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Last Updated: June 19, 2012

Next Review: June 19, 2013

Service Manager: Chris Yandle

Governance Group: None

Document Status: Published


The Usher – Star Adiving Service is available for use by staff and students to aid in online scheduling and review of Student Advising sessions. The service uses a custom built application that interacts with a database backend and staff advisors Exchange calendar. Students with a valid advisor have access to the system, as well as the advisors, frontdesk personnel, and selected administrators.

Review Process

This document defines the practices that the College of Communication will use for the Usher – Star Advising service. The details of this document may be reviewed and amended as required, or at least annually, to accurately reflect business and service needs.

Time Conventions

Unless otherwise indicated, business hours are from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays and reduced schedule days.


The following user communities at the university are the intended recipients for the Usher – Star Advising service:

  • Current College of Communication students
  • Prospective College of Communication students
  • Transfer students whose goal is to transfer into the College of Communication
  • College of Communication advisors
  • Frontdesk personnel
  • Selected administrators.

Service Criticality

This service has been identified as Very Important, based on the ITS Critical Services Assessment Criteria. Please refer to the Critical Services Assessment Criteria for more information on the assessment methodology. The Usher – Star Advising service does meet FERPA requirements for use by staff.

Service Description

The Usher – Star Advising service is made available to students and valid staff to provide online access to advising scheduling. The login process is encrypted and uses EIDs for authentication.



Student Initated Scheduling

Students can schedule or reschedule appointments online with their advisors. They can only have one active appointment per advisor at one time.

Student Session Review

Students will be able to view all completed advising sessions notes created by their advisor.

Staff Initated Scheduling

Staff can schedule or reschedule appointments for any student with any advisor. They can create more then one active appointment if needed.

Advising Session Tool

Advisors can initate an advising session with a student who has a scheduled appointment or students who walk-in. This tool allows advisors to record notes that a student can access online at any time, as well as send notes to the students advising record.

Statistics and Reports

Custom reports will be made available to selected administrative level staff.

Supported Computing Environment

The Usher – Star Advising service will be enchanced/extended on a regular basis following these criteria:

     A critical issue is discovered and needs to be addressed.

     A need for additional features is requested and approved.

     Additional custom reports are requested and approved.

Technical Support

Tier 1 support

Tier 1 support for end-user student problems is provided by The Office of Student Affairs during business hours at: 512-471-1553

Tier 1 support for end-user staff problems is provided by College of Communication Helpdesk.

Tier 2 support

The Office of Student Affairs may escalate student end-user issues to Tier 2 support. Tier 2 support is provided by the College of Communication Helpdesk.

     Tier 2 support is available during normal business hours.

     End users always start with Tier 1, which is basic support. Tier 2 is the second support level and is reserved for more complex issues.

Service Availability

This section provides information about the normal schedule of times when the service is available, the times specified for scheduled maintenance, and defines expectations for reporting service problems and changes.

Normal Service Availability

The Usher – Star Advising service is designed to be available for customer use 24-hours-per-day, seven days-per-week, 365 days-per-year (24/7/365) excluding scheduled maintenance times. Routine requests are typically addressed within three business days.

Scheduled Maintenance

Non-Critical Usher – Star Advising application updates may occur weekly on Thursdays between 7:30 AM and 8:00 AM. The service may be interrupted briefly during this time frame.

Server related maintenance will be scheduled and announced seven days prior to the scheduled maintenance window. Services may not be available during the scheduled maintenance periods.

Problem Reporting and Change Notification

College of Communication Helpdesk will notify customers using the Usher listserve of service availability and service delivery issues for the Usher – Star Advising service. To the maximum extent possible, installation of service, application, and security updates will be performed during scheduled maintenance.

Key Service Indicators

List of Metrics/Measures

The following provides a description of the key service level objectives defined by this SLA.

Measurement Definition

Performance Target

Overall Availability [1]

The percent of time that the service is available. 99%

Customer Satisfaction Percent

The percent of positive response to customer satisfaction questions in the annual ITS survey. 90%

Notes:??1. The Overall availability is calculated as the hours that the service is available in the reporting period divided by the total hours in the reporting period. This percentage reflects scheduled and unscheduled downtime.


The Usher – Star Advising service is dependent on the uTexas Enterprise Directory (TED), ITS MsSQL Service, ITS Exchange Service as well as the campus network and related systems. The availability of those services will have a direct impact on the availability of the Usher – Star Advising service.

Service Report Card

ITS will publish performance for this service in the public ITS Services Report Card.

Other Party Responsibilities

In addition to the services provided by the College of Communication, subscribers (users) of the service and identified owners/administrators agree to certain important responsibilities. All parties agree to be aware of and adhere to the university's Acceptable Use Policy. ITS retains the right to remove content that violates acceptable use.

User/Subscriber Responsibilities

Subscriber agrees to:

     Be aware of and adhere to the Acceptable Use Policy at

     Not post or store any Category-I data in the Usher – Star Advising system.

     Provide critical information to the College of Communication Helpdesk in a timely manner when requested for purposes of resolving subscriber issues.

Data Persistence

Student scheduleing records will remain on file for 4 years after the students departure from the university.

Cost of Service

The Usher – Star Advising Service is provided at no cost to current students and approved staff.

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