What is ctcLink?

ctcLink is the implementation of a single, centralized system of online functions to give students, faculty and staff anytime, anywhere access to a modern, efficient way of doing their college business. But, it's about much more than new software. As the current 30-year-old administrative system is replaced, colleges will also align their core business processes with the delivered software solution, making for streamlined, standardized practices across the 34-college system.

Follow the ctcLink blog, CONNECT, for the latest news and information about the ctcLink project.

Current Events

  • Training: ctcLink training for FirstLink colleges has begun and will continue until right before Spokane and Tacoma colleges launch the new system. Check out the ctcLink Training Website for current training materials. Contents for the training website are still under development.
  • Day-in-the-Life: FirstLink colleges have begun the process of executing primary functions in the ctcLink system that tie to their day-to-day work activities. This Day-in-the-Life (DITL) activity will provide subject matter experts (SMEs) additional hands-on experience in ctcLink using their data (either converted from the legacy system or data they create as part of their normal work activity after go live, such as purchase requisitions, a new hire, a transcript request, etc.). College chose 20 business processes to perform from beginning to end, such as running a payroll; managing the course catalog and schedule of classes; processing, awarding and packaging financial aid; and creating, then processing, online purchase requisitions.
  • Testing: Testing of the ctcLink system is nearly complete. As pieces of the system that weren't out-of-the box (CEMLIs) get developed and finalized, they get added to the testing cycle. System Integration Testing (SIT) is performed by the project team before items are moved to User Acceptance Testing (UAT). In UAT, testers are from FirstLink colleges (Spokane, Spokane Falls and Tacoma) and, in some cases, from Wave 1 colleges that have offered to assist. The testers use test scripts developed by our ctcLink implementation partner, Ciber. The scripts provide instructions for navigating to a specific page in the system and performing a set of tasks. If the task fails, the tester logs a defect, which is sent to Ciber technical staff to fix. Scripts are retested until the process is completed successfully and passes. Testing includes all pillars/modules: Campus Solutions, Financials, Human Capital Management, Online Admissions Application, Continuing Education, ctcLink Gateway (portal) and much more.
  • Data Conversion/Validation: Cycle 8 is the last conversion cycle for FirstLink colleges prior to go live. Cycle 8 conversion was completed in May and colleges began validating in late May and into June. This data (from April 2015) is being used for DITL (noted above) and the practice Sandbox environment. The ctcLink/Ciber functional and technical teams, as well as the FirstLink college staff involved in data conversion/validation/mapping have worked diligently on the data conversion process. Some data conversion work with Wave 1 colleges will begin soon.
  • FirstLink Implementation Planning: Tacoma and Spokane are busy planning and prepping for ctcLink Go-Live. The go-live (launch) date for FirstLink colleges is August 24, 2015.

ctcLink Timeline

  • Global Solution: Requirements Validation, Foundation Decisions, BPA Workshops, Business Process Diagrams and begin Data Conversion and Configuration -- (March 2013 - Jan 2014)
  • System Build/Configure and Test: Dec 2013 - Sept 2014
  • Training for FirstLink colleges: January - March 2015, with more sessions to be scheduled closer to the new go-live date.
  • FirstLink Implementation : Community Colleges of Spokane and Tacoma Community College - Go-Live date is August 24, 2015.
  • Waves: Following FirstLink implementation, there will be three deployment waves of up to 12 colleges per wave. Go live dates: Wave 1: Planning for August 2016; Wave 2: TBD; Wave 3: TBD.

ctcLink Project Background 

After a comprehensive Request for Proposal (RFP) and vendor evaluation process from April-August 2012, followed by two months of in-depth contract negotiations, Ciber was chosen as our system integration partner for ctcLink implementation. Ciber began working on the project in February 2013.

Requirements Verification was completed in April 2013, which was the process of going through the requirements in the RFP line-by-line to provide any necessary clarification regarding the specific needs of the new ctcLink system. Next, the project team--along with hundreds of system-wide SMEs--embarked on the Foundation Review Sessions portion of the Global Solution phase. This gave system-wide SMEs a chance to learn about the foundational aspects of the new system and how it will work and integrate across all business areas of the college. SMEs also got a closer look at the inner-workings of the PeopleSoft system in specific areas such as Payroll, Benefits Administration, Purchasing, Budgeting, Financial Aid, Recruiting/Admissions and Academic Advising.

The Foundation Review sessions helped prepare for the Business Process Alignment sessions, which were held June 17 through August 28. This was a detailed review of specific business processes in PeopleSoft. Business Process Diagrams (BPDs) were used to illustrate the flow of core business processes from start to finish and also help to determine the roles (who will perform which tasks) associated with each process. The decisions made during the Foundation Review/Decisions process, and the final BPDs guided system Configuration and Design. In addition to global configuration of the system, local configuration for FIrstLink colleges also took place, followed by system testing and user testing, which is still underway.

Questions about ctcLink? Email them to:

  • askctclink@sbctc.edu

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Page Manager: jrunyon@sbctc.edu
Page Reviewed/Updated: June 24, 2015, 2:35 PM

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