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Information Technologies and Services
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Dr. Rick Ruth
VP for Information Technologies & Services

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Banner Migration FAQ

Why did we decide to move away from a homegrown system which we could control, in favor of a vendor supplied system which does appears to lack certain functionality?

The answer goes back to approximately 1997 when PASSHE made the decision to move to centralized systems for Finance, Human Resources (HR), and Campus Management (Student System). At that time of that decision, Shippensburg was running on a homegrown, mainframe-based system, which was in need of replacement. We had developed a custom layer of programming to give the campus community a web interface. Still being a mainframe-based system, this façade only gave a modern interface to the end users of the systems, it did not update the out-dated software running behind the scenes. After a few years SAP Finance and HR were successfully implemented.

Because of the outdated software we were using Shippensburg volunteered to be on the first phase for implementation of the SAP project. However, as Campus Management was a new module for SAP, the costs and timeline for project escalated to a point which individual PASSHE universities could not support.

In 2008, the decision was made to allow universities in need of a replacement Student System to develop a request for proposal for new systems. At this point, the hardware and software underlying Shippensburg’s homegrown legacy system had not been enhanced or upgraded for at least 10 years, as Shippensburg had been waiting on the SAP replacement. To save on implementation costs, maintenance costs, and time, there was no other choice but to purchase a 3rd party system. Continuing to maintain a homegrown system would have required at minimum the hiring of 5 to 7 additional applications development staff to assist with the effort to rewrite and then maintain a homegrown, customized system, a process which would have taken 3-5 years, at a minimum.

Shippensburg chose the Sungard Higher Education Banner product based on Sungard’s extensive install base at higher education institutions, experience in implementations, and overall cost. The replacement timeline was very tight. Work with Sungard consultants began in November 2009, and Admissions went live in October 2010, Financial Aid and Registration in March 2011. Accounts Receivable will go live in July 2011, with a final cutover to Banner in August 2011.

This new system will have many improvements over the homegrown system we have become accustom to using. It will also have a few areas of functionality which will not be the same. Unfortunately as we implement this system we are going to balance the increased functionality overall with the loss of functionality in a few areas. As we learn more and more about the system we will be able to develop workarounds and discovery new ways of accomplishing the tasks we have taken for granted with our legacy system. In the end we will have a system which will be more stable, easier to maintain, and based upon a modern set of software to help us move forward to support the Campus Information Systems needs of the entire campus.

In SIS students can build and save their schedule before their
scheduling appointment and then submit it ... Will they be able to do
this in Banner?

Every time a student adds a course to their schedule that they wish to take, they should hit the "submit" button and this will save the current version of their schedule. Students can choose to submit after every change OR all at once. They will not be registered, however, if they do not hit "submit".

There was some questions about what the statement "go to department office" actually means. As in yesterday's Open session, the secretaries were uncomfortable with the idea that they would have to be the "bad guy" who grants or denies override requests.

We are developing a university-wide policy and will get you this information as soon as it is ready.

The question was raised about why students would have to go to department office for override rather than going straight to the Registrar's Office. They felt this is an unnecessary bounce for students and asked if that could be reviewed.

With our legacy system, students would go to the department secretary to get added to a class. Since the process is changing from adding a student directly into a class to the student getting an override, the directions to the student will be the same. The departments are the ones who know the pre-requisites for the courses, the capacity of their courses (and also where permission by instructor is communicated) and thus the number of overrides that can be given. The registrar's office does not have this kind of information. [One point of clarification: secretaries will no longer have the ability to add students directly into a class as they had in our legacy system. The only way for a student to get into a class is to be given an override and then for the student to respond to the override.]

Readmit and leave of absence students will receive time ticket. Will this be according to their class standing (senior, junior, etc) ... or will it be at a later time as it is now?

Yes, it is according to their class standing.

In overviewing the student information links, secretaries asked if they would have access to a listing of students in their major, or where would they have access to student records if they do not have any students assigned...

To view your students by major, continue to use info.ship.edu for students who have been admitted/confirmed prior to fall 2011 until we develop a report in Banner.

How will pre-requisite checking work since the students will be scheduling in Banner but they will be viewing their course history in SIS (info.ship.edu / legacy)?

Every student's academic history has been loaded into Banner, but the students will not be able to view it. Advisors will be able to view the academic history in both Banner and in legacy. Legacy, however, is the accurate record of the student's history and should be used by the student and the advisor given that there is a slight chance that a student's history in Banner will not be accurate, even though we have been testing and verifying the data. When a student schedules a course that has a pre-requisite (or co-requisite) Banner will be using the academic history in Banner. As long as this history is correct, Banner will allow or prevent the scheduling of a class based on its coded pre/co requisites. If you or your advisee find that a student is incorrectly being barred from scheduling a course, please have the department in which the course resides give the student a course override. Also report the information with details to the Cathy and/or Corinne as soon as possible. Please note that all spring 2011 courses in progress have been converted to Banner with the grade listed as INP (in progress) so that they will be used for purposes of pre- and co-req checking. Once the spring 2011 semester is over, a report will need to be run to identify those who were unsuccessful at completing pre- and co-reqs.