February 12, 2008 – On March 3, the University of Virginia will begin phasing in its new student information system, which will replace the current ISIS system. Eventually, the system will manage all student-related administrative processes at the University, including those involved with admission, academics and student finance.
“The Student System Project team is working very hard to develop a new system that not only will replace ISIS, but provide even greater functionality,” said Susan Barr, director of the Student System Project. “ISIS was created in the early 1990s and has served the University well, but its technology now needs to be replaced with something more flexible and something that can evolve in the future as the University changes and grows.”
The University’s Office of Admission will be the first office to “go live,” as the initial rollout involves the “prospect and recruitment” component of admissions. Individuals will be entered into the new system if they request information about U.Va. or show interest in applying to the school.
"This first deployment establishes the foundation of all subsequent elements of the student system," Barr said. "When information is entered into the system by or on behalf of anyone interested in attending the University, it will create a record that continues to be the one and only record for that person if or when he or she applies to the University, matriculates, registers for classes, deposits tuition, applies for financial aid, graduates and becomes an alumnus."
The rollout of the system, which uses PeopleSoft Campus Solutions software, will parallel activities associated with a high school student’s progress toward enrollment at U.Va. If she wishes to enroll at the University in fall 2009, she will complete a new online application, which will be available in July 2008. At that point, her prospective student record will become an applicant record, and a checklist will be available online to track the receipt of all supplemental documents required for the application process.
In April 2009, she will view her admission decision online through a self-service Web site. If she is accepted and chooses to matriculate, her applicant record will become a student record, and she will be able to deposit tuition electronically.
The financial-aid component of the new system will go live in December 2008, in time for the hypothetical student to apply for aid electronically. Advising and enrollment functionality will be deployed in March 2009, in time for her to attend orientation in the summer and pre-enroll for fall 2009 classes, which will appear in a course catalog/schedule of courses that is part of the student system itself.
Although the rollout of the system will mirror the activities of a new student, all University students will be entered into the new system for the fall 2009 semester. Until that point, both ISIS and the new system will be active. In March 2009, when a returning student enrolls in classes for the fall 2009 semester and faculty advises students for that term, they will use the new system exclusively.
The staff of the Student System Project has worked with administrators, faculty, staff and students to develop a new system that will meet the needs of the University community.
"There are over 400 people that we communicate with regularly about the system," Barr said. "It has been a real University effort, in terms of planning and beginning to think about how it will be set up."
Groups involved in the project included the Integrated System Executive Committee, made up of University vice presidents and two policy review groups — one comprising vice presidents' designees and one comprising deans' designees. The "core advisors" to the Student System group include representatives from each school and selected administrative offices. Faculty advisors provide feedback related to academic support and keep colleagues informed of the project's status. Additionally, the Student System Project has worked with students over the past year to learn which functions of ISIS they use. Further involvement with students is planned as the roll-out progresses.
The Web-based system is designed to be intuitive for students and faculty, who each will be directed to self-service Web sites. However, training for University personnel who work in the system will be offered, including classroom training and demonstrations. Project leaders also are working to ensure strong post-go-live support.
The Student System Project is the third phase of the Integrated System Project, designed to replace obsolete administrative information systems for finance, human resources and student information. All three phases will be complete by October 2009.
The progress of the Student System Project can be followed at www.virginia.edu/integratedsystem/studentSysProj/. To join a mailing list to receive periodic project updates, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.