University rolling out an upgraded system for noncredit students

The new platform is intended to reduce previous technical issues.

Raju Chaduvula

A new online academic platform at the University of Minnesota will make signing up for classes easier for noncredit students.
In the past, resources for students not earning credits were housed in each individual college. But school administrators say the new platform, which consolidates information on one website, will cut costs and is more accessible and easier to understand. 
Noncredit students can take courses that allow them to become certified in a specific field.  Other noncredit courses include GRE or LSAT preparation. 
Sue Borowick, executive director of Professional Development at the College of Continuing Education, said the old platform on which noncredit learners could sign up for classes and keep track of academic progress was getting old and having technical difficulties that were getting too costly for the University.
Because the new platform, Destiny One, will serve students in multiple colleges, registering for classes and maintaining the system should be easier and reduce the number of technical issues the University receives, she said. 
Destiny Solutions, a company that provides higher education institutions with technology and academic software platforms, has previously partnered with Duke University and Cornell University.
Associate Director of Academic Support Resources-IT Kristy Davis said Destiny Solutions provides institutions with a template fit for its specific needs.
The MyU upgrade in April is not related to the Destiny upgrade, Davis said. 
Davis said the University has been working on implementing the new platform for about two and a half years.
Before implementing Destiny One, noncredit programs looked into whether the system used for regular degree programs would work, but different studnet information needs like health insurance details made the regular program unsuitable.
Five colleges and schools are already using Destiny One, Davis said, including the College of Continuing Education, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resources and the School of Public Health. Twelve more will begin using it soon for student’s not seeking credits, she said.
“Despite the costs, there’s always an interest in improving experience for students,” Borowick said.