This BCIT student project program is helping BC organizations save time and money

The Federation of Independent School Associations in British Columbia (FISA) is an umbrella organization of BC independent school associations. As part of the Industry Sponsored Student Projects (ISSP) program at BCIT, a group of Computer Information Technology (CIT) students (pictured above) were recently tasked with a major redesign of FISA’s website.

Technical skills provide insight

The students not only redesigned the group’s website, but also took the request to the next level. They offered to create a fully automated system to replace the members management system, which was a lengthy manual task. The students were able to see where technology could help, even when the client hadn’t been able to envision such an upgrade.

CIT student Danielle Braceros, explains: “Our goal was to modernize the website infrastructure and revamp the design to make it more user-friendly for FISA BC and for end users.”

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The client was extremely pleased, and praised the improvements that would save significant time and staff effort. “It should reduce the amount of work a person has to do on this by several hundred hours,” confirmed student group member Ivan Shalagin.

Unexpected lessons

Ivan also says the project taught him to be patient with users who are less technical. They also learned to work on solutions that didn’t just make sense to them, but were beneficial to the client and would be appreciated by the end users. “We were originally deciding between many different database solutions. One we were thinking of doing would have made our lives easier, but not necessarily FISA’s,” explains Ivan.

A user survey also helped the team determine real user priorities which, surprisingly, were not necessarily the priorities the students first predicted. Along with the new website, the students also created a custom WordPress plugin for maps.

According to BCIT faculty member Dr. Michal Aibin, the students’ accomplishment shows how powerful the Computer Information Technology program is.

“It’s not just about software. It’s about the knowledge that will help our students to succeed everywhere,” says Michal. “They learn how to look at the process, redefine it, integrate and automate it to make powerful systems.”

The BCIT Industry Sponsored Student Projects program (ISSP) provides students with real-life experience by working on IT or software development projects directly from industry. Students work in teams or individually with an industry sponsor, proceeding through the development life-cycle to develop IT or software solutions.

The ISSP program is an important educational component and is of mutual benefit to both sponsors and students.

Put our students to work for you! Find out more about Industry Sponsored Projects (ISSP).

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