ngsis projects 2012–2015

In March 2012, senior administrators at the University of Toronto approved a multi-year plan to transition to the new services and applications proposed under NGSIS.

The existing strategy included a mix of short term improvements to existing services and long-term projects requiring significant resources to redevelop core components of ROSI. This strategy gave our team the flexibility to introduce and refine systems for both students and staff as new resources and tools became available. In the third year of the plan, several large scale changes to core components were introduced, including the introduction of ACORN, a new system to reconcile student accounts and back-end changes to ROSI.

Year 1 (2012–13)

In year one of NGSIS, we emphasized short-term service improvements for students and staff that addressed a number of longstanding issues. More than 20 short-term projects impacting students and staff in a variety of areas including Student Life, Student Accounts, Registration and Recruitment were selected and implemented. The rapid and successful resolution of these issues generated visibility and credibility for NGSIS over the longer term. We also implemented a new project governance structure to ensure the project’s long-term viability and to ensure stakeholders were appropriately engaged and consulted in all aspects of the NGSIS program.

Goals

  • Establish hybrid system solution strategy for NGSIS
  • Initiate projects to enable large scale system change
  • Deliver value in short term through targeted service improvements
  • Establish project credibility

Student Life

  • MyRes: Implemented new gateway to streamline residence selection process.
  • StarRez: Implemented residence management system for 11 of 13 residences.
  • co-curricular record: Completed vendor selection and began implementation.
  • mobile apps: Released Mega App for students and began work on ROSI secure apps.
  • Varsity Blues Registration System: Provided online registration system for student athletes.
  • University Health Insurance Policy: Streamlined UHIP insurance processes for international students.

 

Registration, Degree Planning & Curricular Activities

  • enrolment planning tools: Linked courses to textbooks for Bookstore. Introduced Course Finder tool for UTM,UTSC, Arts & Science, Applied Science & Engineering.
  • Degree Explorer: Implemented degree planning and verification tool in Arts & Science and UTSC.
  • Transfer credit: Provided prospective students with online access to application.
  • Online calendar system: provided improvements for administrators

 

Student Accounts

  • one stop: Implemented registration/account status page for students; improved invoice and payment screens and online registration cancellation process.
  • administration & reporting: Developed fast entry screens for residence fee/deposit payments by students and month-end reconciliation reports for divisions.

 

Business Intelligence

  • Ontario market share: Showed U of T’s share of applicants.
  • divisional admissions dashboard: Provided executive view of U of T admissions statistics.
  • divisional admissions reporting: Provided detailed view of U of T admissions statistics.
  • course enrolment planning: Provided divisional view of course enrolment statistics.

 

Year 2 (2013–14)

In year two, our team maintained focus on short-term service improvements and began to shift resources to larger projects that would bring about significant underlying system changes. Specifically, we evaluated options to replace or enhance components of the student accounts system, and we defined the software architecture to replace the student-facing side of ROSI—the Student Web Service, or SWS. We also optimized and leveraged key NGSIS applications, including Degree Explorer, eMarks and Transfer Explorer.

Goals

  • Begin development of large-scale change projects: Enrolment, Curriculum Management (CM), Student Financial Services, and new Student Web Service
  • Continue to deliver value in short term through a number of targeted service improvements
  • Continue to implement technical framework to replace ROSI

Student Life

  • transcript request: Made it easier for students to navigate and submit their transcript request.
  • StarRez: Built automated financial interface for residence fees from StarRez to ROSI.
  • safety abroad database: Built live ROSI interface to capture changes in student contact information.
  • mobile apps: Developed secure apps using ROSI information to view timetable, grades, etc.
  • campus maps: Extended online map to UTM and UTSC.

 

Registration, Degree Planning & Curricular Activities

  • personalized exam schedule: Built a facility to provide students with a personalized view of enrolled courses and exam schedules.
  • course finder: Enhanced application to provide timetable information and build foundation for full online calendar.
  • degree explorer: Extended application to UTM and Applied Science & Engineering. Added features for Arts & Science, UTSC, UTM and Applied Science & Engineering.

 

Student Accounts

  • one stop: Improved registration cancellation process and posted additional information on status page. Improved invoice and payment screens and integrated into a new SWS design.
  • awards & scholarships: Added an Awards and Scholarships tab on SWS. Implemented several reports to assist students with viewing financial award information.

 

Business Intelligence

  • program enrolment data cube: Developed analytical cubes and reports on multi-year Program of Study enrolment information.
  • student performance data cube: Developed analytical cubes and reports on student academic performance, trends and patterns

 

Year 3 (2014-15)

In Year 3, our focused shifted to long-term service improvements: the ACORN student web service that will replace the SWS and SAP Student Accounts. Both projects significantly streamlined business operations for students and staff.

Goals

  • Begin development of large scale projects: Enrolment/CM, Student Financial Services, new Student Web Service
  • Continue to deliver value in short term through a number of targeted service improvements
  • Implement technical framework to replace ROSI

Student Life

  • transfer explorer: Add International Course opportunities to Transfer Explorer (Transfer Credit) application for students.
  • varsity blues registration system: Extend online registration system for Varsity Blues Athletics to UTM. StarRez: Negotiate university-wide bulk buying agreement with StarRez for additional modules (e.g., room maintenance, key management, etc.).

 

Registration, Degree Planning & Curricular Activities

  • Degree Explorer: Allow Engineering students to indicate future course preferences to enable faculty enrolment planning. Add a report allowing academic advisors to identify students registered in a program of study who are not enrolled in complementary courses.
  • eMarks: Expand and enable for use by SGS and graduate units.

 

Student Accounts

  • Student Awards: Enhance SAP Student Award report for administrators to allow for improved readability, additional selection criteria and drill down to award details.
  • Tuition Fees: Enhance Tuition Fee report for administrators to improve readability and provide capability to receive by email.

 

Business Intelligence

  • financial data cube: Develop a rolling five-year cube on fees charged to students, awards received, and employment money received.
  • student awards data cube: Develop multiyear cube on awards inventory to support analysis on awards processed through student system.
  • co-curricular record data cube: Develop multiyear cube/reports to support strategic reporting needs.

Large Scale Projects (2015)

ACORN: Replace the ROSI Student Web Service website in spring 2015 with ACORN, which will deliver a more convenient, personalized and guided online experience to students. New security features will allow single sign-on to many applications. Enhanced registration services will include a shopping cart to plan course enrolments, preemptive warnings for course prerequisites and timetable conflicts, and improved notification services for upcoming deadlines. Subsequent versions in 2015-16 will provide more information on student finances, such as awards disbursement, and a staff view.

Kuali student: Through a new agreement with KualiCo, a Kuali Foundation commercial affiliate, develop a cloud based version of Curriculum Management (CM) that will become the single source of course and program information in the student system. The solution will be piloted in 2015 as part of an ecosystem of products to better support course and program management. Several complementary applications will be developed concurrently to leverage the content of KualiCo CM, including an online calendar allowing divisions to publish and manage calendar content, and a new reporting tool enabling course and program impact analysis. The design of all aspects of the CM ecosystem will be refined with stakeholders over 2015.

Student accounts: Implement SAP Student Accounts in summer 2015 to provide detailed and timely student accounting information for financial administrators. The new solution will provide a complete, detailed record of all ROSI financial transactions within the University’s financial system. New tools and reports will be delivered as part of this project, enabling Financial Services staff to fully reconcile individual student accounts. A number of large business processes will be moved from ROSI into the new SAP financial system, including payment and refund processes. This project will be the first step in implementing a more robust student accounts system that will streamline many cumbersome manual administrative processes.