Training Plans Mapped for Data System Overhaul

Feb. 12, 2009

Rolling out an entirely new PeopleSoft Campus Solutions data management system for handling UT Dallas student information involves more than just installing, testing and troubleshooting software. 

In fact, training the University staff that will use the system is top of mind for Richard Huckaba, project manager for Orion, which is the code name for the University’s PeopleSoft transition effort.

“Instruction is a critical element to this system,” said Huckaba, who also is an associate provost at the University.  “As each new phase of the implementation moves forward, we’ll offer classes so that key University personnel — including faculty, support staff and advisors — can learn to use PeopleSoft in preparation for working with students during upcoming registration periods.”

Huckaba cited departmental training for staff in the Office of Enrollment Services

There, Alison Rackler is working closely with staff members to determine how to best use PeopleSoft screens and scanners so various academic units can review potential students' application materials.

“Once per semester, a full training cycle — six classes in all — will be offered to Enrollment Services staff,” Rackler said.  “We’re also creating a plan of action to train users outside of Enrollment Services to view our data.  Once this is training plan is completed, we’ll collaborate with other University users who have a business need to view enrollment information.”

Rackler also plans to meet with team leads from each school to discuss their needs for placing comments — such as “student met with professor to discuss new major” — on a student record, as well as how to do registration holds. 
 
“These leads will then go back and train other users in their school,” Rackler added.   

Since the implementation of the admissions module last September, the Office of the Registrar has already loaded the University’s course catalog — its complete list of available classes — into the PeopleSoft system, and the course lookup feature will be available in time for fall pre-registration.

Along those lines, Jennifer McDowell, deputy director of records and registration, is coordinating training with a small group of staffers to ensure that the conversion of existing student and course information will move into PeopleSoft cleanly and in time for the pre-registration period for the fall term.

McDowell is also working closely with the Office of Strategic Planning and Analysis to ensure that data elements required for state and federal reporting will be translated correctly so that they can be properly analyzed.

Jimmy Casey from the registrar’s office, John Harvey, a staffer in Information Resources, and Melissa Stokely from Academic Computing and User Services, are spearheading training efforts in collaboration with functional leads, including Cathy Coursey and James Dorman, Cheryl Friesenhahn, McDowell and Rackler.

According to Huckaba, guidance will take place every step of the way.

 “Both Dr. Sue Taylor, assistant vice president for Information Resources, and I continue to discuss the kinds of training that will best suit the needs of our various audiences at the University.”

About Project Orion
Orion is a Web-based information portal that will one day manage virtually every aspect of a student’s academic career, from registering for classes to paying parking fines, to applying for graduation.  Orion operates on the PeopleSoft Campus Solutions platform, a comprehensive suite of software that gives users real-time information.  When completed, Orion will serve nearly every consumer of University data, including students, faculty and staff.  For more information about Orion, please visit the project Web site.


Media Contact:  Jenni Huffenberger, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4431, jennib@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu

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More information is available at the Project Orion Web site.




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