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ctcLink Learning Opportunities & Support Roundup: Dec. 13, 2023

December 13, 2023 by ctcLink Communications

A weekly update about ctcLink learning opportunities and ctcLink support news. 

If you have questions or suggestions for future editions, contact ctcLink News or slnelson@sbctc.edu.

What ctcLink learning opportunities are available?

ctcLink Support eLists

ctcLink Customer Support teams send notifications of learning opportunities (including trainings, work sessions, user acceptance testing, and more), as well as global and cross-pillar system communications to the applicable ctcLink Support eLists (aka listservs) on a regular basis.

If you are a ctcLink end-user, and not already hearing about learning opportunities firsthand, join one or more support lists today: ctcLink Support eLists 

Training calendar

Find the latest learning opportunities, including notices of cancellation or schedule changes, on the ctcLink Training page or on the SBCTC meetings and events calendar (apply filters).

Take a training tour

View the ctcLink Training Overview video for a quick online tour of resources. To view it in full screen, select box icon in the upper right corner.

Learning Opportunities & Work Sessions Ahead

To plan further ahead or find the latest learning opportunities, as well as notices of cancellation or schedule changes, see the complete calendar at the ctcLink Training page or on the SBCTC meetings and events calendar (apply filters).

Date Time Event
Dec 14 10am ctcLink Accounting Team: LGIP / Investment Review
Dec 14 12pm FIN Training: Customizing the Treasury WorkCenter
Dec 14 1pm FIN Training: 1099 Process for FY2023
Dec 14 4pm FIN/SF Work Session: Second Journal Set Information Session (2of4)
Dec 19 9am FIN/SF Work Session: Second Journal Set Information Session (3of4)
Dec 19 9am Fin Aid Training: NEW PROCESS! NSLDS Transfer Monitoring Using Term-Based UEMs
Dec 19 2pm *CANCELLED* FIN Work Session: FSCM Prod Support Meeting
Dec 20 8:30am CS Core Refresher: Manual Conversion of Legacy Records
Dec 21 10am ctcLink Accounting Team: GL ChartString Recon & Clean-up Sessions
Dec 21 4pm FIN/SF Work Session: Second Journal Set Information Session (4of4)
Dec 26 2pm *CANCELLED* FIN Work Session: FSCM Prod Support Meeting
Dec 28 10am ctcLink Accounting Team: GL ChartString Recon & Clean-up Sessions
Jan 4 10am ctcLink Accounting Team: VPA Process and Cleanup
Jan 4 1pm CS Core Work Session: This Time, It’s Personal
Jan 8 11am FIN Work Session: Grants SJS Mini-Training & Open Q&A
Jan 8 1pm SF Work Session: 2023 1098-Ts Part IV
Jan 9 9am PS Query Training 101 Basics - Part 1
Jan 10 9am PS Query Training 101 Basics - Part 2
Jan 10 2pm FIN Training: New Year brings new Questions! *Updated date*
Jan 10 2pm ctcLink Accounting Team: SF/GL Open Forum Meeting
Jan 11 10am ctcLink Accounting Team: Revenue Review for Federal, State, & Grants
Resource Description
ctcLink Training Quick Reference Guides The ctcLink Training Quick Reference Guides (QRGs) in the ctcLink Reference Center lists and links to recordings of sessions delivered by the Training Team.
Work Sessions in Canvas The Work Session Canvas Course lists and links to recordings of sessions, including CS Core-offered Work Sessions. Register for the course(s) at ctcLink Training Registration.
ctcLink Security Documentation & Training Find ctcLink Security-related training materials, documentation, Quick Reference Guides (QRGs), useful queries, and more on the ctcLink Security Documentation & Training page.
Accessibility and ctcLink Open Forums SBCTC hosts monthly Accessibility and ctcLink Open Forums to engage Washington's community and technical college system in discussions around ctcLink accessibility and technology. Find materials and recordings from past ctcLink Accessibility Forums on the website.

 

ctcLink News

Enhancement Requests Recently Deployed

  • Finance ER 142 – Restricting Bank Access to Business Unit in Accounts Payable, deployed Nov. 28, 2023: Users can use other colleges' bank accounts to pay their vouchers. On the Payment tab of vouchers when users use look up for Bank it displays the list of all the bank a/cs (accounts receivable) setup in Banking and can select to use it for payment.
  • Finance ER 250 - New Expense Account needed for Fraudulent Transactions, deployed Dec. 7, 2023: Colleges have awarded Financial Aid and other payments that are fraudulent. Colleges have asked for a way to “write off” these awards, but they will need to be expensed.
  • Financial Aid ER 194F - (6 of 19) Satisfactory Academic Progress, Legacy Transfer Units in Maximum Time Frame, deployed Nov. 27, 2023: A clone of the section in the SAP Application Engine code for the Maximum Attempted Units Test was modified so the SAP Program will compare the Legacy data "transfer" units in the cloned custom view against the Course Exclusions configuration.
  • Financial Aid Mass Packaging ER 195D (4 of 5), deployed Dec. 13, 2023: Exclude Running Start Students from Packaging Selection Mass Packaging
  • Financial Aid Mass Packaging ER 195E (5 of 5), deployed Dec. 13, 2023: Exclude Incarcerated Students from Packaging Selection

Enhancement Requests Currently in Testing

  • ER 151 – Include Leave Adjustments in Monthly Accruals
  • ER 158 – FWL Employee Record Look Up
  • ER 166 – CampusCE Search/Match Parameter
  • ER 192 – Add Supplier Email Address to PO Forms
  • ER 193 – Second Journal Set
  • ER 197 – New Hire Onboarding Improvements

Changes Coming to Recurrences (Recurring Jobs & Processes) in ctcLink

Keep an eye out on Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, for an IT-Mail message from ctcLink Customer Support to CS, FIN, HCM, FA, SF support lists and their related commissions/council eLists.

ctcLink users will receive detailed instructions and materials, including:

  • QRG checklists with additional information on how to use recurrences in ctcLink, and
  • New recurrence definitions with a consistent naming convention.
  • Impacts of the change and timeline
  • What you will need to do at your college or SBCTC department

Pillar Users Production Support Meetings

Each pillar team hosts regular sessions for colleges to engage with SBCTC ctcLink team members and each other. Formats and topics vary, but there’s always something new to learn.

Campus Solutions (CS) Core Work Session

Campus Solutions (CS) Core Work Sessions are held the first Thursday of each month, from 1 to 3 p.m. The CS Functional Support team facilitates, alternating between functional team delivered content and college user delivered content with functional team support. Each meeting includes time for colleges to ask questions about other topics or service tickets. These sessions are open to ALL end users.

Details about sessions can be found on the SBCTC Calendar and in the CS Core Weeklyish COREspondence (sent on Fridays to the CSSupport listserv).

New CS Core Q&A Open sessions in the works

In 2024, ad hoc, topic-specific Open Q&As will be scheduled for the third Thursdays, 1 to 3 p.m. Planning is underway, so please stay tuned!

Financial Aid (FA) Work Sessions

Financial Aid (FA) Work Session meetings are on the fourth Thursdays, from 1 to 3 p.m. The FA Functional Support team facilitates alternating between functional team delivered content and college user delivered content with the support of the FA functional team. The end of each meeting is open for colleges to ask questions about the topic presented. These sessions are open to ALL end users.

Finance (FIN) Meetings

Finance (FIN) meetings are held every Tuesday, from 2 to 3 p.m. The Finance Functional team provides updates on Service Tickets, PeopleSoft enhancements, and open forum time to ask questions or request future topics. This session is open to ALL Finance end users.

Human Capital Management (HCM) Meetings

Human Capital Management (HCM) meetings are held every other Wednesday, from 1 to 3 p.m. The HCM Functional team along with the training team offers Work Sessions and Training Sessions around the different functionality in HCM. 

Student Financials (SF) Work Sessions

Student Financials (SF) support team is delivering a five-part work session covering the 1098T statement process. These monthly sessions started in October and will conclude in February 2024.

Are You Receiving ctcLinkAlerts?

SBCTC uses the ctcLinkAlerts eList to send notices about planned downtime for system updates, production alerts, urgent issues, and any unplanned downtime.

Each college maintains a local ctcLinkAlerts email distribution list (e.g., ctclinkalerts@columbiabasin.edu, ctcLinkAlerts@spscc.edu) which your ctcLink College Leader maintains as needed. 

These college lists, not individuals, are subscribed to ctcLinkAlerts@lists.ctc.edu.

It’s each college’s choice who to include, but typically colleges include their local ctcLink leadership, local ctcLink committee or taskforce members, key subject matter experts, IT, Help Desk, and PIO.

Online Admissions Application Portal (OAAP) Enhancement Requests

The following Enhancement Request (ERs) were approved by the ctcLink Working Group:

  • ER 169 – OAAP Improvements from ARC
  • ER 178 – OAAP Email to ctcLink
  • ER 183 – OAAP Buttons, Supplemental Questions, and Suspense Updates
  • ER 184 – OAAP Residency Updates
  • ER 212 – OAAP Admin and Student Sections
  • ER 237 – OAAP Citizenship

Work is currently underway for Priority 1 (Residency & Citizenship) which includes some crossover between ERs 169, 184, and 237.

Changes to Term Category Values (ER 243)

To support the new National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) reporting logic and improve user experience, changes will be made to the Term Category translate table to inactivate term category values not utilized by our system. Users familiar with set-up pages like the Term/Session Table or the Service Indicator Table will notice fewer selectable options in Term Category dropdown fields.

A detailed email was sent to CS Support list on Oct. 19. Additional information about changes to the Term/ Session Table and NSC Reporting processes will be sent to both the ctcLink_POC (College Point of Contact) and ctcLink CS Support distribution lists.

Part 1 - Complete Oct. 20, 2023

All Term Category values not currently in use anywhere in ctcLink were inactivated. This includes values such as 1st Semester, Summer Session AUS, Winter Session AUS, Medical Clinical, Intersession Term, Medical Level 1, and Winter Term.

Part 2 - Target Production Release, Dec. 15, 2023

Work is still in progress and applicable colleges have been contacted about clean-up.

 “Full Year” and “2nd Semester” are currently being used on the Service Indicator Table (5 records) and FA Item Types page (7 records). CS Core Support and FA Support will work with colleges using these values to remove them before inactivating the “Full Year” and “2nd Semester” Term Category values.

In addition, the Maintaining the Term/Session Table QRG and Generating a National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) Report QRG will be updated to reflect the updated Term Category selections.

CS Core Learning Opportunities

CS Core Training

CS Core Refresher: Manual Conversion of Legacy Records | Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023, 8:30 - 10:00 am

We invite you to join us for an overview of the manual conversion of student records. You may be required to bring a Legacy record to ctcLink for returning students. Topics to be covered include:

  • Legacy Transcript
  • ctcLink Student Record
  • Convert Coursework
  • Complete ctcLink Record

FIN Activities

  • The team worked on configuration updates to the Approval Workflow Engine (AWE) for Accounts Payable & Purchasing.
  • The Accounts Payable 1099 Oracle PRP (PeopleSoft Release Patchset) has completed system integration testing (SIT) and user acceptance testing (UAT) and is ready to deploy Dec. 14.
  • ER 192 (Add Supplier Email Address to PO Forms) was deployed last night, Dec. 12, 2023.

FIN Learning Opportunities

Second Journal Set (SJS) Updates: Information Sessions for SF & FIN Users

In February 2024, the SJS process will transition to nightly automation, streamlining operations by eliminating manual intervention.

SBCTC will host repeating one-hour sessions about the upcoming changes.

  • Who should attend? Staff involved with Second Journal Set processing, Grant budgets and reimbursement, and SF/Finance Management are strongly encouraged to attend.
  • Topics: Learn about the SJS updates, get a sneak peek of changes users will see (Second Journal Set PowerPoint), participate in a question-and-answer session, and find out how to join user acceptance testing (UAT) starting in early January.

Choose the session that works best for your schedule:

The session will be recorded and posted to Second Journal Set Canvas site within the Work Session Information course

Contact Caitlin Stein, Test Coordinator, with questions.

Federal Financial Aid Simplification Update

The FAFSA simplification has been anything but. Numerous federal FAFSA code release delays have meant unavoidable delays for Oracle to complete the coding work its many PeopleSoft clients need.

As soon as the SBCTC ctcLink support teams receive the federal code (Oracle’s current target date Jan. 31, 2024), they will work hard to implement, test, and vet the code in ctcLink to be ready within 30 days of receiving the new code.

According to the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), financial aid administrators across the country will face barriers to get award letters out in a timely manner, regardless of their systems.

Given the repeatedly missed deadlines by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the generally rushed nature of the rollout, colleges should be prepared for timeline shifts and workarounds for possible bugs.

NASFAA requests the ED reduce administrative burden on financial aid administrators

NASFAA sent a letter Dec. 12, 2023, requesting the U.S. Department of Education (ED) reduce administrative burden on financial aid administrators during this final implementation phase of the FAFSA Simplification Act.

While financial aid administrators have been preparing for more than two years for the massive changes to the federal student aid application system, student eligibility requirements, eligibility formula, and more, the delayed release of the FAFSA this year from early October to late December imposes a compressed time frame during which they can help applicants navigate the process and make financial aid offers.

Read the letter: NASFAA Asks ED for Burden Relief Due to Delayed FAFSA Rollout

Bipartisan senators warn ED that vulnerable student populations could be negatively impacted by the delayed rollout of 2024-25 FAFSA

A bipartisan group of 37 senators. including Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), chair of the appropriations committee, is warning the Department of Education (ED) that vulnerable student populations could be negatively impacted by the delayed rollout of the 2024-25 FAFSA and is calling on the department to work with the higher education community to ensure the form successfully provides more students with federal student aid.

“Further, the Department’s latest announcement also revealed that processing delays will take place in the first few months of 2024, meaning that schools will not be able to generate financial aid offers for their students in a timely fashion,” the lawmakers wrote.

Read more: Bipartisan Group of Senators Urges ED to Provide Clear FAFSA Guidance, Verification Relief

Financial Aid Process Enhancements

The below information includes SAP and Mass Packaging changes on the enhancement request priority list determined by the Financial Aid Counsel (FAC) and Financial Aid System Technology (FAST) group. These changes have been or will be implemented to enhance system functionality and to reduce the need for manual intervention wherever possible.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Of 19 total SAP requirements, six have been deployed, three are scheduled, eight are pending (on hold, awaiting more information) and three will not be deployed based on additional information from the Financial Aid community.

Learn more at the FA Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Project Information Guide.

Mass Packaging

Two of the five Mass Packaging enhancements were successfully migrated last night and put into production this morning (Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023) . The FA community has been notified the solution is ready to use.

Of five total Mass Packaging requirements, to date, four have been deployed and one is pending an alternative solution.

Learn more at the FA Mass Packaging Project Information Guide.

Benefits of Mass Packaging Highlighted

Two colleges recently shared their experiences in adopting the Mass Packaging enhancements. Jessica Harris, Lower Columbia College, Assistant Director of Financial Aid, presented during the fall quarter Financial Aid Council, and James D. Flowers, Ed.D., Tacoma Community College Director of Financial Aid and Veteran Services, shared comments with the SBCTC Financial Aid ctcLink Support team.

These are few of the benefits they described:

  • Quicker awarding of students once they are ready for packaging allows award offers to go out sooner.
    • Mass Packaging allows us to award students based on their file completion date rather than prioritizing enrolled students first. This means award offer letters are being sent out to students sooner and even if the student isn’t currently enrolled.
  • Students have enrolled in classes after they have received their award offer.
    • Receiving an award offer letter from the college has encouraged some of the unenrolled students to register in classes, which could be a boost to our enrollment levels if those students were hesitating to enroll before having a plan to pay for their classes.
  • Staff can concentrate on other duties.
    • Using the mass packaging process for awarding our students after their FAFSA/WASFA has been reviewed has increased our department’s efficiency, allowing staff to concentrate on other financial aid department job duties outside of awarding.
  • The bulk of students can be mass-packaged which means fewer students that must be individually awarded due to their circumstances.
    • There are certain groups of students whose offers still need to be checked manually for accuracy. For example, students that go through subsequent mass packaging jobs after the initial big one the college runs at the beginning of each academic year.

FA Learning Opportunities

Check out a New FA process!

NSLDS Transfer Monitoring Using Term-Based User Edit Messages (UEMs): Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023, 9-11 am 

This session is a review of a new process Spokane Falls Community College piloted for the 2023 academic year and which they report works beautifully! 

Prior to using UEMs for National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) Transfer Monitoring, colleges found it challenging and cumbersome to track the history of NSLDS Transfer Monitoring checklist assignment.  Now, using UEMs, you can track the history of assigned and resolved UEMs, and assign UEMs for Transfer Monitoring per term.

Objectives:

  • Understand the steps in the Transfer Monitoring/FAH Process:
  • Assign NSLDS UEMs
  • Process NSLDS Transfer/FAH Monitoring
  • Upload/Download File Process
  • Import Federal Data Files
  • Process NSLDS Files
  • Review NSLDS Flagged Students
  • Run NSLDS Push
  • Resolve NSLDS UEM

New HCM Onboarding Improvements (ER 197)

This much-anticipated enhancement request, sponsored by HRMC, is currently in system integration testing and the team is gearing up for colleges to engage in Q&A sessions.

If testing passes today, invitations will be sent to ctcLink College Leaders (PoC) and HCM listservs for repeating, one-hour Q&A sessions on Dec. 19 and 20, open to all colleges.

Tis the season for a nice list of timely HCM Support Team efforts

  • 2023 W-2 data preparation and reconciliation are underway
  • Running the Year End Record Error Report (TAX910ER) QRG was updated
  • Performed testing for year-end processing
  • Worked with SBCTC Business Operations to finalize the Tax Form Definitions for 2023 Form W-2 and W-3
  • Working on IRS Form 1042 and Form 1099R set-up
  • Provided one-on-one training to SBCTC Payroll Admin regarding tax balance adjustments and walked through specific business cases

1098T Statement Processing

The first 1098T statement processing deadline is Jan. 9, 2024, when the college printed statement file is due to SBCTC. Now is an ideal time to send electronic consent communications and test item type/statement processing configurations.

The next training session is Jan. 8, 2024.

Recordings and slide decks for the first three 1098T trainings are available in the 2023 1098-Ts Work Session recording and slide decks in Canvas.

SF Learning Opportunities

Stay informed by joining the Student Financials eList to receive reminders about training, session recordings, and other updates from the Student Financials team.

Second Journal Set (SJS) Enhancement: Information Sessions for SF & FIN Users

The college information session series has begun, and it's important to participate. In February 2024, the SJS process will transition to nightly automation, streamlining operations by eliminating manual intervention. SBCTC will host four repeat one-hour sessions about the upcoming changes.

  • Who should attend? Staff involved with Second Journal Set processing, Grant budgets and reimbursement, and SF/Finance Management are strongly encouraged to attend.
  • Topics: Learn about the SJS updates, get a sneak peek of changes users will see (Second Journal Set PowerPoint), participate in a question-and-answer session, and find out how to join user acceptance testing (UAT) starting in early January.

Choose the session that works best for your schedule:

The session will be recorded and posted to Second Journal Set Canvas site within the Work Session Information course. Contact Caitlin Stein, Test Coordinator, with questions.

SF Training: Collections Fundamentals

Jan. 22, 2024, 8-10 am.

Student Financials Collections Processors are invited to learn about Collections basics including:

  • Collections Guide
  • Pre-Collections
  • Processing Collections
  • Post-Collections
  • Collections Communications

Related QRG: SF Collections

Prerequisite Course: SF105 Collections

This session will be recorded and added to the SF105 Canvas Course under the Additional Resources modules. Please note: to access training recordings, the specific Canvas Course needs to be completed. Register for SBCTC Canvas Courses through the Accessing ctcLink Courses on Canvas page.

Contact Alec Risk, SBCTC Student Financials Functional Trainer.

Third Party Contracts (TPC) Basics

The latest TPC training was well-attended and sparked lively discussion. All training session materials and recordings are available on the ctcLink Pillar Work Session Information page, so be sure to check it out if you missed it.

New and Improved Way to Sign Up for Query Developer Courses

We are pleased to announce the process to enroll in Query Developer Canvas courses has been streamlined.  Now, instead of emailing Data Services, simply:

  1. Visit the ctcLink Training Registration page,
  2. Select the class(es) from the Designated Query Developer Training section,
  3. Follow the sign-up process.

Plan ahead for 2024

The ctcLink Training Calendar has been updated with winter quarter 2024 instructor-led query-related training. To clear filter settings, select None. Then select ctcLink Learning Opportunities > Reporting Training.

More for PeopleSoft Query Developers

Find more ctcLink PeopleSoft Query Development resources including forms, documentation, and tools at the ctcLink PeopleSoft Reporting web page.

HighPoint HCX Accessibility News

Highpoint has provided an updated VPAT for Highpoint Campus Experience (HCX). ctcLink HCX (mobile) gives Washington state community and technical college students access to their college ctcLink business accounts from multiple devices.

Of the four items HCX supports with exceptions (1.3.1, 1.4.1, 2.4.3 and 4.1.2), they plan to fully support two in the Dec. 17, 2023, release and the remaining two in the Feb. 9, 2024, release. Those updates will be deployed in October 2024. 

Upcoming Activities

  • Okta is working on the Account Setting page redesign to resolve accessibility issues. It is expected to be in preview early 2024 and ready for production in March 2024. 
  • In Campus Solutions> Admissions> Maintain Applications (Transaction Page), the 'Add Row' button mark-up is different from every other button on the page. Looking at the source code, it is not using the "role=Button" mark-up in the anchor tag (announces as Link to screen reader) like the rest and instead of using a label, there's alt-text on an embedded image. It is a WCAG violation because no other similar buttons (i.e., 'Delete Row') are coded this way and it is in fact a Button and not a Link, so Role=Button needs to be added so it is announced as one.  Oracle has accepted this as a bug and development is working on it now.
  • In HCM Image 46 Time and Labor and Absence Management have enabled the Employee Header Configuration framework on fluid pages. However, the Framework displays configured fields as text instead of fields with hidden labels. As a result, Screen Reader users are not currently able to understand the context of the displayed data on the header. Including labels with fields will ensure this feature is accessible in Screen Reader mode.  It was rejected by Oracle as a bug, but we’re working with other colleges and organizations across the country to upvote the enhancement request.

Add your Voice to ctcLink Accessibility Matters

SBCTC hosts monthly forums to engage Washington's community and technical college system in discussions around ctcLink accessibility and technology.

We aim to improve communication and transparency while providing space for productive and solution-focused dialog. Our main objective is to deliver accessible technology for all our students, staff, and the larger community.

Meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month, 11 a.m. to noon.

The next ctcLink Accessibility Open Forum will be Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024, at 11 a.m. All are welcome to attend via Zoom

In case you missed a meeting, materials from past Open Forums, including the Dec. 12, 2023, Accessibility & ctcLink Forum Presentation are available.

Security Administration System Improvement (SASI) Project Underway

The SASI College Advisory Group, comprised of local security administrators (LSAs), ctcLink college leaders, and SBCTC security team members, has been meeting since summer 2023.

After an initial attempt to consider remediating a purchased software product (Sentinel), the group shifted its focus to the improvements our system and local LSAs truly need.

Accomplishments

  • SASI’s priority was to document and articulate functional, technical, and auditor requirements.
  • Defined and prioritized security administration system requirements.
  • Closed the governance loop on the Off-Boarding Process for security and are developing the work breakdown structure to commence development of that needed improvement. This should significantly improve auditor compliance concerns colleges have and the productivity impacts currently being experienced by our LSAs.

Next up

  • The SASI College Advisory Group will conduct a business process fit/gap analysis to identify any roadblocks or issues to be addressed.

Learn more at the Security Administration System Improvement [SASI] Project Information Guide.

 

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Last Modified: 2/14/24, 10:34 AM
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