A Change of Plan: Developing the KSU Programs Application | Kent State University

A Change of Plan: Developing the KSU Programs Application

When a select team of Systems Development and Innovation developers began developing the Manage My Program tool in the fall of 2015, one thing became clear almost immediately: for it to be successful, the project would require data, and lots of it. Primarily, the data that SDI needed involved information surrounding available programs that the university offers, as well as all of the rules that students registering for those programs must follow.

Luckily for SDI, that data already existed within a very detailed Excel document. However, Excel was not the preferred format, as the data would require a number of users to access it.

A Need to Standardize

Since SDI knew the MMP tool would rely heavily on this data, they decided to convert the Excel document into a different, more standardized format. Hence, the idea for the KSU Programs application was born--a separate application that could be used to easily and quickly access the data.

Temporarily putting the MMP project on hold, a group of developers from SDI began to work tirelessly on the new application alongside Curriculum Services. At least 1,500 programs that were in the Excel spreadsheet had to be moved over to the new application format.

The Result

In short, by creating the new KSU Programs app, SDI and Curriculum Services:

  • Cleaned up the data by correcting any typos and ensuring that the information was both accurate and standardized

  • Created filters to enable more efficient searches for information. For instance, users can filter searches by degree, campus, college, term that program started or ended, and beyond

  • Enabled more than 30 characters for the title of each program, helping standardize the data’s naming system, as many titles were previously abbreviated in different ways

  • Input GPA requirements, which can be added/modified by the Registrar’s Office accordingly

  • Granted users the opportunity to export the data into Excel

  • Made the data accessible by students through MMP

  • Encouraged other groups at the university, such as RPIE, to consult the standardized data as needed

  • Made the data available for the public to view


After nine months, SDI put the KSU Programs application into production in June of 2016. Currently, it remains a useful resource not only for the MMP tool or the Registrar’s Office, but for any party on or off campus that needs to search for program data.

Be sure to watch out for FlashLine notifications in the future to keep up to date on new projects and developments!