On December 21, 2009, Officials from Sungard Higher education met with President Jim Cargill of Dawson Community College and President Stefani Hicswa of Miles City Community College to sign agreements which will bring Banner Integrated Information System on to the community College campuses in eastern Montana. The Montana University System is underwriting the approximately 1.7 million dollar cost of this project. Currently over 800 colleges nationwide are using the system, including the University of Montana and Montana State University.
The Banner System creates a unified digital campus in which student services, financial aid, financial accounting and human resources management share a common digital platform. DCC president Jim Cargill notes that DCC’s current system is not integrated, and the lack of integration has resulted in inefficiencies and inaccuracies. In some offices people take hard copy and re-enter it into various systems. Each time human hands handle data, the door is opened to inaccuracies. With Sungard Banner, data will be more consistent and accurate, data re-entry and inefficiencies will decrease and students, staff and faculty will have access to resources 24/7 on the new portal. For students there will be quicker and better service and the ability to go on-line at their convenience to register for classes, check email, make payments and take care of other administrative needs. Other features available will be resources for financial aid, information on student activities and student services.
The meeting also served as the initial meeting of the implementation teams from both colleges. They mapped out a challenging schedule of training and implementation. DCC is planning to have students, financial aid and financials on the system by the beginning of the fall term and complete the transition by January 2011.