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California Community Colleges Adopt SunGard Banner Software

California's Rio Hondo College and Sierra College have selected software from the Banner Unified Digital Campus and other solutions from SunGard Higher Education to help address their growing enrollments and to help improve student retention and services.

The Unified Digital Campus is the name Sungard gives to a line of applications that work in an integrated fashion, including software for administration functions, performance management, community and recruiting management, and enrollment management.

At Rio Hondo College, where enrollment is growing at about two percent a year, the college believes the solutions will help it improve student retention. Because many of its learners are first-generation students, they require extra support and services. The college has about 20,000 students and is located in Southeast Los Angeles County.

"The self-service features provided by the Banner Unified Digital Campus will help provide our learners and faculty and staff with easy access to a wide array of online resources and services," said John Bryant, director, technology & information services at Rio Hondo. "In addition, the software will help us streamline our business and operational practices, freeing up our staff to spend more time with the students who need help."

Banner will also support a year-round registration process. "We need the capability to offer courses year-round, without the constraints of a semester-based schedule, in order to increase our enrollment further and meet the needs and schedules of a wider population of learners," said Bryant.

Sierra College, with 17,000 students in Northern California, is also facing enrollment growth of two percent annually.

"The Banner administrative system will help free up our staff from doing manual processes so that they can do more of what we do best, which is provide excellence in teaching and learning," said Leo E. Chavez, superintendent/president. "And it will also help us address our growing enrollment. Today, our online courses fill up as soon as they are offered. By having a more robust administrative system, we will be able to accommodate more courses and more learners. Moreover, we will be able to provide our faculty and staff with a comprehensive set of online services."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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