Location: Bowdoin / Polaris / Goals / Project Scope


Project Scope

The scope of Polaris, our student information system includes the following functionality.


Manage all data and business processes associated with Admissions and its constituencies: prospects, applicants, organizations, parents, staff, and alumni volunteers. In addition to an efficient and effective means to manage constituency data, the system will provide a portal for prospects to update their information, travel management functionality for recruiters, a portal for applicants to see if their application materials have been received, and online application reading through a document and imaging management solution.

Course Management

Add, approve, and maintain course data, including prerequisites and co-requisites, distribution and division designations, titles, descriptions, cross-listings, enrollment restrictions, and enrollment exclusions. Moving forward, track course offerings by academic semester and extract the data required to generate the College Catalogue.

Curriculum Planning

Enhance short- and long-term planning by incorporating actual course demand data and faculty availability in the process. In the future, as major and minor degree requirements are added to the system, use potential/future course demand data to enhance curriculum planning as well.


Create and maintain course offerings by semester. Each offering includes the instructor(s), section information, course meeting day/time(s), enrollment preferences, and information about course meetings in addition to lectures (labs, film screenings, discussion sections, etc.). Course data will be integrated with a classroom scheduler (product to be determined) to assign classrooms for all course-related meetings (including final exams) based on collected/stored classroom requirements and location preferences.


Manage a registration calendar for various constituencies. Provide online registration for students, an automated approval process for advisors and course instructors, and a priority-based system for placing students into courses. Provide online capability for adding and dropping courses at the beginning of each semester.

Student Records Management

Maintain students' biographical, status, and academic information in a secure, accessible system.

Degree Progress

Maintain the College's general education requirements (distribution, division, residency, first-year seminar, etc., requirements) and the requirements for each major and minor by academic year. Report each student's progress in each category as well as in aggregate to identify future demand for courses. Provide online access for students and advisors to track student degree progress.


Provide a secure online system for faculty to enter final semester grades for each student. 

Transfer Articulation and Equivalency Determination

Maintain transfer credits, AP/IB scores and credits, SAT scores, and placement recommendations for students. Provide access to this information for individual students, faculty, and staff, where appropriate.

Housing Management

Manage residential life housing data by student and by house. Provide easy historical data retrieval for appropriate staff. 

Student, Advisor, Faculty, and Staff portal tools

Provide online tools for managing biographical information, submitting administrative requests, viewing and/or updating electronic notes and grades, and completing academic planning. 

Data Conversion

Convert 20 years of student academic history from the current system, James. All applicant records and seven years of prospect data from Recruitment Plus, Admissions’ current system, will be loaded. Data stored since Spring 1999 in our existing Housing module will be converted.


Integrate student data in the new system with Blackboard, Financial Edge, Raiser’s Edge, PowerFaids, NOLIJ Transfer, FireEngine Red, Exchange, and a classroom scheduling product (not yet selected). Links to other websites will also be required, including but not limited to Online Student Payment and PowerFaids.


Run ad hoc queries and standard reports, and build customized reports, using a comprehensive, yet easy-to-use reporting engine.


Leverage the workflow product, electronic notes, and document and image management to become a more paperless campus.