Connecting students and potential University employers has been transformed into a modern electronic age process through the efforts of the Web Development team within the ITS Management Information Systems (MIS) group working with the UH Manoa Student Employment and Cooperative Education (SECE) office. The previous hiring routine began with students searching through printed job postings then visiting the SECE office during business hours, much filling out of paper forms and manual entry of payroll data for transmitting on tape to the State, there were twelve steps in all. The newly designed process is now virtually paperless from posting to placement to payroll in three convenient steps:
- Students search for jobs systemwide online at the SECE web site after obtaining a UH Username and password. (http://www.hawaii.edu/sece)
- They apply for work with the employer online
- Timesheets are filed electronically.
Working in conjunction with the Director of the SECE office Myrtle Ching-Rappa, Information Technology Specialist Renee Kimoto (center in picture) lead the MIS Web Development team which designed the software that placed all hiring processes online and streamlined the workflow to create the more efficient student employment system for students, employers and SECE. Employers can now list job openings anytime they want and students can conduct their job search at any time because the hiring process is no longer limited to SECE office hours. Also, students are not limited to searching for employment near a single campus; they can review job opportunities systemmwide. There is currently an average of over 32,000 students, 3,000 UH employers and 2,800 non-UH employers in the system.
The SECE work provided an opportunity for the team members to broaden their skills in writing Java code; making it more robust and scalable in order to meet the standards of all the offices involved in the student employment system. These skills have transferred into their current work for UH in the new Kuali project; which is an ‘open source' financial system being written in Java by a group of colleges and universities including UH.
Renee and the Web Development team have received high praise for their SECE work. Director Ching-Rappa noted jokingly that, "Working with Renee and her team is like working with Chairman Kaga and the Iron Chefs. She is always able to summon them to create wonderful things with SECE dictating the theme ingredients. They always get the maximum 20 points from all the judges." In a more series vein she added, "I can get reports almost instantly, in electronic format, any time I need them. Before, I received a report twice a year in hard copy format that I had to re-enter into a spreadsheet in order to sort the data. The wait time between when the students are hired and their first paycheck has been reduced by up to 2 weeks...when the timesheet is completed online, it could save neighbor island students another week."
Renee has been associated with UH since 1992 when she was employed in the Institutional Research Office. Her work for that office in designing their web site led to interaction with UH Management Information Systems (MIS) and an eventual position with ITS as a Computer Specialist 1998. She perceives the biggest challenge for people working with computers as being the constant change of software; and she enjoys the challenge in her work of designing new software to simplify processes for people, something that she and the Web Development team have successfully accomplished in their work with the SECE office.