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UR Student

UR Student Community Forum Recap

Packed House for November 6th, 2019 Community Forum – Ice Cream Social
Packed House for November 6th, 2019 Community Forum – Ice Cream Social

Ice cream, games and prizes provided attendees an opportunity to gather and review project progress, event horizons, and the project implementation’s key concepts. The event offered University Staff members to have a casual project discussion with the UR Student Team and Project Champions. The event was hosted in the heart of the University’s River Campus at the Rush Rhees Library’s Hawkins-Carlson Conference Room and helped participants prepare for when the system is released to the public, this February, and support options available to users.

Program Director, Samantha Singhal’s presentation (link to PPT and video) included the following updates about the roll-out, end-user support options and how to identify the support team on campus by their bright yellow UR Student polo’s and name badges. Students, Staff, and Faculty will be able to easily identify the UR Student Support team to answer your questions on tasks you will perform in the system such as; viewing teaching schedules and rosters for Instructors and Fall 2020 student registration prep for Administrators and Advisors.

As we roll-out the new system in a phased approach to all users, we discussed the need for patience and persistence as the project and support team rolls out more functionality in the system. What you see when you log on for the first time may change in later months as it will continually be improved upon. Stay informed. Pointed communications will be provided to you detailing new functionality with a way to provide feedback to the team.

Michael Salisbury (Data Warehouse), enjoys interacting with others at the Community Forum
Michael Salisbury (Data Warehouse), enjoys interacting with others at the Community Forum

Here is some of the upcoming functionality in UR Student:

  • In December 2019, schools will be able to manage their Fall 2020 Course Catalog and Course Schedules.
  • Beginning In February 2020, Students will be able to complete onboarding documents, register for Fall 2020 courses and view their completed history of course credits.
  • In February 2020, Faculty will be able to view their Fall 2020 Course schedule and rosters as students register for Fall 2020 classes.
  • Beginning In July 2020, students will have a clear view of the total account balance that is fully-reflective in real-time, the full gamut of financial activities including new and outstanding charges, aid/benefits/awards/waivers/ discounts/disbursements, payment-credits, and refunds.

Beyond UR Student’s Support teams’ bright yellow polos, to best help the community in adoption of the new UR Student system, a number of training classes are running this month for those that manage courses. Other classes will be offered this January for Administrators and Registrars, February 2020 for Advisors and Student Finance in June 2020. As Staff and students begin to use the system in February, the footprint and accessibility of the UR Student Support will substantially increase, which includes an operating space within the Gleason Auditorium at the Rush Rhees Library. The auditorium will be available during daytime hours until the required support response needs subside. Support office hours will not fully be extended into the late evening, so Evening Instructors will be given special appointments for morning priority support, in form of an appointment.

After Ice Cream – Rocky the Yellow Jacket Arrived to Take Photos with Community Forum Participants
After Ice Cream – Rocky the Yellow Jacket Arrived to Take Photos with Community Forum Participants

Near the end of the event, some participants managed to grab a quick selfie with Rocky the Yellow Jacket Mascot.

If you have any questions about this event or how to prepare using UR Student in February, please contact us.

Essential Terms—Academic Level, Period, & Units in UR Student

Audience: Advisors, Faculty Advisors Bursars, Office Staff

A new system always means learning new terminology. Because UR Student will be replacing some longstanding foundational terms used at the University, we’re going to highlight a number of the essentials as we build a repository of approved terms. If you don’t see what you need defined on the UR Student terminology page, just use our Glossary Search (accessible from the left-side navigation).

Where will these terms/data be seen?

During January Demo Days, you may have heard the project’s subject matter experts reference a few of the new terms below while navigating behind the scenes in the system. They can appear as functional terms and data elements within key functional areas that will impact student records.

  • Academic Level (e.g. Undergraduate)
  • Academic Period (e.g. Fall 2020)
  • Academic Unit (e.g. school, college)
  • Degree Level (e.g. Bachelor’s, Master’s)

Advisors and others involved with helping students will see Academic Level, Academic Period and Academic Unit (AU) referenced from UR Student’s Academic Advisor Dashboard (i.e. My Advisees). This advisor gateway associated with student profiles will offer data reporting, such as in the examples below.

Registrars may see these terms in other key areas when searching for course information using the Find Course Definition screen below, as shown in our December Demo Days.

Stay ahead of the curve
As new terms become available, we’ll be posting about them on UR Student News. Our next infographic will feature Course Section Reference and how this new ID format will affect grading, registration, and communicating with students.

UR Student's Next Steps

What’s next now that we are moving along on our new timeline? With registrars slated to maintain course information in UR Student at the October go-live, logical next steps involve completing the system's configuration, "end-to-end" and “day-in-the-life” testing preparations. We’re also taking advantage of this time to develop our multi-solution training approach and additional community-readiness activities for each go-live date across the University.

Targeted Activities
The project director and change management team kicked off the newly appointed “Project Champions” discussing the Champion role, tasks and approach to manage the change within each school. Session agendas include attending workshops that explain UR Student’s design (7 in total), readiness discussions for identified impacts to business operations and brainstorming ideas to address processes that require significant modification. Final school-specific learnings from our Champions will inform UR Student’s training approach.

Role-Based Solutions
Based on the end-user’s role (e.g. advisor, registrar), training in the new system will incorporate the results of business-process interviews being conducted for high-impact procedures. To get a feel for UR Student, we’ll be offering guided hands-on sessions starting this summer with opportunities for faculty in the fall and Bursars in the spring. Later in the year, formal training begins that will prepare targeted users for each go live scheduled. In-person training events will begin prior to go live for the appropriate audiences with self-paced materials (quick videos and reference cards) for Faculty and students in early spring 2020 (below image). Awareness presentations, concept and bridge documentation plus training pre-requisites will be developed that provide insight into the design and fundamental changes introduced by UR Student.

UR Student Training Timeline
UR Student Training Timeline

Some of the support and materials we will be constructing to give a better understanding of technical and process impacts include:

  • Instructor-led training classes for complex processes
  • Quick reference videos for a short procedural demos
  • Quick reference cards as a reference
  • Foundational documentation to help explain new concepts in context to the new system (Academic Unit structures, Academic Records, Programs of Study, Cohorts, Courses)
  • Bridge documents to connecting the dots from current data elements to the new structure (Tuition code, Raw code, time status / load status)

Flexible Change
Encompassing school readiness, community engagement, training and more, UR Student’s change-management strategies will help us get to the finish line with valuable competencies. Because UR Student will serve as a foundation to grow and develop for years to come, we know it will changing as new functionality becomes available.

Continued Work
The project has wrapped up the in-person presentations on the revised project timeline and cutover approach to University community. We will be reconvening our community roadshows this summer to provide another update on the completed work and changes coming. Further work continues such as:

  • Gathering school-specific change impacts with appointed Champions will continue through the summer and develop readiness plans with each school
  • Complete configuration and prototype of the system and prepare for End to End testing this June
  • Develop post go-live support model
  • Publish training plan and communicate process

Stay in Touch with UR Student News!
We’ll give you the latest details on upcoming events, need-to-know functionality changes and other project impacts. Go to UR Student News now to subscribe to our web updates.

Roadshow Recap

Some conversations are best done in person. To build awareness of UR Student’s new timeline, project leaders have been back on the road sharing all the details with the community. They started with Leadership and external team members (SIGS) to foster a dialogue, then continued with Warner Dean’s Cabinet members, AS&E Graduate Coordinators, RCAG, the Registrars group and others.

Additional roadshows will be scheduled for this summer as the team wraps up the configuration of the system and begins testing. These roadshows kick off a university-wide engagement campaign to prepare the community for the phased cutover approach for go live.

Community Engagement Opportunities

Hands-on Sessions: scheduled for July & August to help users gain some exposure to the system for Registrars, Administrators and Advisors functions. Guided topics planned include search functions, course structure, select reports, dashboards, and Program of Study structure, etc.

Community Forum: targeted for this November. This informational event will be open to all and provide a project update and guidance on upcoming training, support and overall readiness for our February go-live.

Information Sharing from Special Interest Group (SIGs): These school representatives were nominated to assist as subject matter experts in their respective impact areas (including Financial Aid this year). They provide feedback on the system’s design and participate in business-process testing to confirm system functionality. SIGs also share information within their circle of influence to grow awareness and confidence in the new system’s capabilities.

Champions & Change Agents
Selected from schools, our Project Champions will assist in identifying change impacts in their area and develop readiness plans (e.g. Change-Impact Solutions). Ongoing meetings with each school will give participants the chance to talk about the school-specific changes that must be incorporated into the plan.

Project champions will also lead a change agent network within their school, and be our primary point of contact for coordinating school readiness activities (examples below):
•    Help review and finalize UR Student system role assignments for their academic unit/school
•    Validate training attendees (and participate in this training)
•    Draft DIL testing scenarios
•    Assist in crafting any school-specific communications for specific change items
•    Help develop and execute readiness solutions for high-impact changes

Stay in Touch with UR Student News!
We’ll give you the latest details on upcoming events, need-to-know functionality changes and other project impacts.

UR Student Phased Cutover – The Right Activities at the Right Time

The UR Student project recently adjusted its timeline to handle the volume of work required to support a quality go-live. The project also adopted a phased cutover approach that aligns with the academic calendar and gives the University more time to accommodate change management and school readiness. The project team is currently focused on completing configuration of the system, prototyping new functionality released by Workday to address UR blockers, and completing all the conversions needed to support full system testing

Our Approach to Change Management

The project team is taking a multi-pronged approach to change management:

  • School readiness activities will focus on working with each of the schools to ensure that they are identifying change impacts, developing strategies to mitigate the impact of the change, and tracking progress towards go-live. To assist in this effort, Project Champions will be identified within each school. These Champions will lead the change agent network within the schools and be our primary point of contact for coordinating school readiness activities.
  • Community engagement will continue to include engaging the project’s executive sponsors, facilitate stakeholder discussions with Special Interest Groups, sponsor Community Forums to inform the broader University community, and involve stakeholders in Day-in-the-Life (DIL) testing activities.
  • Communications will continue via the UR Student project website, Demo Days to showcase key aspects of system functionality, project updates via the newsletter, and presentations to stakeholder groups across the University and eventually the post go-live support model.
  • Training plans are being adjusted to accommodate the phase cutover and are being reviewed with stakeholder groups for feedback. Training will include both in-classroom training, videos, and Quick Reference guides.

As always, we appreciate your feedback and support, and remain committed to delivering a modern student administration system that will serve as a foundation to grow and develop for years to come.

Updated Project Timeline and Cutover Approach

Based on the results of a project readiness assessment and feedback from the community, it has been recommended that the University re-plan the project timeline and go live date to appropriately prepare for the changes that UR Student will bring to administrative processes and procedures.

The project team has been working with key stakeholders to vet our cutover approach; the following options were considered:

  1. Go-live in December, 2019 – In order to accurately manage financial activity in the system, charges for Spring 2020 would need to be assessed in UR Student.  The University typically assesses charges for Spring in early November.  Delaying charge assessment would result in payments of ~$45M being deferred; this would significantly impact the University’s cash flow.
  2. Go-live in October, 2019 – To address the financial impact of Option A, the team considered a cutover in October. With this approach, we would need the ability to process adjustments to Fall, 2019 financial activity accurately which required replaying all financial transactions in UR Student post-cutover.  This approach would have posed either a significant risk to Financial Aid and UR Financials or would have resulted in a poor student experience.
  3. Phased Cutover (option chosen) – To mitigate the impact of the above options, the team considered a phased approach, which would roll out system functionality in alignment with the academic calendar (see details below). This approach helps mitigate both project risk and change management impacts.

The cutover would be phased as follows:

October, 2019 – Configure Academic Foundation and Records

  • Registrars will start maintaining course information in UR Student

February, 2020 – Configure Student Records, Advising and Student Finance Functionality

  • All financial activity related to the 2019-20 Financial-Aid year to occur in the legacy SIS
  • Fall 2020 registration (late March / April) to occur in UR Student
  • Discussions still continue regarding where more specific business functions (grading, advising, etc.) should be initiated

July, 2020 – Cutover the Student Balance

  • All continuing Financial Aid activity (for summer) to be managed through the cutover balance
  • Fall 2020 charge assessment to run in early July

The revised project timeline reflects the above cutover approach. We will be resuming our presentations and project updates to the community, and would welcome the opportunity to talk you through our revised cutover approach as well as solicit any feedback you might have.

From a project perspective, the team is focused on these immediate priorities:

  • Completing deliverables for our next project milestone
  • Developing a post go-live support model
  • Developing and publishing a training plan
  • Developing readiness plans with each school

As always, we appreciate your feedback and support, and remain committed to delivering a modern student administration system that will serve as a foundation to grow and develop for years to come. 

Thank you,

UR Student Project Sponsors

 Kathy Blackmon
 Elizabeth Milavec
 Julie Myers
 Nancy Specht

The Future of Academic Planning - Part 2

UR Student puts relevant reports up front in a customizable "My Advisees" dashboard–accessible from an advisor's home landing screen. As mentioned in Part 1 of this series, advisors will be able to take various actions from their dashboard—including direct communication with students. In Part 2, we’ll review scenarios demonstrating some of these actions from January’s Demo Days, including transfer credit, action items, holds and academic plan templates.

Open the Video Playback  |  Open the PowerPoint

[Scenario: Looked at profile for a Mechanical Engineering Major to demonstrate links available to advisors. Note: We can build the requirements for any POS to work in a UR Student template.]

Advisors can add Tasks students can see (e.g. Holds), and compose messages for internal use only (reminder to lift Hold). Also visible internally: advisor role, student cohort membership, type of cohort and student ID photos.

UR Student Screens Demonstrated:

  • Student Profile
  • Student Support Network—advisor and others (e.g. their Plan “approver”)
  • Cohort History (could include others if changes made)
  • Academic History
  • Academic Progress (academic progress = degree audit)—will be able to show primary POS & minor; requirements, remaining or satisfied

Note: UR Student allows for various student rules and policies to account for our different Academic Units (schools or departments), e.g. minimum GPA for a required course; optional to show GPA for graduate students.

Transfer Credit Demo
[Scenario: Showed different places in UR Student that relates to transfer credit information depending on where the student is in the enrollment process and their academic progress.]

  • Transfer Credit Tab--Shows credit information and originating institution
  • External Records Tab—Links to institutions/transcripts
  • Academic History Tab—View, e.g. pre-enrollment period with transfer credit
  • Academic Progress Tab—View articulated credits counting towards requirements
    • Also shows any courses in progress towards satisfying requirements

 Action Items & Holds Demo
[Scenario: Student hasn’t registered; advisor can use the Apply Hold Quick Link (under Manage Advisees on the Dashboard or from related actions icon]

  • In Advisor View: Chose relevant school in the Academic Record—e.g. student could be non-matriculated in a different school than one where the advisor wants to apply a Hold. Note: Not all schools use Advising Holds; those that do may use Mass Apply Holds at certain times (e.g. registration).
  • In Student View: Students have “My Holds” area (Student View was shown for demo purposes only; in the live system an advisor will not be able to see this). Note: Advisor comments are internal only and will not be visible to the student.
  • In Advisor View/Student Profile: Look at Action Items/ Holds; under Hold Details in list, click related actions icon, then on Remove Hold. Advisors will be able to make a note in the system as a reminder.

Academic Planning Template Demo
[Scenario: Create a plan for a Mechanical Engineering Major using template for that POS’ requirements.]

Student's Academic Plan
Student View of Academic Plan Template


Remember, Academic Planning is just a tool—it does not lock in any of the choices shown. Completely flexible, the Academic Planning template is a blank shell that records each instance of what the student saves.

Tip: When looking at new advisees prior to UR Student’s Onboarding process, no classes will show in the Academic History tab. After the Onboarding process, classes will automatically populate under the Plan Tab (also can be done manually).

In Advisor View: Selecting Create Academic Plan will display the Template; it has suggested courses (per requirements) and displays chronologically.

In Student View: View Academic Plan showed that student can edit their plan. Tip: Selecting Update flips display order (from last term forward) to check all Academic Periods.

  • A student will only see the courses eligible for their requirements. If a pre-requisite isn’t met student will not be able to add it.
  • To indicate other interests, student can add additional lines with course alternatives (e.g. electives).

Note: February's Demo Days is canceled due to project re-planning efforts for Student Records, Advising and Student Finance functionality. Check back soon to see our next Demo Days event and agenda.

The Future of Academic Planning - Part 1

At our last Demo Days, faculty, advisors and academic plan approvers saw how to leverage UR Student’s Advising functionality and dynamic dashboard to communicate directly with students via the plan. While this new tool shouldn’t take the place of face-to-face advising, it can make planning conversations easier and more productive.

Open the Video Playback  |  Open the PowerPoint

Academic Plan Features

What's Changing?: Academic Planning Templates
Templates for Academic Planning offer a framework for students and their advisors to follow that map their primary program of study (POS) requirements. Although provided in the system, templates are optional to use; they’re just a convenient way to show students their choices for each period.

Advisors: Can approve, add comments, and send students feedback on their proposed changes before approval. There can be as many advisors attached as needed by using UR Student cohorts.

Students: Can update their academic plan, then ask their advisors for feedback and/or plan approvals by academic period (just one semester) or the entire plan. Also, students can create multiple schedules from a plan forecasting different scenarios. When a schedule is determined, students can register from that plan. A graduate student may want to plan what they think their whole plan will look like while an undergraduate might want to focus on major declaration.

New Feature: Student and Advisor Communicate via Plan
Advisors and advisees are connected through student cohorts; there is no “advisor” field in UR Student. This way a certain number of fields does not limit us and we can assign other roles if the person advising is not approving the plan.

Role Interaction for the Academic Plan Demo

Student View: Showed a Plan Approval request (Note: comment demonstrated is ONLY visible INTERNALLY).

Advisor View: Student’s academic plan appeared in Advisor’s Inbox (on landing page). Advisor can comment on the Plan, and send back (Note: Advisor will be prompted for a reason if comment field is blank).

Student View: Showed the conversation, the reason, etc. Student would select a new course, add comment, and submit. So they are both communicating through the planning process!

Note: This Plan communication shouldn’t replace face-to-face meetings but it does help document where the Plan is in the process.

Advisor View: Showed student’s new choice; approval, removal of Advising Hold.

My Advisees Dashboard Demo
In UR Student, advisors will access their “My Advisees” Dashboard from the icon link on their system landing page. This Dashboard is a collection of actionable reports for all the advisor’s connected students and related information (e.g. GPA, holds, incomplete grades).

UR Student My Advisee Dashboard for Advisors

Stay tuned for part 2 on this exciting series coming on Wednesday noting student screens, transfer credit, action items, holds and academic plan templates demoed.

Note: February's Demo Days is canceled due to project re-planning efforts for Student Records, Advising and Student Finance functionality. Check back soon to see our next Demo Days event and agenda.

Demo Days Playback - CRN Is Going Away

Our last remote Demo Day of 2018 began with an update on Program of Study, including what Program Focus is (a parent program grouping areas of study within UR Student for reporting and future functionality). The presentation’s agenda included the characteristics of current Course Structure and how it will appear in UR Student, touching on Cross-Listings and Co-Location of Course Sections changes to come.

Course Reference Number (CRN) No More
Watch the Courses Demo Day replay
to see how it works as Julia Kraus, our subject matter expert, demonstrated in UR Student. We showed how courses will look in the new system acting as an admin (e.g., Registrar or Advisor) and as a student. A notable change discussed included the Course Reference Number (CRN), which will not be used in UR Student in the same context as the legacy system does. Instead, the CRN will be a combination of the course, section and academic period. Reporting capabilities in UR Student were also discussed, such as Students Enrolled in a Particular Course (URSTU 5152).

January Demo Days - Save the Date!

Register early for UR Student’s Academic Planning Remote Demo Day on January 17th (full agenda coming soon).

Keep an eye on UR Student News

You'll find all of the latest information on our system's features via regular newsletters and special interest group meetings.