IT replaces TESS and ARTIE with SA

Information Technology (IT) is in the process of creating and implementing a new Student Administration (SA) System that will replace TESS for students and ARTIE for faculty members by Fall 2009.

The new system will have specific components that students have complained TESS lacks. SA will have a back button, for example, and will be accessible 24 hours a day.

It will also have academic advising online, such as a program that will allow students to see what classes they would have to take if they changed their major.

“It has really nice functionality,” Nicole Parkman, project manager of PeopleSoft, the vendor of the new system, said. “It’s what the students are most asking for.”

SA is made up of five different modules: Student Records, Campus Community, Admissions, Academic Advisement and Student Financials and Financial Aid. The Admissions module is the only one of the five that is currently active.

“We have already gone ‘live’ with the Admissions component of this new system,” Nadine Stern, vice president of IT, said.

The Admissions module, which went live in two parts, for prospective students in April 2006 and for applicants and accepted students in October 2006, is being used to track prospective students, plan events for them and send them the correct mailings, Parkman said.

Accepted students can also go online and use the Admissions module to accept enrollment.

A small part of the student records module is also live, and faculty members have been using this to schedule their classes. Although the classes are being planned and scheduled in the new system, at this point students are still registering in the old system, TESS.

Enrollment and academic advisement will eventually be built into the student records module.

The original plan was to have all the modules go live together except for a delay of Student Financials and Financial Aid, Parkman said. But at a board meeting for the project on Tuesday, the decision was made to have all the remaining modules go live at the same time, for Fall 2009.

Parkman said the board decided it did not make sense to enroll in SA but then pay a bill in TESS.

“Why don’t we just have it all come live together?” she said. “It was a really good meeting and a really good decision.”

Stern said the new system began to be implemented in 2004, but faced setbacks because of budget cuts and had to restart.

Some changes were even made before 2004. “Since 1999 we have converted our other administrative systems which support our financial system and Human Resource system to PeopleSoft as well. These systems are live and successful,” Stern said.

Parkman said in the time before SA is implemented, focus groups will be held asking students what they do not like about TESS and what could be done better in a new system.

When the new system is implemented, Parkman said there will be a lot of Web-based help available for students trying to navigate the new system.

Parkman said advertising will start as the implementation date gets closer.

“You’ll start seeing it all over campus,” she said.