Online Admissions Application Portal Goes Live for DG2 and DG3 Colleges
The new Online Admissions Application Portal (OAAP) officially went live at 10 a.m. today, Feb. 2, 2021, for 10 colleges: deployment group 2 (DG2) — Spokane Community College, Spokane Falls Community College, Tacoma Community College — and DG3 colleges — Cascadia College, Clark College, Lower Columbia College, Olympic College, Peninsula College, Pierce College Fort Steilacoom, Pierce College Puyallup.
As of 2 p.m. today, just a few hours after go-live, 168 users created accounts, 78 students applied, and another 33 applications are currently in progress.
Why a New Application?
As part of the ctcLink Project re-planning efforts in 2017, a new online application was required to replace the admissions application launched during the 2015 go-live for Community Colleges of Spokane and Tacoma Community College. That product was problematic for both applicants and college staff.
Starting in 2018, a systemwide OAA work group explored several options: admissions products used by other college systems, fixing the current OAA, or developing an entirely new product. The new KTech Products OAAP was selected.
All involved worked tirelessly to make sure this project met student needs. While recognizing there are improvements yet to be made, the DG2 and DG3 colleges expressed their support for the new solution leading up to go-live.
Challenges and successes
Working fully remote due to the pandemic — not to mention project staff turnover in 2019 and 2020 — presented challenges and competing priorities. What began as a seemingly generous timeline suddenly became short and it was apparent the OAAP effort would require Phase 2 work.
College admissions staff and members of the OAA Work Group were very involved with testing and feedback, putting in long hours along with SBCTC Support, ctcLink Project teams, and KTech to meet deadlines to keep on track with the timeline. KTech worked closely with the SBCTC ctcLink Application Support team to resolve any serious accessibility issues and continues to work to address any remaining lower level issues.
OAAP User Support
Open support Webex
ctcLink will host an initial open support Webex on Thursday, Feb. 4. OAAP administrators, admissions staff and others are encouraged to drop in with questions and any unresolved issues. Depending on feedback from colleges, the ctcLink Support team will create additional forums to share concerns, troubleshoot, and prioritize any outstanding issues.
OAAP administrative user materials
Resources for processing applications in OAAP are available in the ctcLink Reference Center to assist Online Admissions Application Portal administrative users.
ctcLink Service Desk
The ctcLink Service Desk has been updated with a new OAAP category in the “request type” dropdown. Colleges will follow their local protocol for submitting ctcLink support tickets. Those who submit tickets will find the OAAP category as follows: ctcLink Support > Campus Solutions > Student Admissions > OAAP.
Phase 2 Work
During Phase 2, the vendor will begin work on a special application for international students. A systemwide group will begin meeting in mid-March to gather requirements (i.e. technical, functional, and usability features needed).
Additional Phase 2 enhancements will include College in the High School and Selective Admissions, college-specific in-progress application email notifications, improve the date-selection feature, improve how missing required fields are flagged, and enhanced submit button, to name just a few.
Next OAAP go-live
Deployment Group 4 and 5 colleges will move from the Web Admissions Center (Legacy) application to OAAP in October 2021, in conjunction with DG5 go-live.
DG6 colleges will go live with the OAAP in February 2022.
In addition to the systemwide OAA Work Group and college admissions staff, many played a role:
- KTech Products, a Kastech Software Solutions Group Company
- SBCTC ctcLink Support: Sandy Main, Application Services Director; Robert “Drake” Drake, Functional Analyst, Applications; Josh Gija, PeopleSoft Developer & Support Engineer.
- SBCTC ctcLink Customer Support: Dani Bundy, ctcLink Customer Support Director; Ana Ybarra, Associate Director of Campus Solutions Support; Gretchen Fulmer, Associate Director of Training; Tanjagay Martin, ctcLink Campus Solutions Core Trainer; Bill Ramirez, Kaci Clark and Joyce Merrill, trainers.
- ctcLink Project: Tara Keen, ctcLink Assistant Project Director; John Henry Whatley, ctcLink Project Manager, Campus Solutions; Rebecca Poe, ctcLink PeopleSoft Campus Solutions Lead; Kyrsten Catlin, ctcLink Functional Analyst for Campus Solutions; Amy MacNeill, ctcLink Testing Coordinator; Bhuvana Samraj, ctcLink Development Lead; Kristy Snow, ctcLink OAAP Project Manager.
- SBCTC IT Division: Kenn Nied, Interim Deputy Chief Information Officer; Peter Savin, Senior Systems Administrator; Jim Henderson, IT Systems Administrator.
- SBCTC Student Services: Joe Holliday, Director of Student Services; Scott Copeland, Associate Director, Campus Support.
- SBCTC Communications: Laura McDowell, Communications Director; Katie Rose, Communications and Marketing Associate; Stacey Hagreen, Web Content Manager.