The University Record, December 12, 1994

New CRISP: Registration’s just a touch-tone away

By Chastity Pratt
News and Information Services

Last month, the University joined a list of more than 400 colleges and universities nationwide in allowing students to register for classes via telephone.

According to the Office of the Registrar, about one half of all students are opting to use the system, experiencing few or no problems.

Beginning in April, during the registration for spring/summer and fall term courses, almost all of the 37,000 students who register through CRISP will be required to use the touch-tone system.

Created by Periphonics Corp., Touch-tone CRISP is an interactive voice response system that corresponds with users via automated operators.

“It is a very simple process considering the few phone calls about problems,” says Assistant University Registrar Lynn Adelman.

Students can access Touch-tone CRISP from any phone 7 a.m.–midnight, seven days per week. The process is secured by a four-digit personal security identification number that the students choose during their first call.

The new CRISP allows students to do all the processing usually done at CRISP in Angell Hall and the Chrysler Center, including add, drop, modify, waitlist, “swap,” and disenroll. However, the system will not let students overload or register for more credits than allowed by their college, or to “split” courses. Such special processes will follow traditional procedures.

In addition to registration, the menu process allows students to get electronic overrides and to choose to have the schedule dictated, faxed or sent to their electronic mailbox address.

Students using the old CRISP system are given information on how to use the new one and who to call if they have questions. When students have questions about computerized registration, they are put on three-way calling and walked through the process by a CRISP official, Adelman explains.

She says that in addition to providing convenience and empowering students, the new CRISP is a sign of the times in terms of computerization of the University.

“It also will save money because we won’t have two sites operating or have to hire temporary employees,” she says.

A new information system implemented in September—Wolverine Access—lets students access CRISP information to check on open and closed classes. It also allows them to access grades and student accounts, change addresses, and access menus on “U-M Business” and “Things To Do.”

Although interactive voice response systems were implemented in industry beginning in the late 1960s, and introduced to the educational market at a conference here in 1969, the University did not consider adopting it until 1984, when Brigham Young University became the first university to implement the process.

In our area, Eastern Michigan, Michigan State, Central Michigan and Ferris State universities, among others, have fully implemented similar systems.