ctcLink PeopleSoft Catalog Up and Running at Clark College
Clark College Reaches a Key ctcLink Milestone
Clark College is now scheduling its fall classes using the new ctcLink PeopleSoft system.
Joanne Savage, Clark College Office of Instruction Program Specialist 2, leads schedule construction in the Legacy system and room scheduling using 25Live, an enterprise-wide, web-based event calendaring and scheduling system. And now, of course, PeopleSoft.
“It’s really fun to see all the effort come together,” Joanne said. “It was hard to see at the beginning. I wondered, ‘How am I going to do this!?’ But it really does make sense and has actually been kind of fun. Woohoo!”
What’s Live at Clark?
Joanne explained Clark is currently building its fall 2019 schedules, while working in three systems simultaneously (Legacy, PeopleSoft and 25Live).
Several PeopleSoft modules in the Campus Solutions pillar are live for Clark College staff to work on behind the scenes as they prepare for an October 2019 Go-Live:
- Course Catalog (menu of all possible courses offered at a college)
- Course Requisites (pre-requisites, co-requisites, anti-requisites)
- Class Scheduling (classes offered during a specific quarter)
- Academic Advising (used to track degree and certificate requirements to earn a degree, certificate or other credential)
Students won’t see these tools until Go-Live.
Susan Maxwell, Clark College’s ctcLink Project Director, said PeopleSoft has much better degree audit functionality than the current tool, but the complexity of some degree requirements, including hybrid and multi-component courses, makes it challenging to set up the computer logic.
“We spent nearly an entire week getting this figured out and configured,” she said and was pleased to announce Clark successfully built its first academic advisement report and sent it out to the campus, so everybody could see it.” Woohoo!
Moving to the New House
Cleaning and packing
The process began about two years ago (during the Initiation Phase) with data cleansing, updating classes to make them PeopleSoft ready or deciding which courses to deactivate.
Clark College had about 7,000 courses in the Legacy system. About half of these will be deactivated once PeopleSoft is live.
Some courses dated back to the 1970s and 80s or are discontinued. Others are transferred-in courses which used course numbers from other institutions, but not Clark’s course numbers.
Susan and Joanne described a few features that make PeopleSoft Catalog better for both staff and students.
- Ability to see class caps (enrollment capacity) at a glance on a single screen. In Legacy, a user needs to know each specific item number and run a DataExpress report.
- When building a class, staff can preview it on screen immediately to see how it will look to students in the “Student Self-Service” view and improve and tweak formatting on the fly. This was not possible in Legacy.
- Ability to see class lists is beneficial and was not possible in Legacy without running
a cumbersome report. For example, Clark pulled a list of “co-op” classes to look at
titles and find inconsistencies in naming, punctuation and capitalization over the
years (e.g. coop, co-op, Co-Op, CO-OP, Cooperative, Co-operative, Co-Operative).
Susan explained the Class List feature gives them an opportunity to see what’s out there so they can create a consistent naming convention and build a Clark College PeopleSoft style guide.
- More characters (letters) allowed. While they might not be able to rename classes, using more letters allows Clark to eliminate inconsistent and confusing abbreviations.
Joanne has been with Clark College for 18 years and has been through several false starts to leave behind the Legacy HP300 software, including Rehosting, Lift and Shift, and ctcLink Wave 1.
“When we had to postpone, it was a little disappointing,” Joanne said, but has remained enthusiastic and involved. “It’ll be a good thing when it gets here.”
Susan credits Joanne’s positive attitude as one of the reasons Clark will succeed.
“Joanne has been on the project since the beginning,” Susan said, “Remaining positive and helping others around her stay positive. “
Joanne celebrates success — small and large, hers and others’ — often with a little “woohoo!”
As in, “Building classes. Woohoo!” or “First hybrid class created. Woohoo!” and “First multi-component class created! Woohoo!”
Joanne said it’s been gratifying to already be able to help train her colleagues in PS Catalog.
To date, Joanne and Kathy Mitchell, IT Data Processor 3, have done most of the course input. But last week, Sara Seyller, Curriculum and Instructional Program Specialist, started building her first classes with Joanne’s assistance.
“Oh, look! You’re training!” Sara laughed about Joanne’s PeopleSoft evolution. “Woohoo!”
And then Joanne turned around and trained yet another absolute beginner.
Getting ready to relocate
Joanne and Susan said that in addition to data cleansing and business process mapping, the knowledge and experience gained during prior ctcLink Project activities build upon each other to help prepare them:
- Common Process Workshops (CPWs) helped Clark get comfortable and really get to know and compare their processes to other colleges. “If you don’t know your processes and understand your work (in Legacy),” Joanne said, “You are more likely to feel lost. The CPWs were a huge help.”
- Business Process Fit/Gap (BPFG) sessions give colleges an opportunity to gather local ctcLink configuration information for each college/agency. To do that, college SMEs need to understand how the ctcLink PeopleSoft system supports their college business processes. The sessions help subject matter experts (SMEs) understand local business processes, the ctcLink configurations associated with them and highlight differences between Legacy and ctcLink.
- Global Design Review (GDR) sessions helped Clark attendees understand the global framework of ctcLink and how PeopleSoft has been adapted to support our unique model of multiple colleges in a single, shared instance of PeopleSoft. The later deployment groups participate in the Global Design Adoption (GDA) course.
- Data validation sessions were the first opportunity to see what’s been converted. There are multiple conversion cycles per deployment group, giving colleges the chance to check and re-check their data.
Advice for ctcLink Success
Here are a few ctcLink tips from Joanne and Susan at Clark College:
- Share the knowledge. Each deployment group learns from others. Susan will share what Clark College learned with future deployment groups, especially DG3.
- Get involved early. Be part of any and all ctcLink event or team(s) on your campus, especially in your subject matter area.
- Take all the classes, do all the things! Even though it’s challenging for employees to be involved and away from their desks, colleges should involve as many people as they can in ctcLink activities (data cleansing, business process mapping, CPWs, BPFGs, data validation and more).
- Work together in one room. Bounce ideas off each other, agree on what and how to standardize.
- Understand your training role. ctcLink presents the global PeopleSoft training, but each college will train its staff on local business processes, such as when and how to submit leave slips, arrange for travel or purchase items.
- Clean as you go. The more you clean up your data in the Legacy system, the less work you will have. The ctcLink project office creates Quarterly Error Extract Reports for colleges to review and revise their Legacy data. Data cleansing is an “iterative” process — rarely “one and done” — so with each pass, data gets closer to ready-to-move condition.
- Workload. ctcLink activities are not optional and some overtime work is to be expected, so it’s important for each college figure out how to manage its resources. Some colleges address the extra workload with backfill and shifting responsibilities.
- Celebrate and appreciate. Susan and Joanne said Clark’s Executive Sponsor, Shanda Haluapo, Associate Vice President of Planning and Effectiveness, makes a special effort to help provide snacks for team members working overtime. And celebration is part of the Penguin Nation culture. Woohoo!
Where to Find ctcLink Documents and Resources
- ctcLink Project Governance
- ctcLink Project Status Reports
- Document and Resource Links for ctcLink & ERP
- ctcLink Deployment Groups
- ctcLink Quality Gates & Milestones
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