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Student Services Transformation Updates

Past Academic Advising Updates

November 2010

The Academic Advising team is making progress with the undergraduate build; closing in on the final departmental sign-offs required of the majors (necessary for upcoming go-lives) and minors in UBSIS. In addition, the graduate build is moving along as the result of scheduled and upcoming meetings with the professional schools.

Currently, we are developing and fine-tuning the General Education Requirements’ configuration in the new system. We are working to create and provide clear, concise direction to students to enable their use of the academic advising self-service features. Also, we are in the process of testing new functionality that UBSIS brings to direct students of potential course placement, or possibility a course waiver, using standardized test scores from sources such as the SAT.

We intend to test the General Education Requirements in the upcoming Integration Testing in September and will continue working with test data to discover any issues related to the new test score functionality.

One change on the horizon for the professional schools will be the opportunity to take advantage of new features that were not available in the legacy DARS system.  In the upcoming months, we will continue discussing degree requirements with the professional schools in order to make these features available, which is anticipated to make it much easier to track degree progress at the graduate level.

September 2010

The Academic Advising team is making progress with the undergraduate build; closing in on the final departmental sign-offs required of the majors (necessary for upcoming go-lives) and minors in HUB. In addition, the graduate build is moving along as the result of scheduled and upcoming meetings with the professional schools.

Currently, we are developing and fine-tuning the General Education Requirements’ configuration in the new system. We are working to create and provide clear, concise direction to students to enable their use of the academic advising self-service features. Also, we are in the process of testing new functionality that HUB brings to direct students of potential course placement, or possibility a course waiver, using standardized test scores from sources such as the SAT.

We intend to test the General Education Requirements in the upcoming Integration Testing in September and will continue working with test data to discover any issues related to the new test score functionality.

One change on the horizon for the professional schools will be the opportunity to take advantage of new features that were not available in the legacy DARS system.  In the upcoming months, we will continue discussing degree requirements with the professional schools in order to make these features available, which is anticipated to make it much easier to track degree progress at the graduate level.

July 2010

The Academic Advising team has completed and received departmental “sign off” on more than half of the undergraduate academic programs and plans.  The remaining programs and plans are “in the pipeline” at the revisions stage, and the team is in the final stages meeting with departmental representatives to complete this work, ensuring that students will be able to plan their academic careers more effectively in the new UBSIS.

The second round of integration testing is complete, which helped to refine programs and plans by examining modeled scenarios from a student perspective.   This testing also provided focus on how audit rules are integrating with student data in the new system.   Involvement from volunteers who were willing to help test the system proved invaluable throughout the planning process.

June 2010

The Academic Advising team has focused efforts this past month on meeting with undergraduate decanal and departmental representatives to review and validate the current and historical degree requirements being built into the new UBSIS. This information includes what currently exists in the DARS (degree audit reporting) system, as well as additional information by expanding the scope to include minors and certificates (which are not currently coded in DARS).  The final goal is to produce undergraduate academic audits for each active undergraduate student with a full picture of all of the student’s requirements for graduation.

This outreach and communication activity has enabled the team to gain a refined understanding of the undergraduate plans (majors and minors) within the decanal areas to more effectively communicate to students how they will use UBSIS to plan their academic careers in a self-service, interactive environment.

In UBSIS, a student will have the option to logon to MyUB and use the “Student Center” to view their Academic Audit as well as plan what courses they would like to take in advance. The Academic Audit will not only have the requirements needed to obtain their degree, but also include interactive course lists that can be drilled into for further individual course details. The system will be smart enough to allow this type of planning through carefully created rules specified by departments during catalog updates.  As is the case today, changes in catalog rules will be reflected in updates to the audit requirements.

The Academic Advising team is currently incorporating feedback from these meetings both into the system and into information that is shared with the UBSIS training team to ensure that issues and concerns that arise are properly planned for and addressed in training sessions in the coming months.

April 2010

The Academic Advising team has made significant progress building the program/plan rules.  (“Program” and “plan” are terms in the new system for majors, minors, and graduate programs.)  The initial undergraduate build of majors, concentrations and minors is close to being complete.  We are now busy meeting with department designees for feedback and education on the new UBSIS audits.

One “big win” with the new system is interactive degree audit reporting.  The degree audit report in UBSIS will allow students to click on courses that meet requirements, see information about the course, view when the course is offered, and register for that course or it into their student planner, indicating in which future semester they intend to take the course.  This planning feature should make registration easier for students, and provides a valuable tool to help students understand how they can plan their coursework in order to graduate in a timely fashion.

An additional benefit to the student planner is the data that it will provide to departments who offer courses and academic programs.  In the past, DARS has provided information about degree requirements, but the UBSIS student planner provides a lot more data and information to monitor progress toward degrees and outlining requirements outstanding toward degree or program progress.   This will also go a long way toward helping the university and departments plan for all types of resources as trends become apparent over time.

Defining the requirements for the interactive degree audit has involved many groups from across campus.  We have been working with representatives from the colleges and schools, Student Advising Services, Athletics, the Graduate School, Academic Processing Services, Transfer Articulation Services, and Undergraduate Admissions to be sure the project is well-informed with operational needs.  The team has also been meeting with a number of deans and their designees to ensure that audit information is being designed correctly, and to receive feedback from directors of undergraduate, graduate and professional programs.

November 2009

The fall semester has been very busy! We have completed the mapping of the program and plan requirements for Nuclear Medicine Technology BS, Occupational Therapy BS, Pharmaceutics BS, Philosophy BA, and Physics BA and will strive to complete the rest in the upcoming weeks. We have begun to test our work with mock students and enrollment. So far, so good!

Additional progress has been made in configuring Academic Course Lists, Academic Requirements, Academic Requirement Groups, and Effective Dating [rules?]; working with Transfer Articulation regarding set-up and conversion, and have begun to outline the process of the Advisement Report demos for the academic and advising units.

Also, we continue to refine the security roles associated with the Academic Advisement module in order to have appropriate access in time for training on the new system.

August 2009

August has been an active month. We have begun mapping out program and plan requirements. We hope to start inputting our information into PeopleSoft soon, so that we can begin our validation and testing process of our built programs.

We have also begun to gather names and contacts for our iterative process of building these plans, testing and modifying the plans, and testing again. We have been working closely with the Academic Structure and Student Records modules to make sure we have what we need to build our programs, plans and sub-plans.

Also, we have been working with Transfer Articulation and their configuration and conversion efforts, while working with others from the university community as well. Most recently, we have begun our configuration of the advising set-up tables. This has been a joint effort from both our Core Team and our Subject Matter Experts.

May 2009

Welcome! I would like to take this opportunity to update everyone on the progress of the Academic Advising module of the Student Services Transformation Project. My goal is to continue to give you and other interested parties monthly updates around this module and project.

October seems a long time off from our last full meeting in our module’s Fit Gap sessions. Next week, May 4th, our CIBER module lead, Susan Kretz, will be returning to the University at Buffalo. The next phase of the project plan for Academic Advising will begin.

Since October, Maureen Faulhaber and I have been busy working on preparing for Susan’s return and our emersion into the Academic Advising module. I have also been assisting the Academic Structure module team with the set-up of the Academic Organizations to ensure that it is well integrated with our module and have a basic knowledge of all the Careers, Programs, Plans and Sub plans for which we will have to build rules for our audits.

I have also been working as the Functional Lead on the Campus Community module which lays down much of the structure for people’s Biographical and Demographical data in the PeopleSoft system. A benefit for our module is that I will have a better understanding of many of the processes we will have to do for Advising – configuration, conversion, modeling and others – based on my Campus Community experience.

May 2009 marks the transition to the configuration phase of the project and the pace of the project will increase substantially. As Subject Matter Experts and Core Team members, you will be contacted to provide critical information, to attend functional team meetings and brain-storming sessions. These activities are necessary to prepare our legacy data for conversion and testing, to assess our current business processes, and to make adjustments when required. Because of your expertise, we rely on your feedback and attention so that this transition is successful. I look forward to working with you more closely as we continue the PeopleSoft implementation.

Thank you for all you have done so far and in advance for all you will be doing to make this transition not only successful but exceptional.

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