How the new Student Information System will transform Concordia

New project hub on Cspace features updates and information for faculty and staff
May 28, 2014
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By Lucas Wisenthal

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When Concordia’s new Student Information System (SIS) goes live in January 2015, it will support virtually all vital student-related services, processes and business functions at the university.

Based on a packaged software platform from Oracle called PeopleSoft Campus Solutions — currently used at more than 25 educational institutions across Canada — the SIS is replacing an aging platform that no longer meets the university’s expanding needs.

From the January launch onwards, students, faculty and staff will immediately be able to take advantage of the system’s benefits.

With this rollout in mind, training programs are being scheduled for the fall 2014 term; in the meantime, an SIS project information hub has been created on Cspace to offer updates and key information.

As designing, building and testing continues on its modules, here are highlights of how the SIS will transform Concordia’s working and learning environments.
 

A streamlined course management system

As SIS Renewal Project director Terry Too explains, the current system only allows professors to enter students’ final grades.

The new SIS will, however, allow faculty members to record students’ marks on each component of the course — so on assignments and tests throughout the term, as well as mid-terms and final exams. Once all component marks have been entered, the system will tally the results and assign a final grade.

This provides the professor with a central system in which to store the information. Because it is web-based, the SIS can be accessed from any location, and because the central computer is backed up on a regular basis, data security and integrity are assured.

“As an additional benefit, this feature gives us a better tool to see when early intervention might be appropriate for students in difficulty, so we can refer them to relevant services to support their academic success,” Too says.

The new system makes processes more efficient. This, in turn, provides faculty and staff with more time to help students and contribute to positive student experiences — which can have an impact on student success.
 

An improved system for students: degree auditing and more

Concordia students also have reason to be excited about the new SIS. All features required by a student will be accessed using a single self-service page. In addition, the system places a number of new features at their fingertips.

The SIS will allow students to monitor their academic progress more closely than ever before, with a degree audit feature to assess how they are progressing through their program and how far they are from graduating by taking stock of the courses they have yet to complete. It will also allow them to build a personal schedule around those courses.

Similarly, students who are thinking of changing their major will be able to see how many of their existing credits will apply to a different program of study.

“The system will look at all the courses they’ve taken and match them against all the requirements for any other major,” Too says.
 

A waitlist that will greatly improve the registration experience

Registration will also be simplified by the SIS.

Right now, if a course is full, students must revisit the registration system repeatedly, in hopes that a space will become available in the interim.

But as of next March, the new waitlist feature will allow students to be placed in a queue for a space if a course has reached capacity. When one opens, students on the waitlist will be automatically assigned the course on a first-come, first-served basis. They’ll be notified of their automatic enrolment by email.

Another SIS feature addresses a long-standing student request: for the ability to allow others to access specific sections of their file. For instance, with authorization from the student, parents may see which courses their children are taking, or the fees they owe.

The feature is customizable, allowing students to decide who may see each part of their file.

Too is pleased with the SIS Renewal Project’s progress. In the months to come, the team behind the system will continue the implementation process.

“This initiative is all about how we can give the best possible service to the Concordia community — and that means everyone who interacts with any of our processes.”


About the Student Information System Renewal Project

The business case for implementing the Student Information System at Concordia was approved by the university’s Board of Governors in November 2012.

Deloitte Consulting LLP was hired as the integration partner after a rigorous bidding process, and based on its successful track record of implementing the chosen system at other North American universities.  They are now working with a dedicated implementation team from Concordia to install the system.

A dedicated SIS renewal project hub is now live on Cspace to help faculty and staff stay up to date on the project’s progress and key milestones. Relevant information for students will be posted on the Student Hub at Concordia.ca at the appropriate time.


Explore the SIS renewal project hub on Cspace

 



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