Guest post by Tim Wrye, Executive Director of IT Services, CIO and ctcLink Executive Sponsor
We are now three weeks (16 working days) into ctcLink and we wanted to share some high-level updates and status from the ctcLink Project Team and pillar leads. (I had promised an update by the end of last week, but things are moving and changing fast and it didn’t quite happen by Friday.)
This message is a little bit on the long side, but it is also far from comprehensive. As we move forward into this new system and all of our SMEs get their feet more solidly under them, you can expect to start to hear less from the team and more directly from the functional areas, though the Project Team will still be here to support and to answer questions.
If you have specific questions about anything not included in this message, email Delta Dog and she’ll help fetch an answer for you.
I need to once again extend my thanks and appreciation to everyone across campus who continues to work hard to get us fully functional in our new environment.
Admissions: The new Online Admissions Application (OAA) is now live on the Admissions page. We have processed 320 applications (including spring and fall applicants) since Go-Live and are continuing to receive more. The first new admissions notifications from ctcLink went out to students on Friday, Feb. 26.
Student Records: We have been preparing students and systems for spring enrollment, which opened for priority groups on Feb. 25. The first open enrollment group (students with 60+ credits) began Monday, March 1. All students who have activated their ctcLink account should be able to view their enrollment appointments and start adding classes to their planners. For winter term enrollment changes, we are processing those in small batches. Send any remaining winter term enrollment changes to Quynh Mihara or Jill Hammitt so that they can be included in our processing.
As announced early Monday, the regular “fluid” class search functionality in ctcLink Student Center is currently not available due to a failed maintenance process last weekend.
Fortunately, the mobile class search and enroll function is still available, and students who had previously saved spring courses in their ctcLink planner or shopping cart will be able to enroll from those functions.
Despite these difficulties, 713 students had already enrolled for spring quarter (headcount) at the end of Monday, compared to 970 for the same registration day last year (pre-COVID and pre-ctcLink).
Advising: We have been working to make sure that advisees are assigned to advisors correctly (including some changes made last week). Contact Briana Quintanilla with any inaccuracies in your advisee list. Academic Advisement Reports (AARs) are the replacement for Degree Audit. The AAR and What-If Reports are available to advisors in Advisor Center and show how a student’s classes apply towards Highline degree options.
Student Financials: Tuition and fees associated with winter quarter enrollment changes are being manually processed on student accounts. Therefore we ask for your continued patience as we do these in small batches to ensure the accuracy of our student accounts. We have turned on the ctcLink tuition calculation processes for the opening of spring enrollment but we will continue to monitor the accuracy of the student accounts and manually process changes from winter term. Students are now able to make payments in Self-Service for any outstanding balances. Spring quarter payment plan sign-ups are scheduled to be available on March 10.
Financial Aid: Aid for the remainder of this academic year will continue to be awarded in the Legacy FAM portal, and the transactions will be transferred to ctcLink through a process known as “dual processing.” This work is going well so far, and the first set of Financial Aid disbursements from ctcLink was sent successfully on Friday, Feb. 26. We will soon start the configurations for the full transition to ctcLink for Financial Aid.
Purchasing has started training groups on how to put in a requisition and what the purchasing process now looks like. Accounts Payable have been able to print a check and is still working on ironing out their processes. If there is something that needs to be paid now, faculty and staff should prepare the same paperwork that they would have in Legacy and send it to Purchasing or A/P, and Finance staff will put the items in the new system for them. Signatures are less of a concern because the expense is going to be sent to the approver in ctcLink even if we have “approved” paperwork.
Purchasing is also testing the p-card process. We hope to let p-card holders start charging again early in March. Each user will need training on the process, and we expect that to come from the person that oversees getting their transactions in the system now.
We have been able to post adjustments to the general ledger and run a query to verify the conversion balances. We are working on budget documentation to show how processes will work in ctcLink.
The student financials to GL (general ledger) process ran successfully last week and Cashiering has started on the backlog of transactions to be entered.
Accounts Receivable can generate invoices and apply payments, although we are still working through some process details, especially around grants and contracts.
Campus can expect to see a series of messages, documentation, and training opportunities over the coming weeks. Anyone that has a finance-related question can reach out directly to Cathy Cartwright and she will make sure you get an answer.
Human Resources has been working hard to get settled in new processes, particularly in payroll processing. While generally successful, the first payroll in ctcLink highlighted areas that are important for both employees and supervisors to pay close attention to when submitting and approving timesheets. HR and project staff held sessions to support employees and supervisors in processing timesheets for the second pay period, resulting in a greatly reduced number of exceptions (errors) that HR staff needed to resolve.
HR, Academic Affairs, and Finance staff are currently working to complete adjustments to Faculty Workload configurations so that spring quarter faculty contracts can be successfully processed.
HR is ready to take on new recruitments. HR will soon announce updated procedures related to staffing requests. In the interim, direct all staffing requests and inquiries to our new dedicated email address email@example.com. In the subject line of each recruitment email, list the name of the recruitment. Only send one staffing request or inquiry per email.
Data, Development and Integrations/Supplemental Systems
In the ctcLink project plans from SBCTC, locally developed or third-party tools, which perform functions outside of the system of record, are referred to as “Supplemental Systems.” The ITS Data, Development and Integrations team has been working with the ctcLink Project Team and business process owners on analyzing these tools, comparing functionality with ctcLink, and identifying which tools will be replaced by ctcLink processes, and which need to be adapted to function with ctcLink data.
While we have access to a local replication of ctcLink data, the data structures are significantly more complex than our Legacy data, and similar to how we are learning new processes in business areas of the college, the DDIS team is learning those data structures in order to be able to adapt the tools and integrations that we have determined need to be maintained to ctcLink data.
We have prioritized tools and processes based on student impact, but some functionality that is still currently working on Legacy data will have to be taken offline temporarily down the road as we work through these transitions. We have posted a Highline ctcLink Supplemental Systems Status spreadsheet that we will keep updated as this work progresses.
Ask Delta Dog
Who is this blue dog? Learn why Delta Dog has been our trusty companion on the journey to ctcLink. She will stay by our side as we fully implement the system.
If you have questions about ctcLink, ask Delta Dog.
You can also view the Frequently Asked Questions page.
For information about the statewide ctcLink project, visit the SBCTC ctcLink page and read the blog, ctcLink Connect.