The Office of Information Technology, in collaboration with the University Academic Advising Committee, released a communication tool for advisors named Central Advising Record (C.A.R.) on June 2, 2014. This collaborative project consisted of personnel from Information Technology, outside contractors, and the University Academic Advising Committee (UAAC), which includes advising representatives and faculty members from colleges across the campus. The abbreviated name, C.A.R. was decided last year during the University Academic Advising Committee weekly meeting, where they discussed the need for a central advising record and someone yelled out “A NEW CAR!" Eventually, the project continued to be referred to as C.A.R., the Central Advising Record.
C.A.R. is an extension of a previous project implemented in 2005 called AdvisorTrac, which was a third-party software that had some limitations because it could not be integrated into the MyMav system. Due to the need for integration and the importance of providing a communication avenue for all advising units, the Office of Information Technology and the University Academic Advising Committee decided to develop the necessary software to meet the needs of the campus.
“Advising isn’t just about picking a class,” states Elizabeth Hannabas, Interim Director for the University Advising Center, “It’s about building a relationship with that student… The C.A.R. will help all the advisors on campus to grow and build those relationships.”
The C.A.R. system provides several advantages to the University of Texas at Arlington. One advantage is that the system includes the notes from the previous software, AdvisorTrac. Advisors have the ability to send individual and group emails. Furthermore, the C.A.R. system provides a reference point to documents in ImageNow and allows advisors across campus to communicate and send referrals to other colleges within the University. For example, an advisor from the College of Science can create a referral to University College. University College can then determine the next steps for the student. The College of Science will be able to follow up by accessing the C.A.R. system.
According to Todd Milligan from the Office of Information Technology’s Project Management Office, “the response from the campus has been universally positive” and he recommends for any college who has not set up the C.A.R. system to contact Help Desk. The next steps for C.A.R include stabilizing the current systems to make sure it is working properly and efficiently for all advising units, and then having the academic advising units make suggestions for improvements. After applying the suggested improvements, the C.A.R. system will receive operational improvements every six months to a year to continue to customize the service to fit the demand of the campus.
The Office of Information Technology would like to leave you with the words of the University Academic Advising Committee: Congratulations Advisors, you got a new C.A.R.!