A new web application designed by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi computer science students is streamlining the tuition reimbursement process for City of Corpus Christi employees.
“We want to simplify anything that we can for the city employees in order to take advantage of our tuition reimbursement program,” said Yasmine Chapman, Director of Human Resources for the city. “The paper process was pretty cumbersome. This will make it easier for employee to go through the process and for us in maintaining electronic files.”
This is one of several capstone projects that provide students with real-world client interaction, said Dr. Ahmed Mahdy, Director of the Innovation in Computing Research Labs (iCORE).
“Students select the project, handle all the client meetings and develop the software to the clients’ specifications,” he said. “It’s just like what they will be doing in their careers as software developers.”
Undergraduate students Leana Bouse and Keith Addison worked on this project.
“This project helped me learn to tie together all the skills I acquired through my classes, such as Software Engineering, Database Management Systems, and even Internet Programming,” said Bouse, who graduated in December. “Not only did working on the Tuition Reimbursement System for the City of Corpus Christi help me hone these skills, but it helped me develop leadership skills and learn to manage the development of a project this size.”
The city looked at existing platforms but found them too big and too expensive. So Liza Wisner, an A&M-Corpus Christi alumna and manager of the city’s learning and organizational development, reached out to Dr. Mahdy’s class.
Within three weeks, they had a working prototype.
“When you hire a software development group you want it to be as good as these students,” Wisner said.Right now, the program will help the 80 employees currently enrolled in classes. But Wisner hopes the number to increase now that the process is easier.