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Purdue Derives Unexpected Benefits from Implementation of its First Online Catalog

‘Much more than just publishing a catalog,’ Purdue’s Acalog project enabled a thorough understanding of how courses and programs are structured institution-wide.

LAKELAND, Fla. – A new e-catalog system at Purdue University delivered multiple benefits to students and administrators, and also fostered a new understanding of how courses and programs are structured institution-wide, according to a recent study by DIGARC.

Earlier this year, Purdue implemented DIGARC’s Acalog e-catalog system, which is used by more than 450 colleges and universities in the U.S. and beyond. With Acalog, The Big 10 Conference school was able to thin out inefficient workflows, restructure course and program data into a relational database, and create accountability among those responsible for providing content for the catalog.

“Implementing Acalog enabled us to pull together policies, procedures, and plans of studies all into one place,” according to Assistant Registrar Josie Galloway, who managed the Acalog project for Purdue. “It allowed us to eliminate redundancy on departmental websites that may not be valid… But it’s also afforded us the opportunity to re-examine all of our processes, and our validation and data that’s in the systems and say, ‘OK, what’s going on?’ So as a by-product, it caused us to really reengineer our processes so things align.  It was much more than just publishing a catalog.”

Created by DIGARC in 2001, Acalog’s records-based approach saves production time, increases accuracy, and ensures content is consistent, regardless of the medium in which it is presented. It includes student-friendly features such as the My Portfolio tool for capturing course preferences, a print Degree Planner, and social media integration with Facebook and Twitter.

Purdue is located in West Lafayette, Ind., and serves more than 40,000 students.

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