home, work and school with the information they need to keep themselves, their organizations, their systems and their sensitive information safe and secure online and encourage a culture of cybersecurity. https://staysafeonline.org/
  • Report identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission online at IdentityTheft.gov or by phone at 1-877-438-4338.
  • Get the latest information on IRS Tax Scams / Consumer Alerts. https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-scams-consumer-alerts

Free Security Software Resources (for home)

  • uBlock Origin Extension (in Google Chrome Browser) is a free and open-source, cross-platform browser extension for content-filtering, including ad-blocking. https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ublock-origin/cjpalhdlnbpafiamejdnhcphjbkeiagm?hl=en
  • Malwarebytes protects you against malware, ransomware, malicious websites, and other advanced online threats that have made traditional antivirus obsolete. https://www.malwarebytes.com/
  • Have I Been Pwned allows you to search across multiple data breaches to see if your email address has been compromised. https://haveibeenpwned.com/
  • K9 Web Protection is a free Internet filter and parental control software for your home Windows or Mac computer. K9 puts YOU in control of the Internet so you can protect your kids. http://www1.k9webprotection.com/
  • LastPass is a password manager that stores encrypted passwords online. https://www.lastpass.com/

 

 

 

Wireless Upgrades in Student Residence Halls

Cisco Wireless Access Point

The Network Services team will be performing a wireless infrastructure upgrade to many of our student residence halls this summer.

Wireless was upgraded in Giblin-Kelly Hall as a proof-of-concept last March. During this pilot, a total of 37 new wireless access points and one additional back-end Cisco switch were placed in the dormitory to enhance and support the student increased wireless bandwidth demand.

In order to address the increasing demand for wireless capacity in the student residence halls, and to allow each student to leverage more wireless devices, a more comprehensive wireless design plan has been created. This plan calls for a wireless access point in every other student room with multiple access points in the hospitality areas.

The following student residence halls will be upgraded this summer using the same wireless design: Casey Hall, Condron Hall, Denis Edward Hall, Driscoll Hall, Fitch Hall, Hafey Hall, Lynett Hall, Martin Hall, McCourt Hall, McGowan House, GLM, Nevils Hall and Redington Hall.

Use Microsoft Forms to create a survey, quiz, or poll.

Microsoft Forms is an online program that lets you easily create surveys, quizzes and polls. It can be used to track meeting or event reservations, collect feedback or gather ideas. Once you have built your form, you can invite others to respond to your form using a link. Built-in analytics are available within the program to evaluate responses as they’re submitted. You can export your form data when needed.

Microsoft Forms is available to all students, faculty and staff free of charge as part of our Office 365 campus license. You can access Forms by going to https://forms.office.com/  and select Get Started.

Join a hands-on training session on Forms in HYL 402. Please register (limited seating).

  • Friday, May 10 from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
  • Tuesday, May 21 from 2 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

If you can’t attend a session, feel free to review the online training instructions provided by Microsoft:

Update: IT Resources

IT Training Resources

All of our training materials are now available online. Simply visit scranton.edu/ITtraining to access our new SharePoint folder. Authentication will be required.

Website
We have created the following new web pages in response to various campus requests:

Social Media
We invite you to follow us today at our respective social media websites listed below.

Twitter: @ScrantonTSC

Facebook: The University of Scranton’s Technology Support Center

Security Spotlight: “Are You Available” Gift Card Email Scam Targeting Faculty and Staff

Our Information Security Office has received several reports of email scams targeting University faculty and staff that involves the purchase of gift cards.

The email begins with subjects like “Follow up” or “Are you available?” and if the recipient replies, the attacker continues to portray a University leader explaining that they are in a meeting and can’t take calls. They urge the recipient to buy gift cards for them promising to reimburse them later.

The end goal is for the criminal to be sent gift cards on the “leader’s behalf” and email pictures of codes to them with the promise of later reimbursement.

**If you receive such an email, DO NOT RESPOND and forward the email to infosec@scranton.edu**.

If you received a similar email and you purchased gift cards, please contact the University Police for assistance and forward the original message to infosec@scranton.edu.

Previous story related to this topic:
Office Tip: Forward an Email Message as an Attachment

Computer Budget Forms for FY19/20

Microcomputer budget forms for academic and administrative computer requests for FY19/20 will be emailed to department heads in February and will be due back to IT early March 2019. In light of limited budgetary resources, the evaluation and prioritization of these technology requests will focus on providing efficiencies in the administrative and academic areas.

As a reminder, each employee should have only one system. If your current computer equipment does not meet your needs in performing your job, please make sure to contact your supervisor before the forms are submitted. Full-time faculty are on an automatic four-year renewal cycle and do not need to be requested. IT staff members will meet with departments who have computer labs to determine what’s needed and are available to meet with all departments to assist in this process.

If you have any questions, please email itassets@scranton.edu.

IT Assessment: MISO Survey Results

In collaboration with the Library, the Division of Information Technology asked the University community to provide feedback on its services. The survey was conducted last February through March, 2018. The survey was administered to undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty and staff.

Measuring Information Service Outcomes (MISO) is a web-based quantitative survey that measures how faculty, students, and staff view library and computing services (IT) in higher education. The MISO Survey provides information on:
• the services and resources that are important to users
• how successfully services and resources are delivered
• the effectiveness of communications about services and resources
• users’ skill with software and databases
• additional skills that users want to develop and the preferred manner of acquiring them
• software and hardware tools used by faculty, students and staff
• benchmarks for delivery of library and computing services

The results of the survey were shared with the faculty Technology Advisory Committee, the Administrative Technology Advisory Committee, the Provost Council and the Student Senate.

In response to the feedback from the survey, IT will be focusing its effort on providing additional support and instruction regarding file storage solutions and backup management. We will also be focusing on providing our constituents with additional opportunities to familiarize themselves with online safety best practices and cybercrime prevention.

Review the survey results.

Business Process Improvement: Annual Report System

Over the past year, the Planning & Institutional Effectiveness and Information Technology units have been working together to develop a replacement technology for the longstanding electronic Annual Report System. Drawing from prior assessments of the system, and feedback gathered through a pilot phase this fall, the new SharePoint-based tool will enable users to more easily submit, share and archive information and documents related to planning and continuous improvement. In addition to ease of usage, the new system is designed to enhance transparency, accountability, and data-informed decision-making. The system will also streamline resource request processes.

More information, including training resources, will be shared with academic department chairs, administrative department heads, and others involved in the Annual Reporting process in the weeks ahead. The new system is set to launch in early April. Much gratitude goes to IT for collaborating in the development of this innovative new system.

With questions, please contact Kate Yerkes, Assistant Provost for Planning & Institutional Effectiveness at kathryn.yerkes@scranton.edu.

Written by Kate Yerkes, Assistant Provost for Planning & Institutional Effectiveness at The University of Scranton

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