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Air University modernizes student information systems

  • Published
  • By Billy Blankenship
  • Air University Public Affairs

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala.-- Air University is releasing a fully integrated and comprehensive student management system that will make it less cumbersome for educators to track students’ academic lifecycles and easier for students to check their course progress in real time.

The Air University Learner Environment Design-Student Information System goes live in mid-November 2021. It replaces about a dozen decades old semi-autonomous systems that became increasingly difficult to update or upgrade.

The AU LED-SIS supports the application, admission, enrollment, completions, graduations, course offerings database, learning records, transcripts and demographic data for the university as the official system-of-record tied to education and academic data for the students.

The modernization project began in 2018, building off concept designs, to construct a standardized student information system across the university in a synchronized learning-centered environment for all students.

The legacy systems were developed independently of each other, requiring multiple custom interfaces. Those systems are either at or past end-of-life, including some that cannot be upgraded due to age.

“Air University’s conglomeration of 12 core legacy student information systems were impeding the enterprise,” said Dr. Robert J. Farrell II, Air University’s chief of planning and innovation for the project. “The lack of integration across the legacy systems required manual processing for collection, analysis and reporting of institutional data. The lack of integration also resulted in data management, integrity and reporting issues.”

The new model synchronizes business processes and practices with common language and understanding to provide tools to improve the university and all sub-organizations in an aligned fashion. The improvements provide AU with an efficient information system to capture all intellectual learning and pre-requisites for follow-on programs. This also enables a common university method for documenting learning-centered events for all schools and centers. By doing so, course catalogs, academic scheduling, admissions, program enrollment, transfer and test credit, course registration and completion, graduation, transcripts, academic advising and student bursar processes are easily accessible and connected on the same platform.

The system also allows faculty and staff to own the learning process from course design to delivery.  Increased integration will allow faculty and staff real-time access to course enrollment and completion information.  

“AU LED-SIS empowers our faculty, staff and students to seamlessly own and engage in teaching and learning,” Farrell said. “The empowerment will allow students to own the entire student lifecycle from application to completion. The increased access and efficiency of integrated systems will allow the student real-time access to program and course progress information.”

The new LED-SIS is but one of many technological improvements coming to Air University.

“The SIS is part of ‘Enterprise Transformation 21’ that is occurring at Air University,” said Jeffrey Lush, Air University chief information officer. “This includes the security of all data at the university into the Air Force CloudOne environment, a new service desk, a new student learning management system and a new collaboration environment. By the fall of 2022, Air University will be one of the most technologically advanced and integrated environments in the world.”