New administration system improves services for students
The new student administrative system launched last week is a major milestone in improving the way we administer services to students at Queen’s – from admission to graduation.
“Our first launch in October was limited to admission and parts of financial aid, and two smaller modules were launched in February. But with last week’s launch of the new Student On Line University System (SOLUS) and associated administrative processes, we now have a sophisticated system that will positively impact Queen’s and Queen’s students for decades to come,” says university registrar Jo-Anne Brady.
Teams from the Office of the University Registrar (OUR), Information Technology Services (ITS), and Queen’s University Administrative Systems Replacement (QUASR) project have been working together for two and a half years to replace the university’s aging mainframe student system with an online PeopleSoft system. PeopleSoft’s strength in supporting the student component contributed to the decision that it was the best choice for the university’s standard in administrative systems.
“The new system allows us to continue moving towards making the best use of human and financial resources in supporting the learning experience for our students,” says provost and vice-principal (academic) Bob Silverman.
The OUR and faculties and schools across campus recognized the importance of this initiative and committed time and people to the project, enabling it to be delivered on time and within scope. Staff members from faculty offices and departments participated in extensive testing with OUR office staff to ensure the information was accurately transferred from the legacy system and the new system was up and running on March 9.
“Different parts will come into play as we move through the academic cycle, so this is really the beginning of learning to use it,” says Ms Brady. “We realize that everyone will face a steep learning curve as we navigate new structures and processes and we expect some challenges, but we have a support network in place and help is available through our office”.
In addition to the significant investment of resources for developing and testing the system and its training components, over 400 users across the university have completed training with a clear focus to accomplishing this milestone implementation. Ongoing training is available to help the community use the sophisticated new system.
“Implementing the student system is by far the most significant milestone, representing nearly fifty per cent of the three year project to replace the university’s administrative systems,” says Dr. Silverman. “Its success reflects the high level of engagement from the team in the registrar’s office, the QUASR team and consultants, and dedicated support staff deployed from faculty offices and departments, including ITS.”
The new PeopleSoft student administrative system brings Queen’s business practices in line with those used at leading universities. It enables information to be integrated across units and departments so staff and faculty can compare, compile and exchange more information with less effort and track information not previously gathered. The web-based system also provides access anytime, anywhere for both administrators and students.