Everything you need to know about the new self-service portal

Concordia’s Student Information System delivers an advising tool, waitlisting and much more
January 29, 2015
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Source: University Communications Services

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The winter fee payment deadline of January 31 has been extended to February 9.

On Monday, January 26, Concordia’s 32-year-old legacy information system was replaced with a package solution from Oracle/PeopleSoft called Campus Solutions. The new enterprise-level Student Information System (SIS) supports virtually all student-related services, processes and business functions at the university.

It offers more features to manage your student affairs online, including a self-service dashboard called My Student Centre. To access it, simply log into your MyConcordia portal, a platform that remains unchanged, and click My Student Centre in the upper left-hand area.

You’re now into the new SIS! You’ll notice some features that used to reside on the MyConcordia portal have been moved into this new self-service area. See this FAQ on your Student Hub for more information.

“The new dashboard is very straightforward,” says Akeyla Livepool, a third-year bachelor’s student in Human Environment. “It looks a bit like Moodle, too, so it’s easy to get used to, but you shouldn’t expect a racy iPhone app. It’s about function.”

Functionality, with a mobile future

Oracle/PeopleSoft Campus Solutions is an out-of-the-box software platform currently used at more than 25 educational institutions across Canada. It’s a powerful system that will provide the university with stability for decades.

“An out-of-the-box solution is desirable in order to accommodate future upgrades from Oracle that address emerging institutional needs,” says Terry Too, SIS project director.

“Some customization was necessary to accommodate the needs of the university, e.g. interactions with the Government of Quebec, how repeat courses are handled, and CEGEPs, which only exist in Quebec. The nature of a package solution makes future upgrades more efficient and economical. Once you start customizing it, the cost and the implementation time associated with installing every upgrade rises.”

More features will be rolled out as part of the phased implementation. A mobile app from Oracle/Peoplesoft to use with Concordia’s system is planned for release in the Fall 2015 term.

Currently, the system is mobile-responsive but certain functions like course registration or adding and dropping courses are best performed on a laptop or desktop computer.

New features

My Student Centre offers an array of features — more than 40 in total. Many of those features provide an entirely new functionality, such as waitlisting, which eases the stress of registration and reduces the time you spend visiting academic departments getting must-have courses. A “swap” feature allows students with a full schedule to get on a waitlist, provided they indicate which class they’re willing to drop when a place opens up in the preferred class.

The advising tool is another much-anticipated new feature.

“Advising includes a tool called ‘Impersonate a Student’, so my advisor can see exactly what I’m seeing in my student portal if we’re chatting on the phone,” says Adult Education student Paul Martin, who is helping to create the how-to navigation guides on the Student Hub. “But I also like the ‘What if’ tool, which show me how my credits could count toward a different degree.”

Additionally, students can apply online for a supplemental or deferred exam. It’s also possible to update your SIN information and international students can view their insurance coverage.

Improvement of existing online features

“There is improved digital access to things like attestation letters and transcripts,” says Terry Too, SIS project director. “It’s easier to apply to graduate, contact your advisor and view your academic progress toward degree completion.”

 

How-to guides and a cheat sheet of the top 10 tasks to learn in the new dashboard are now available on the Student Hub.



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