Officials still working bugs out of TRACS

By Bryan Malenius

The Touchtone Registration Add/Drop Class Schedule (TRACS) program is much improved compared to last fall. However, some bugs still are being worked out.

Richard Durfee, NIU director of Registration and Records, said the system still is not perfect.

“We have problems every 1,000 to 2,000 calls,” Durfee said. “We’ve had some difficulty with the NIU telephone switch. Students are calling TRACS and ending up just about anywhere else on campus.”

Durfee said NIU telecommunications people are working on the problem.

He said another problem with the TRACS system is being looked into by NIU’s software vendor for TRACS.

“At times TRACS just hangs up on students,” Durfee said. “We’ve been in constant contact with the vendor about our problem.”

Perception Technology of Massachusetts provides NIU with the software for the TRACS system. Perception services about 100 of the 150 colleges and universities that use a phone-in registration system.

Durfee said the system had a high number of calls since phone-in add-drop/registration began in December. On the first day of phone-in registration, Dec. 2, the system handled over 10,000 calls.

“Requests to add courses have been our biggest transaction,” he said. “In December we had 53,855 requests to add courses.”

Durfee said about 36 percent of those attempts were successful.

“In January, however, the number of successful attempts increased to 43 percent,” he said.

Durfee said for one four-day stretch in January, TRACS handled 14,840 calls.

He said things have been running more smoothly since students are getting more familiar with the system.