The future of online student transactions has arrived, and its name is HUB.
Students that were here last semester may remember the contest to name the new tab for MyUB. Very soon now, HUB will be launching part of the many services encompassed in its design.
"HUB embodies the central nature of the services – data and transactions that the new system facilitates while capitalizing on the UB brand," said A. Scott Weber, vice-provost and dean for undergraduate education, in a press release.
When logging into MyUB, students will find "Need to Know" notifications that relay the new features and what students need to do to access them. Already, there is a tutorial program up for the HUB at www.buffalo.edu/hub.
The biggest change that students may feel is the increased reliance on UB e-mail addresses.
"In the past, students were alerted to very important financial aid and other necessary information by postal mail to a permanent address on file," said Cheryl Taplin, senior associate vice provost and director of SARFS. "UB is committed to ‘going green,' and one way to reduce UB's carbon footprint is to shift to more efficient communication notification via e-mail to a student's official ‘@buffalo.edu' address."
Because of the immensity of changing such an underlying tool in UB life, not all of the new features will come online at once. Among the first, however, will be course enrollment. HUB will replace the web registration, which has already been disabled, and BIRD.
Starting this spring, registration will take place by clicking on the HUB Student Center tap in MyUB. There will be a "shopping cart" feature in order to create a course wish list, which will allow for easier course registration, especially when it comes to classes that are already filled. Now, it will be a single-click registration when an opening shows up.
HUB will also allow for easier access to grades, required classes, and financial aid and student account transactions. A scheduler will also be provided to help students with organization.
"I really like being able to view the details of financial aid packages and decide whether to accept or reject an offer – and if I receive a checkstop, HUB describes what it is, and what I have to do to get rid of it," said an anonymous tester of the new system. "I can take care of all of it online."
Next in line for HUB applications are more options to pay online, easier access to student eBills, and easier access to updating personal and contact information. There are also plans to include smartphone apps that link directly to HUB.
As with any major change, there are bugs to work out, and officials urge students to bear with them as they transition to HUB.
"During the transition to the new system, a temporary performance dip is to be expected, given the extensive nature of the changes being made," said Tom Furlani, interim associate vice president and chief information officer. "However, there will be substantial benefits for students, faculty and staff as we move forward that will be well worth the investment and effort."
There is also some new terminology to learn. Majors will be referred to as programs, minors will be called plans, and checkstops will be rebranded as service indicators.
The CIT Help Desk and the Student Response Center will be offering additional help as the system goes live, and a tutorial is online now.
Welcome to the future.