Customized application development

The Client:
United Negro College Fund-Gates Millennium Scholars

The Project:

UNCF-GMS (The Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Enterprise Scholarship Application (ESA) with Support and services for existing UNCF-GMS application.
The Opportunity
The Gates Millennium Scholars Program (GMS) was established in 1999, initially funded by a $1 billion grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and administered by The United Negro College Fund. UNCF partnered with the American Indian Graduate Center Scholars, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, and the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund to assist in implementing the program. UNCF-GMS requires a web based system, which would support GMS in the management of data, communication, and scholars tracking and program documents. The system needed to assist in acquiring historical scholar information from a legacy data warehouse system and allow scholars to communicate effectively with each other. The project scope including:
  • GMS public website
  • GMS Scholar community portal
  • Scholar tacking database to track the progress of scholars
The SysInterface Approach:
SysInterface guided UNCF-GMS through a process that contributed to the satisfactory capture of all system specifications and requirements for the Enterprise Scholarship Application, customized solution. The process fully analyzes business requirements, end-user communities, and gives them an understanding of how the solutions, when implemented, will serve their stakeholders.  These include the non-functional requirements for performance, capacity, security, scalability, manageability and reliability. SysInterface worked side-by-side with UNCF-GMS team members to ensure that the planned
implementation would meet their optimal requirements and exceed expectations. SysInterface built an application that is flexible and configurable, that avoids hard-coding, is modular and well-structured, allowing for well-contained fixes and reusable software components, easy to maintain and has proven its cost effectiveness.

The Result
UNCF-GMS have 13,000 Gates Millennium Scholars, attending 1500 colleges and universities across the nation. Its community portal keeps scholars communicating and helping each other with social and academic challenges. GMS has awarded scholarships to students from 50 states and 5 outlying areas. Over the last five years they have maintained an 80% graduation rate, coupled with an 87.7% program retention rate. The Enterprise Scholarship Application with its online scholar management features; is the networking medium that allows GMS staff and scholars to verify submitted information and makes important changes. Staff can track the scholar education progress. Scholars communicate with the program using its current Interactive Voice Response system for instant scholarship status confirmation. The system contains scholar application history from a nomination data warehouse/archive database. Scholar’s may login and check their information and provide ability to update demographic information.