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Valleywide : Registration by Phone Snags on Computer

Los Angeles Community College District officials said Monday they were working to remedy a computer snafu that has fouled the telephone registration process for thousands of students, particularly those at the district’s three San Fernando Valley campuses.

A reported overload in the district’s brand-new $2.5-million main computer system, which is supporting automated telephone registration for the first time, left students complaining of getting a recorded problem message, getting cut off or getting no answer at all.

Problems were reported at all five of the nine district campuses that thus far have opened telephone registration for the upcoming spring semester: Valley College in Van Nuys, Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Mission College in Sylmar, and City and Trade-Technical colleges in Los Angeles.

Robert Alworth, the district’s director of information technology, said Monday afternoon that he believed the system was operating normally in the wake of changes made late last week. But campus admissions officials said the system was still only working sporadically and urged students to keep trying.

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“This is a real problem and we’re struggling with it. It’s been really tough,” said Robert Garber, Pierce’s dean of student services. “The people down in admissions are just working their tails off,” Garber added, saying none of the six test calls he made Monday were successful.

Some campuses, including Pierce and Mission, are permitting students to register in person in lieu of the telephone system, but others are relying only on the telephone system until January.

Alworth said the current problem occurred because of difficulty in accessing the student information database on the district’s new computer that went online last month.


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