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ctcLink Learning Opportunities & Support Roundup: Feb. 28, 2024

February 28, 2024 by ctcLink Communications

A weekly round-up of ctcLink learning opportunities, ctcLink support updates, and news for Washington state community and technical college ctcLink users.

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
Mar 5 1pm CS Core: OAAP Search/Match Enhancement UAT Session 1
Mar 5 2pm FIN Work Session: FSCM Prod Support Meeting (DYK on AM)
Mar 6 1pm CS Core: OAAP Search/Match Enhancement UAT Session 2
Mar 7 10am ctcLink Accounting Team: Grants Training and Prep for One Washington *DATE CHANGE*
Mar 7 1pm CS Core Work Session: A Broad Overview of 3C Communications
Mar 11 12pm FIN Work Session: Grant Budget Revisions & Q&A *TIME CHANGE*
Mar 12 9am Fin Aid Training: ISIR Processing Refresher
Mar 12 9am PS Query Training 301 Advanced - Part 1Sign Up
Mar 12 11am SF Information Session: Course/Class Fee Update - Instruction Mode
Mar 12 2pm FIN Work Session: FSCM Prod Support Meeting
Mar 13 8:30am Fin Aid Support Session: Aid Year Rollover - Day 1 (Bates Tech, Columbia Basin, Yakima Valley)
Mar 13 9am PS Query Training 301 Advanced - Part 2
Mar 13 1pm HCM Work Session: Retirement Fields
Mar 14 8:30am Fin Aid Support Session: Aid Year Rollover - Day 2 (Bates Tech, Columbia Basin, Yakima Valley)
Mar 14 9am Accounting 101: Foundations of Accounting, provided by OFM – South Seattle College
Mar 14 10am ctcLink Accounting Team: SMARTer Review on Reports 206 - 209
Mar 14 1pm Accounting 101: Foundations of Accounting, provided by OFM South Seattle College
Mar 14 1pm FIN Training Session: T&E Session: Travelers in ctcLink
Mar 18 9am SF Training: Third Party Reconciliation Tips
Mar 19 9am PS Query Training 401 Expert- Part 1
Mar 19 2pm FIN Work Session: FSCM Prod Support Meeting
Mar 20 8:30am CS Core Refresher: Term Withdrawals
Mar 20 9am PS Query Training 401 Expert- Part 2
Mar 21 10am ctcLink Accounting Team: SMARTer Review on Reports 210 - 301
Mar 21 1pm CS Core Work Session: Open Q&A Session
Mar 21 1pm FIN Training Session: T&E Session: Approvers in ctcLink
Mar 26 9am Fin Aid Training: ISIR Corrections Fundamentals
Mar 26 2pm FIN Work Session: FSCM Prod Support Meeting
Mar 27 1pm HCM Work Session: Additional Pay
Mar 27 2pm FIN Training: GL Journal Import *DATE CHANGE*
Mar 28 1pm FIN Training Session: T&E Session: Travel Admins in ctcLink
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

New Data Dictionaries Web Page

As part of its effort to improve access to data resources for our college system, SBCTC Data Services is pleased to announce a new Data Dictionaries page at the SBCTC IT Support website.

Rest assured, the existing Data Warehouse and metaLink data dictionary pages are still here for you, but this new Data Dictionaries page makes several data dictionaries available from one convenient place:

  • LegacyLink
  • Data Warehouse
  • metaLink (ctcLink data dictionary)
  • Research

Links to the new page have been added to the IT Support sidebar menu and on the Data Warehouse page. Canvas Data Dictionaries are under development and will be added when ready.

Please reach out to Doug Zeno, Reporting Support Analyst, if you have any feedback or suggestions for the page.

ctcLink Environment Updates & Downtimes

ctcLink Server Maintenance Downtime

Saturday, March 2, 2024, 7 – 9 a.m.

The following services will be offline for scheduled maintenance while SBCTC installs Oracle PeopleSoft patches:

  • All ctcLink PeopleSoft pillars
  • OAAP and HCX (Mobile)
  • The integration between CampusCE and ctcLink

Canvas will not be impacted. Users logging into ctcLink will be directed to an offline notice with links to college Canvas sites.

Following completion of the maintenance period, colleges will need to resubmit any unprocessed orders during the down time.

Keep track of future planned Environment/Pillar Updates at the ctcLink Support page.

PCD Data Refresh

Monday, March 4, 2024

For more details, see the Data, Query & Reporting News section below.

PeopleSoft PeopleTools 8.59.21 Update

PeopleTools is the underlying technology on which PeopleSoft applications are built, deployed, and maintained. The next PeopleTools update for ctcLink is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, April 27. Internal testing activities for SBCTC functional teams begin March 6.

PeopleSoft Update Image and HCX (Highpoint Mobile) updates

The Campus Solutions pillar anticipates adopting three Images and HCX updates simultaneously—triple the fun of all that an image adoption entails—so we will need everyone’s patience and support.

Testing is tentatively scheduled to begin in June with a slated release in the fall. More details will be provided when available.

PeopleSoft Update Manager (PUM) provides consistent updates and optimizations to the PeopleSoft environment. PUM Image provides application patching and ongoing maintenance, delivering new features with each image update. Other apps call this a “version.”

All-Pillar Learning Opportunity: End of Fiscal Year Prep

Monday, April 15, 2024, 9 to 11 a.m.

Join Webex | Meeting number (access code): 2663 141 6695 | Password: tuN3bsnpp22

Save the date for an All-Pillar Learning Opportunity: End of Fiscal Year Prep!

In this session, SBCTC will present a high-level view of how all ctcLink pillars interconnect, with an emphasis on Fiscal Year End (FYE) preparation.

FYE prep includes

  • Human Capital Management Transactions
  • Campus Solutions Core Student Services
  • Financial Aid Review
  • Student Financials Reconciliation and Spring Cleaning
  • Finance Tasks/Checklists and General Ledger

Learning objectives

  • A high-level overview of how information flows within ctcLink pillars
  • A high-level overview of each pillar and the resources and tools available for end of year cleanup, including queries, documents, reference guides, and process guides
  • Where to access links to previous/upcoming trainings regarding reconciliation/end of fiscal year prep

Primary Audience: ctcLink system processing staff

Related QRGs: Intro to ctcLink and FIN - Closing Periods and Years Procedures

Prerequisite Course(s): ctcLink Training Registration. It is recommended you review and complete your pillar-related courses.

Enhancement Requests (ER) Deployed

  • Security ER 249 - Removal of Security Questions in Okta –Deployed Feb. 15, 2024
    • To enhance ctcLink cybersecurity, the option to establish Security Questions in Okta was removed for all students and employees with one limited exception. The IT Commission (ITC) voted to remove Security Questions since this feature presents a security risk to the system. The SBCTC ctcLink Security and Application Services teams removed “Security Question” prompts (e.g., What was the first concert you attended? What was the make and model of your first car?) from the Activate Your Account (AYA) process. The security question prompts will be removed from AYA for ALL users; even those with the roles. Impacted users must log in to set up the questions in their ctcLink account.

ER Work Underway

  • ER 230 - Student Self-Service Links for Bank Mobile and Direct Deposit. Development is complete and system integration testing is underway.
  • Campus Solutions ER 232 - (FYI) Adding Custom Self-Service Questions - Defining requirements and analyzing possible solution designs with Data Services and App Services
  • Campus Solutions OAAP ERs 178, 184,169, 183, 212, and 237 - approved by ctcLink Working Group. Work is underway for Priority 1 (Residency & Citizenship) which includes some crossover between ERs 169, 184, and 237.
  • Finance ER 189 - Stale Dating Checks - In progress – Working with Accounting and Business Services
  • Finance ER 204 - Modifications to WAPAY – Internal testing in progress.
  • HCM ER 154 – Faculty Workload (FWL) Future Effective Dated Hire Row - Development is complete and system integration testing will begin soon.

Enhancement Requests Currently in Testing

  • Campus Solutions ER 166 – CampusCE Search/Match Parameter -- reviewing UAT results and making implementation decision.
  • HCM ER 197 – New Hire Onboarding Improvements
  • Campus Solutions ER 238 - OAAP Search/Match

Term GPA Rounding on Transcript: User Acceptance Testing

We are excited to share an upcoming User Acceptance Testing (UAT) activity that we are asking colleges to participate in. The Term GPA is rounding to the incorrect decimal place on ctcLink transcripts. The fix will round the Term GPA to 2 decimal places rather than 3 (per the global ctcLink design decision). The GPA Rounding change will be implemented in production pending the outcome of testing. During UAT, users will review the upcoming change and testing functionality to confirm that it is working as intended.

The related QRG can be found at the following link: View and Print a Student Transcript

SBCTC will host a kickoff session to allow users to get hands-on experience with the system changes on the following date:

Term GPA Rounding UAT Kickoff

Monday, March 4, 2024 11:00 am | 1 hour | (UTC-07:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada), Join Session

Note: The presentation portion of the session will be recorded and distributed so users can continue their testing post-session. UAT activities will end on March 15, 2024.

To prepare for UAT, we ask that colleges please send a list of EMPLIDs of staff who plan to participate in testing by February 29, 2024. The college users participating in this UAT should include users who work with transcripts on a regular basis (users should have at least one of the following roles in the production environment: ZZ SR Transcript Processing or ZZ SR View Transcripts). Note: participating users should understand how to generate and read transcripts as this session will not contain training on this functionality.

It is ideal if at least one participating user per college has the following roles in order to access queries created to assist in this testing: ZD_DS_QRY_CAMPUS_COMMUNITY and ZD_DS_QRY_STUDENT_RECORDS. However, SBCTC is available to assist in running the queries if needed. Please email this list of EMPLIDs to cstein@sbctc.edu and be sure not to include any personally identifiable information (the list of EMPLIDs is just fine!). This will help us ensure user access is setup before UAT begins.

Please feel free to reach out to Caitlin Stein if you have any questions or concerns.

OAAP Search/Match Enhancement: User Acceptance Testing

Colleges are invited to participate in an upcoming Online Admissions Application Portal (OAAP) user acceptance testing (UAT) activity

During UAT, users will review the upcoming OAAP Search/Match enhancement and testing functionality to confirm these changes are working as intended before being implemented in production.

SBCTC distributed a supporting testing guidance document to the ctclink CS Support, Registrar, and OAAP lists with the changes users will be testing. 

Guided UAT Sessions

SBCTC will host two guided UAT sessions to allow users to get hands-on experience with the system changes. UAT will occur within these sessions and colleges are not expected to test outside of the session.

  • OAAP Search/Match Enhancement UAT Session 1: Tuesday, March 5, 2024, 1-3 p.m., Join Session
  • OAAP Search/Match Enhancement UAT Session 2: Wednesday, March 6, 2024, 1-3 p.m., Join Session

Tester EMPLIDs Required by Feb. 27

To prepare for UAT, each college was asked to email to Caitlin Stein a list of EMPLIDs of staff who plan to participate in testing by Feb. 27, 2024. If you have not, please reach out as soon as possible.

Be sure not to include any personally identifiable information; the list of EMPLIDs is just fine. This will help us ensure user access is set up before UAT begins.

College users participating in this UAT should include users who are current OAAP College Admins and can view SSNs and DOB in ctcLink. Users should have PRIMARY CTC_MASK_NONE permission list and a role of CTC_PT_MASK_NONE in the production environment.

Users who do not send their EMPLID by the deadline will not have the access necessary to participate in testing.

Tester Preparation Required

Each tester must come prepared with three or four real and unique email addresses to use when submitting an OAAP application. All testers will need to log into these email accounts during the session. The data created during testing activities within the PQA test environment will be deleted during the next PQA refresh scheduled for Tuesday, April 9.

CS Core Learning Opportunities

CS Core Training

CS Core Trainings are held on the third Wednesday of every month from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. The dates may change, and notifications will be sent in advance. The CS Core trainings alternate between refreshers and different process approaches. All end-users are welcome to attend these trainings, and you can find details about upcoming meetings on the SBCTC Calendar, CS Core Weeklyish CORErespondence, and CS Core listserv. Please visit the QRG Campus Solutions Learning OpportunitiesRecordings for a list of previous recordings.

CS Core Training: Term Withdrawals

Wednesday, March 20, 2024, 8:30 – 10 a.m. Read more and join the session

Colleges must adhere to the Term Withdrawal process, which facilitates accurate recording of student withdrawals and ensures reporting requirements are met.
 
After the census date passes, every college must complete the Term Withdrawal process. This process involves recording the dates students drop all classes, resulting in zero units. The information will be reported to the National Student Clearinghouse and the financial aid office.

NOTE: This process applies to students withdrawing from all classes in a term. It does not include those who withdraw from only a portion of their classes.

Contact Tanjagay Martin, SBCTC Functional CS Core Trainer, with questions.

CS Core Work Sessions

Campus Solutions (CS) Core Work Sessions, open to ALL end users, 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.

Find details on the SBCTC Calendar and in the CS Core Weeklyish COREspondence (sent on Fridays to the CSSupport listserv).

Core Sessions: College System & SBCTC Calendar

A Broad Overview of 3C Communications

Thursday, March 7, 2024,  1-3 p.m., Learn more and join the session

3Cs is an extensive area that includes Communications, Checklists, and Comments. In this session, we will focus on communications and provide a very broad overview of what is involved and how the parts fit together.  Marissa Baker, SBCTC, will go over the steps required for setup and how to generate and send a communication.  While SF and FA staff are more than welcome to attend, this session will be targeted toward CS Core staff and will not go over any SF/FA module-specific guidance or requirements.

Game, Set, MATCH!  Understanding Search/Match

Thursday, May 2, 2024, 1-3 pm., Learn more and join the session

Module/s: Student Admissions, PeopleTools

Primary Audience: Admissions

References: Searching for Records (Using Search/Match)

One of the biggest differences between ctcLink and Legacy is that there is only ONE Person Record, and that one record is shared between pillars and between institutions.  Colleges rely on each other to protect, and respect, data integrity.  You know that running Search/Match will help prevent duplicates.  Want to know more about why and how?  This session will explore how Search/Match Rules work, give you insights into our current configuration, and share strategies for avoiding duplicates. 

CS COREterly Open Q&A Sessions Announced

CS Core invites you to attend its quarterly Open Q&A sessions!  While these sessions are for learning and problem-solving, we want to emphasize that these are also part of our efforts to support community building. 

 With these sessions, we want to provide an opportunity for college users to:

  • Get assistance with any functionality they want to better understand or situation they are struggling to make work.
  • Seek advice on anything they are trying to solve.
  • Share best practices and lessons learned.
  • Develop networks and build community.

To support the varied work areas of our users, each session will have a breakout room for each of the following modules: 

  • Records & Enrollment, which includes Student Program/Plan, Term Activation, Enrollment Appointments, Enrollment, Transfer-In Credit, Transcripts, Graduation and so on.
  • Campus Community, which includes 3Cs, BioDemo, Service Indicators and so on.
  • Curriculum Management, which includes class building, course catalog management, enrollment requirements and so on

Along with your colleagues who can share their real-life experiences and the solutions they have employed; CS Core team experts will be present in each room.  We encourage you to submit your questions before the session (but doing so isn’t required).  Enter your questions on the CS COREterly Question Submissions tab. Knowing your questions ahead of time just helps us to be prepared and allows us to help as many people as possible. 

We hope you’ll join us even if you don’t have specific questions!  We look forward to connecting with you and for you to connect with each other.

The Lifecycle of a Transcript

Thursday, April 4, 2024, 1-3 p.m., Learn more and join the session

Module/s: Records & Enrollment, Student Admissions

Primary Audience: Credential Evaluators

Related QRGs: Transfer Credit Chapter

From send to post, we’ll overview the electronic journey a transcript takes from both the Legacy Transcript Tool and ctcLink.  Some of those with a final destination of UW, WSU, CWU, EWU or WWU and we’ll talk about how they get there.  For the rest, those whose destination IS ctcLink, we’ll cover that as well as what credential evaluators need to know and some of the more common gotchas, tips and tricks. 

Stacking the Deck: Student Program/Plans

Based on college feedback, this year we are creating more spaces for sharing lived experience.   I’m looking for a couple of colleges to join the party. Before you tell me you can’t because you’re still working things out, that’s fine! We just need folks willing to share what they are doing and how it’s going. If you’re up for it, please contact Michelle Kuwasaki.

Thursday, June 6, 2024, 1-3 p.m., Learn more and join the session

Module/s: Records and Enrollment

Primary Audience: Admissions, Student Records

Related QRGs: Student Program and Information Chapter

Because the impact of the Student Program/Plan is wide, it is important to get them right!  We’ll warm up with a quick review of the building blocks involved:  effective-dating, adding rows, action reasons, and attributes.  Then, make connections with term activation, tuition calculation, FA, the AAR and the transcript. Of course, we need to save time for common conundrums like when to start a NEW stack vs adding a change row not to mention everyone’s favorite, those certificates earned “along the way.” 

Student Program/Plans also matter to QARS and NSC Reporting.  We will cover general best practices for ensuring data accuracy which also conveniently reduces NSC and QARS errors.  And we’ll close by strongly advocating for various maintenance activities such as keeping term activation tidy and minimizing the number of open Student Program/Plans.

FIN Learning Opportunities

FIN Training

ctcLink Accounting Team: Grants Training and Prep for One Washington

Thursday, Feb. 29, 10 a.m., Learn more and join session

Join Lori Carambot and Michele Rockwell for grants training and prep for One Washington

FIN Work Sessions

Monthly Student Finance/General Ledger Open Forum

Every second Wednesday, 2 to 3 p.m. The next ctcLink Accounting Team: SF/GL Open Forum Meeting will be March 7.

The ctcLink accounting team invites you to bring your questions (and solutions) to share during this open forum meeting space for all things Student Finance/General Ledger (SF/GL) related. There is no formal agenda as we welcome all questions about everything from item types and second journal sets to waivers, queries, or internal cash reconciliation.

See the SBCTC meetings and events calendar and look for ctcLink Accounting Team: SF/GL Open Forum Meeting.

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.

Partnering through the Challenges

Colleges, SBCTC leaders, and external agencies are partnering to meet the unprecedented FAFSA Simplification challenge.

Statewide work group

A statewide FAFSA Simplification Workgroup comprised of college financial aid and student services leaders is convening regularly to focus efforts as a college system. The purpose of the statewide group is to address systemwide priorities and needs so colleges have the tools needed to work through this financial aid application season proactively and with encouragement.

Members include Chantel Fields, Bellingham Tech; Michele Waltz, Bellingham Tech; Deann Holliday, Cascadia; Robert Cox, Centralia; Teresa Robinson-Duane, Seattle Colleges; Melanie Ruiz, Shoreline; Claire Peinado, Skagit Valley; James Flowers, Tacoma; Karl Smith, Tacoma; with SBCTC representatives, Lauren Hibbs, Yokiko Hayashi-Saguil, Dani Bundy, and Ana Ybarra.

Some of the issues and activities the group is working on include:

  • Developing a position paper to help presidents and trustees understand the issues, risks, and opportunities colleges are facing with the FAFSA simplification delays
  • How to best support mixed residency status families
  • Setting expectations with high school counselors and managing expectations for when families might receive aid award amounts
  • Acknowledging the extra impact on high school seniors. The class of 2024 were eighth graders in spring 2020 when the pandemic hit, beginning their freshman year fall 2020 during remote learning, with some degree of instability ever since.
  • Changing ED deadlines from April 1 to May 1
  • Aligning state and federal aid

Cross-agency collaboration

Additionally, SBCTC is engaging with external stakeholders and partners at the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC), the Council of Presidents, and the Independent Colleges of Washington to ensure all sectors of higher education are working together on common and individual sector-based priorities and needs. Their efforts will help coordinate messaging and support for students, families, and institutions.

FAFSA Go-Live Support Sessions

The ctcLink Financial Aid Support team is already rolling up its sleeves to plan and deliver FA support sessions for the colleges. Much like during the ctcLink deployment go-lives, these sessions will allow colleges to drop in for one-on-one and group support running financial aid processes, awarding aid, and cheering each other on.

The team is hopeful that once they crack into the test environment and see the scope of work, we will meet the goal to turn everything around in time to deploy the second week of May.

The following dates are being tentatively set aside for open Webex time post-PeopleSoft Release Patchset (PRP) deployment:

  • Tuesday, May 21: summer header colleges
  • Wednesday, May 22: summer header colleges
  • Thursday, May 23: summer header colleges (if needed)
  • Tuesday, May 28: trailer colleges
  • Wednesday, May 29: trailer colleges
  • Thursday May 30: trailer colleges (if needed)

Disclaimer in the spirit of repeated delays: Dates are subject to shift if the Department of Education delays further in sending ISIRs or Oracle again moves dates for PRPs with the bug fixes we’re waiting on.

Important Need-to-Know Updates

This information was adapted from the FA Weeklyish Bulletin sent to the ctcLink Financial Aid Support eList on Feb. 16, 2024.

Too many acronyms? See Financial Aid Jargon Junction below.

Financial Aid Directors (DPAs)

Colleges’ FTI-SAIG Enrollment Agreements were due Feb. 23, 2024. Schools that fail to sign the updated SAIG enrollment agreement will not be able to access 2024–25 ISIRs.

Start here: Updated SAIG Enrollment Agreement Available Oct. 23, 2023 – Required Steps to Receive 2024–25 ISIRs (Updated Feb. 9, 2024) | Knowledge Center

Sharing FTI

SBCTC has worked with our Assistant Attorney General (AAG) in addressing the data usage and sharing policies. The SBCTC agency and FA Support are good to continue working with our FA community when accessing FTI data — business as usual — according to discussions between the agency and our AAG.

 In addition, SBCTC collectively has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which affords FA Support the ability to handle highly sensitive information, including FTI.

Please direct any concerns on FTI-DDX and FA Support’s ability to continue to work on behalf of our FA community to Grant Rodeheaver.

FTI Resources & Setup Information from FSA Partners

FTI and Data Privacy

All the colleges and SBCTC are party to the ctcLink Data Usage and Privacy Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and policies established in 2021 in partnership with the Assistant Attorney General (AAG).

SBCTC is the system administrator of the tool used to process and award financial aid for our system of colleges. However, SBCTC does not retrieve, access, nor share FTI data outside of its role in supporting the colleges with the system.

FTI is considered highly sensitive data and requires special handling (OCIO Category 4). This means FTI data is locked down and should only be accessed by authorized staff to award financial aid data to students. FTI data is not included in the Data Warehouse.

The AAG assured SBCTC that, in its role as the system administrator housing FTI on behalf of the colleges, SBCTC can access data to support and administer the college financial aid systems. SBCTC is the system administrator, so we already have the FTI. As we read the rules, we can’t share the data with WSAC as it is deemed a different type of entity than SBCTC.

In the past, our colleges have submitted FTI-type information to WSAC via reporting tools and student financial aid Unit Record Reports (URR) for state aid award processing. 

It’s an evolving landscape, but as of today, with the new FAFSA, WSAC will not be able to conduct “business as usual” with the colleges and universities it serves. As the Washington state aid administrator, WSAC has been seeking clarification of allowable activities from the ED for the last four months.

Financial Aid Jargon Junction

Federal Tax Information (FTI) & Direct Data Exchange (DDX)

The FUTURE Act amends the Internal Revenue Code to authorize Federal Student Aid (FSA) to receive individuals’ Federal Tax Information (FTI) directly from the IRS. Because the FUTURE Act enables a Direct Data Exchange between IRS and ED/FSA going forward, such information will come directly from IRS rather than from students and families, and will therefore constitute IRS data, protected by the more stringent confidentiality and nondisclosure provisions of the IRC.

Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG)

Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) allows authorized entities, including postsecondary educational institutions and institutional third-party servicers to exchange data electronically with the U.S. Department of Education (ED). To participate in the SAIG, each entity must enroll for SAIG access. The enrollment process enables the organization to select services to receive, submit, view, and/or update student financial aid data online and by batch using ED software.

Primary Destination Point Administrator (DPA)

Each entity must designate one individual as its Primary Destination Point Administrator (Primary DPA). Each entity is provided with a Primary Destination Point (which is identified by a TG Number/Mailbox). The Primary DPA is the only person within the organization who can enroll other staff as Non-Primary Destination Point Administrators (Non-Primary DPAs) with Destination Points assigned for specific SAIG services. Upon completing the enrollment process, the Primary DPA can add or remove users, edit information about the entity, or change the entity’s enrollment in various SAIG services.

Aid Year Rollover (AYRO) Activities Winding Down

All colleges are expected to complete AYRO Part 1 on their own. All the detailed documentation and “how to” is included in your meeting invite for AYRO. Should you have any questions while completing AYRO Part 1, please submit a ticket under ctcLink Support > Financial Aid > FA AYRO.

With FAFSA Simplification work, Image testing, and other priority tickets, response times may be slower. The goal is for each college to complete AYRO Part 1 before attending the AYRO Part 2 Work Session. Please be sure to submit tickets related to AYRO Part 1 no later than one week before your scheduled AYRO Part 2 Work Session.

Aid Year Rollover Financial Aid Support Sessions

All colleges' schedules are listed at the SBCTC meetings and events calendar.

DATE TIME EVENT
Mar 13 8:30am Fin Aid Support Session: Aid Year Rollover - Day 1 (Bates Tech, Columbia Basin, Yakima Valley)
Mar 14 8:30am Fin Aid Support Session: Aid Year Rollover - Day 2 (Bates Tech, Columbia Basin, Yakima Valley)

FA Learning Opportunities

Financial Aid Training

ISIR Processing Refresher (2023/24 Only)

Tuesday, March 12, 2024, 9–10:30 a.m., Learn more and join session

Audience:  Financial Aid Staff responsible for loading ISIRs into ctcLink

Although this training is for 23/24 FA, it provides foundational FA skills and grounding in knowledge which will be helpful to reinforce concepts for 24/25 processes when that time comes.

Objectives: 

  • Understand how to set/update User Defaults for the new AY
  • Understand the steps in ISIR Processing
  • Upload/download process
  • FA Inbound
  • Process Imported ISIRs
  • Understand how to load ISIRs using the File List Driven process and the Single File process
ISIR Corrections Fundamentals (2023/24 Only)

Tuesday, March 26, 2024, 9–10:30 a.m., Learn more and join session

Audience:  Fin Aid Staff responsible for performing file review and correcting ISIRs ctcLink

Although this training is for 23/24 FA, it provides foundational FA skills and grounding in knowledge which will be helpful to reinforce concepts for 24/25 processes when that time comes.

Objectives: 

  • Understand how to make ISIR Corrections on specific scenarios
  • Making Corrections on an Alien Registration Number
  • Processing Dependency Override/Homeless Youth Determinations
  • Processing Special Conditions/Circumstances/EFC Adjustment Request
  • Understand how to Process ISIR Corrections in ctcLink using the following steps:
  • Process ISIR Corrections
  • Create Federal Data File
  • Upload/Download File Process

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.

IPEDS HR Collection Cycle

 The ctcLink HCM IPEDS Reporting Procedures Manual has been updated to include information regarding the new preliminary process described below. 

To provide a tool to help with the review and corrections of HCM data in preparation for the annual submission of the IPEDS HR Survey, SBCTC will do a preliminary upload of your HR data on March 6, 2024. 

This will allow you to review your data and identify any IPEDS flagged errors, allowing you to modify your HCM data in ctcLink earlier in your data review/cleanup process prior to the “Final Upload” on March 20, 2024.

Any changes made in HCM will be reflected immediately in the QARS HCM IPEDS Prelim Reports.

The Preliminary HR data uploaded on March 6 and any changes made directly in the IPEDS HR survey screens will not be retained. It will be overwritten with the Final HR data uploaded on March 20.  The preliminary upload provides more time to correct data in HCM.

Caution: While it is possible for colleges to modify their Final HR data in the IPEDS screens after it has been uploaded on March 20, it is not recommended.  If you need to make changes in IPEDS, keep in mind the data available to you in the QARS HCM IPEDS Final Reports is limited to the values as uploaded on March 20 and will not reflect changes made via IPEDS screens.

If you have any questions, please contact dataservices@sbctc.edu.

HCM Learning Opportunities

HCM Work Session 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.

Retirement Fields

Wednesday, March 13, 1 p.m. Learn more and join session

Join your fellow benefits Administrators to learn more about Retirement Fields.

Additional Pay

Wednesday, March 27, 1 p.m., Learn more and join session

This session is geared toward Payroll Administrators and HR Administrators.

SF Learning Opportunities

SF Training

Course/Class Fee Update - Instruction Mode

Tuesday, March 12, 2024, 11 a.m. Learn more and join session

Please join the SBCTC Student Financials Team for crucial insights into the steps required to update class and course fees due to the recent ctcLink Instruction Mode enhancement.

Third-Party Reconciliation Tips

Monday, March 18, 2024, 9 a.m. Learn more and join session

Please join the SBCTC Student Financials Team to learn about:

  • Payment Processing Tips
  • Cleaning up Third-Party Accounts
  • Payments
  • Credits
  • Maintaining internal tracking sheet

CNED Coding Manual and FTE Exceptions coding change, effective March 1, 2024

A new Continuing Education Coding Manual is now available at the SBCTC website.  The information in this new manual mirrors the broader Student Coding Manual yet focused on Continuing Education related coding areas to provide an easier way for staff to determine what coding is applicable in the CNED career. 

In addition, new FTE Exceptions will be implemented starting March 1, 2024 to specifically address data quality issues within the ctcLink CNED Career and in alignment to the SBCTC Policy Manual.

  1. Credit Bearing classes
    • Credit bearing classes must be run within the UGRD Career (which includes all transfer, basic skills, and other course types)
  2. Invalid Grading Basis
    • Grading of credit bearing classes must be done within the UGRD Career
  3. Course Catalog Numbers falling within college-level range
    • Catalog Numbers 100 thru 499 are reserved for college-level instruction and must not be used on CNED courses.

Each of these new exceptions is described in the ctcLink Student FTE Calculation Overview as well as the new CNED Coding Manual.

Please reach out to Carmen McKenzie if you have any questions or concerns.

PCD Refresh and Your Queries: Get Ready!

The PCD (Production College Development) environment will be refreshed from PRD on Monday, March 4, 2024. Beginning Friday, March 1, at noon, PCD will not be available for query development until after the PCD is refreshed.

What you need to do

Make sure any PCD queries you want to keep begin with the prefix DEV_ unless you have submitted a ticket requesting backup of queries that will be used for BI Publisher, Pivot Grid, or nVision reports.

Standard Queries

Any queries in PCD that do not begin with DEV_ will be deleted.

  • This applies to all standard Public and Private queries. SBCTC will perform a query backup for in-progress queries (private and public) that meet the DEV_ naming convention. 
  • This backup will NOT be done by folder.  This means if a query is in the DEVELOPMENT folder but doesn’t begin with DEV_ it will be overwritten and lost. 
BI Publisher, Pivot Grid, and nVision Queries

Any query used in a BI Publisher, Pivot Grid, or nVision report DOES NOT have to follow the DEV_ protocol as it is very time-consuming to change them back when they are ready to migrate.

Instead, please submit a Service Desk ticket under Data Services – Reporting – Other with the title “PCD Refresh Backup Request.”  Provide the name of the query being developed for use in one of the advanced reporting tools in the request.  These queries will be individually backed up on an as-needed basis.

What to expect

  • The queries in the backup will be imported back to PCD after the refresh is complete and a notice is received from Application Services.
  • Data Services will send a message to you once our work is complete.
  • Please do not log back into PCD after Friday, March 1, at noon but wait until you receive a notification from Data Services.
  • Queries that do not follow these naming conventions will be lost

Naming convention for queries

  • Being developed in PCD: MUST begin with the prefix DEV_
  • Used for training in PCD: MUST begin with QXX_TRAIN
  • Being developed for use in BI Publisher, Pivot Grid, or nVision reports in PCD: MUST begin with the appropriate convention based on the reporting tool being used. Do not follow the DEV_ convention. Request must be sent to Data Services via Service Desk ticket.

Why you need to do it

Queries that do not follow this convention will not be backed up and will be lost.

Contact Emily Mullins, Reporting and BI Solutions Analyst for ctcLink, if you have any questions.

ctcLink Accessibility Monthly Open Forum

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, March 12, 2024, at 11 a.m. All are welcome to attend via Zoom.

In case you missed a meeting, please see materials from past Open Forums,

 

Last Modified: 3/5/24, 5:02 PM
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