We are working to provide answers to the questions that have been asked thus far. As the project moves along, FAQs will be added pertinent to the stage of the implementation process. If you would like to submit a question for the ConnectUGA team to answer, please do so through the contact form. We will answer your question directly, then post to the FAQs page.
Questions are grouped in the following categories and can be accessed quickly by clicking on the category title:
ConnectUGA is the project name designated for the implementation of the University of Georgia’s new integrated student information system. ConnectUGA is not the name of the new system, simply the name of the project while we implement the new system.
Banner is the software that will support our information system and will allow one central location for student information. Students will be able to log in through a portal using their UGAMyID and access information regarding admissions, financial aid and registration status, all in one easy location.
OASIS, or the Online Access to Student Information System, is being replaced because it relies on multiple data systems. Over time, this collection of systems has become more difficult to use given the rapid change of technology. The Banner software will make managing student data much easier for the university and will create a more convenient web-based format for students. There will also be much more functionality for faculty and advisers with self-service components available to them.
The Fall 2014 freshman class freshman class will be the first group of students admitted directly into the new Banner system. However, all previous and current student records will be migrated over to the new system.
While the application process will not look any different for prospective students, we will begin to load information into Banner for students that who apply to UGA for the Fall 2014 semester and later.
Q: Will all students who apply to UGA be captured in the new student information system (i.e., law, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, graduate and undergraduate students), or will there still be silos of data on campus?
All students who apply for the Fall 2014 term and beyond will have their information in Banner, so the University will be able to look at all applicants, from Undergraduate to Graduate to Professional programs, in our new system. By doing this, the student data will be in one central system, and not in smaller silo systems throughout campus.
A: The operational scope of the ConnectUGA project is to implement the Ellucian Banner Student and Financial Aid modules.
These modules impact the following business offices:
Office of the Registrar
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
Office of Student Financial Aid
Office of the Bursar/Student Accounts
Office of Curriculum Systems
Enterprise Information Technology Services
Additional stakeholders include:
All Colleges, Schools and Departments
Office of Institutional Research
A: The primary reason is expertise. Ellucian, the vendor for the Banner student system software, has both technical and functional expertise in the development, configuration, and deployment of the student system software. Collegiate Project Services provides project management expertise. The company has significant experience in managing complex technology system implementations at large higher education institutions. They bring project management, budgeting, and an independent prospective.
A: Beginning in fall 2013, students applying for fall 2014 undergraduate admission will be the first to be entered into the system, the first phase of completion for the project. Project staff will then begin adding current student data into the system and incrementally adding functionality, beginning in March 2014 when the financial aid module will be ready for all students, and also when the registration and records and student accounts modules will become available. Final project completion is projected to be in June 2015. See the graphic timeline for more details.
A: UGA currently is dependent on multiple student systems; not all systems are fully integrated, and many of the systems are written on platforms that are no longer supported by industry or in languages not used today. This results in unnecessary maintenance and system upgrade expenses. This multi-system approach is not sustainable for UGA, its students, faculty or staff. Although the ConnectUGA project is expensive, every procurement action has been and will be taken to assure the best possible prices for implementing the new student systems.
Q: What will students be able to see in the Student Service component in Banner as it relates to financial aid?
A: Banner Self-Service will contain award information and other pertinent financial aid requirements. The same financial aid information currently in OASIS will be available in Banner Self-Service.
A: HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarship Module will have to be built and integrated into the new Banner student information system with help from the Ellucian consultants. UGA staff will then maintain the HOPE Module for any future regulatory requirements changes.
A: The U.S. Department of Education (ED) requires students who wish to apply for federal student aid to complete a new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every school year. Once ED processes the student’s FAFSA, ED sends all the information provided on the FAFSA along with other key processing results to the student’s college or university via the Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR).
Before schools can receive the resulting ISIR, they must install the annual programmatic changes from the FAFSA provided by ED to its system. In Banner, these programmatic changes are sent to Ellucian, which, in turn, provides UGA the new aid year release. UGA must then install and fully test the changes before new ISIRs can be received from ED and processed. Typically Ellucian delivers this release in January or February, but the delivery date varies based upon the amount of changes ED made to the prior year FAFSA. Once delivered, UGA will work with Ellucian to install the release in our Banner instance and then testing will begin. This process could take several weeks or more and would need to be repeated if any coding defects are present in the release. In 2013, the release and subsequent testing was not complete at Banner schools until mid-February.
Since the Office of Student Financial Aid cannot “Go-Live” without the new aid year release from Ellucian, our Go-Live date had to be moved from January 2014 to March2014 to allow for possible delays in receiving the release and to build in sufficient time for installation and testing. We realize this is two months later but will do everything to make the transition to Banner a smooth one for our students.
Q: How will Banner satisfy all of the unique business processing needs of UGA?
A: Engaging various stakeholders throughout the Banner implementation will help the project team analyze and determine the best approach for the new system. The stakeholders will be expected to provide input and help the project team address the business processing needs of their respective areas through the cross-functional project governance. This process supports Guiding Principle #2, which is to ensure that the needs of students, faculty and staff are met in the successful implementation of a new student information system for the University of Georgia through the contributions and participation of all academic and supporting units across the University.
Q: Will some UGA business processes be required to change to fit Banner?
A: The project team has been instructed to keep modifications to Banner Baseline to an absolute minimum. Therefore, some UGA business processes may need to be modified to incorporate them into Banner. Requests for Banner Baseline modifications will follow an established approval process. More information on the approval process will be posted once approved by the project team.
Q: Which systems will be integrated with Banner? How can I add a system to the list?
A: Systems that integrate with the current Student Information system will be considered for integration with Banner. Systems can be added to the Integration Inventory List by submitting a request through the contact form in the Contact Us section, or e-mail us at email@example.com. Please confirm that the system has not already been entered in the Integration Inventory List before submitting a request. The request needs to specify:
- System Name
- Vendor Name
- System functionality features and capabilities
- Integration type (Inbound to Banner, Outbound or Both)
- Data Owner
- Primary and Secondary users
- Functional Support Staff names and contact
- Technical Support Staff names and contact
- Database Platform
- General Notes
Q: Will non-regulatory system changes be suspended during the implementation so as to allow the Project Team to focus on the Banner installation, rather than work on updating the current system? If so, how will this be communicated to the campus at large?
A: As the University of Georgia moves forward to replace the existing student information system with the Banner student system, it will be necessary for the student system support staff to focus time and effort on preparing the Banner system to meet UGA's needs. One of the many challenges posed by this project involves managing requests for changes to our existing system.
As noted in the Guiding Principles for the ConnectUGA project, “Systems initiatives, improvements, new projects, and/or enhancements to existing systems that require significant investment by UGA and that compete for the same set of resources related to the Student Information System implementation will be minimized."
A defined approval process for enhancement and change requests to the current student information system will minimize non-regulatory legacy system changes. As a result, enhancements and changes to the current system will be limited to regulatory, software malfunctions and other mission-critical changes required to support our processes and enable UGA to dedicate resources for the successful implementation of the new student system.
The project management team will work with the Project Advisory Team and the Project Leadership Team to communicate the change management process to the campus community.
Q: Will there be staff layoffs due to the new system?
A: There are no staff layoffs anticipated due to the new system. There may be reassignment of selected key staff members during the ConnectUGA project timeline and shifted staff responsibilities within administrative units moving forward as needed to align with modification of business processes to successfully adopt the new system.
Q: How do I get the most up-to-date information about Banner updates?
A: You may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the project communications distribution list. You also may send subscription request to REPORTS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU to receive information on reporting.
Q: Given that many of the IT staff on campus will be involved in the implementation, how will UGA be able to respond to ad hoc and other data requests during the project implementation?
A: Enhancements and changes to the current system will be limited to regulatory, software malfunctions and other mission-critical changes required to support the University. One of the many challenges posed by this student system implementation involves managing requests for data and changes to our existing student information systems. This is indeed a difficult situation and requires the cooperation and support of the entire UGA community. UGA offices participating in the Banner implementation will have limited resources to comply with new reporting requests. Regulatory changes must be completed first and if time permits and resources are available, ad hoc requests will be reviewed and prioritized on a case-by-case basis with no guarantee that all ad hoc requests can be accommodated.
Q: Will departments be able to get access to Banner data?
A: Banner users will be provided the required access necessary to perform their jobs.
Q: Will we be able to generate reports out of Banner?
A: Using data stored and processed in Banner UGA will be able to provide ad hoc and stored reports for making data-driven decisions.
Q: We have a need to track credit hours generated by each faculty member in a unit even when they are at different campuses. We currently get this data from OIR. Will this change?
A: FACTS will continue to provide credit hour information.
Q: We have a need to track enrollment in majors over time. We do this from the FACTS system now, will this change?
A: FACTS will continue to exist and provide student enrollment for a specified academic term.
Q: When will Banner be available to load courses?
A: We anticipate departments beginning to load courses for the incoming freshman class during the spring of 2014.
Q: How will loading courses change for each semester change?
A: A copy function will be used to move courses from one semester to the next, saving time and limiting departmental error. The goal will be to streamline the process and make it easier for departments to load courses and track enrollment.
Q: How will access be limited? Currently, some departments are responsible for loading courses over three campuses and it makes coordination challenging.
A: Access to various Banner forms is an ongoing discussion. The process of controlling access in the new student system is very different from the current system. This FAQ will be updated at a later date once a decision has been made.
Q: Will advisors and directors of advising centers be able to provide input?
A: The Office of Curriculum Systems and the Office of the Registrar are currently working together to build the current curriculum into Banner. There will be opportunities for advisors and directors of advising centers to provide input later in the implementation process.
Q: Will faculty be able to view enrollment counts and class rolls before classes begin for planning purposes?
A: Faculty class roles will be available real-time at the point registration opens for the term. Faculty will be able to monitor enrollment, view student contact information and view course information (e.g., location and time), as well as to see whether students have met the required prerequisites for courses.
Q: What features will be present in self-service Banner for faculty?
A: The student team is in the early development phase of the new Banner system with ongoing discussions regarding self-service for faculty. This FAQ will be updated at a later date as decisions are made regarding functionality.
Q: How will the system handle study abroad and distance education courses?
A: The ConnectUGA Team has worked with the Study Abroad Program to document current business processes and procedures. At this point, it is too early to determine how Study Abroad will work in Banner. However, this FAQ list will be updated at a later date to provide a more in-depth response.
Q: How will the system for clearing students for advisement change?
A: The Student Team has discussed a number of possible solutions for clearing advisement. This FAQ list will be updated at a later time once a final solution has been programmed.
Q: Will access change for clearing students to register for courses?
A: The Student Team has discussed a number of possible solutions for clearing students for registration. This FAQ list will be updated at a later time once a final solution has been programmed.
Q: How will the system for giving students prerequisite overrides change?
A: The Student Team has discussed a number of possible solutions for granting prerequisite overrides in Banner. Once a final decision is made to handle these overrides, the FAQ list will be updated.
Q: How will the system change for time conflicts, waivers of course requirements for a program of study, course substitutions, and graduation checklists? Who will and will not have access for these features?
A: The Student Team has discussed a number of possible solutions for granting various overrides in Banner. Once a final decision is made to handle these overrides, the FAQ list will be updated.
Q: Can the new system track faculty teaching loads?
A: Yes, the news system does have a module dedicated for faculty teaching loads. A discussion with the various schools and colleges will occur at a later date to discuss functionality of this nature.
Q: Will my office be able to pull basic information about specific students, such as address, phone, class schedule, etc.? Is the data sortable? For example, can we do a report for all student veterans?
A: Yes, depending on your business needs and access, you will be able to get basic information about students directly from Banner, while the sortable data, like student veteran information, would come as sortable data from the reports.
Q: Will tuition and credit hour production information be in Banner for administrators?
A: Yes, as the different phases of the system come online.
Q: Will I be able to clear students for registration for advising in the new system?
A: Yes. general FAQs
Q: Will faculty information be available in the new system?
A: Banner does not hold all of the faculty information.
Q: Will FERPA restriction automatically be included in views?
A: Depending on your business needs and access, you will be able to get basic information about students directly from Banner.
Q: Will the FACTS website still be available?
A: Yes, it will continue to be available through the Office of Institutional Research website at http://oir.uga.edu/.
Q: Will Banner require VPN to connect from remote sites?
A: Yes. Users accessing Banner or Argos reporting tools will need to be logged into VPN via an Arch Pass, whether on campus or remotely. general FAQs
Q: Will student information for new students be readily available, or will we still have the need for a match merge phase at the beginning of each semester?
A: No, you no longer have to wait for merge to get your information.
A: Training is available now. There are standard Banner self-paced training sessions available through Ellucian's Digital Campus Academy (DCA). Any UGA employee can request an account to the DCA.
REQUESTING ACCESS – Using your UGA e-mail account, send an e-mail to email@example.com using the Subject line "Request for Access to Digital Campus Academy" and provide the following information in the body of the email:
• First Name
• Last Name
• Institution: University of Georgia
Within 24 hours you should receive a confirmation e-mail from Ellucian with your log-in information. Your user name will be your UGA e-mail address. You will have an opportunity to change your assigned password to a password of your choice.
AFTER BEING GIVEN ACCESS – After logging into the Digital Campus Academy, the page will be display with a series of tabs across the top.
You can ignore the tabs labeled Luminis CBT’s, Banner Finance, Travel and Expense, Banner Human Resources, Luminis Platform 5 Training, and Banner 7 CBT’s as these DO NOT APPLY TO THE UGA IMPLEMENTATION.
The first tab that you should go to is the one labeled Training Services – Welcome. This is a video overview of the site. Also on this tab is access to the Banner Bookshelf, which includes the latest documentation for Banner 8.x and other Ellucian products.
The Banner Student tab includes a high-level Student Process Flowchart, Banner Fundamentals where you can learn about navigating in Banner, and overviews of all of the Banner Student processes. *** Please note that the overview for Student Accounts Receivable is available through this tab ***
The Banner Financial Aid tab includes a high-level Financial Aid Process Flowchart, Banner Fundamentals where you can learn about navigating in Banner, along with overviews of all of the Banner Financial Aid processes.
The Banner 8 CBT’s tab includes computer based training on Banner 8 General, Banner 8 Financial Aid, Banner 8 Student, and Workflow. You can disregard the CBT’s for Advancement, Finance, and Human Resources, as these do not apply to the UGA implementation.
A: Training will be offered using a just-in-time model as each area prepares to launch their specific module. The training schedule will be published at least six (6) weeks prior to the sessions. Training will range from half-day to full-day sessions. The general time frame for these trainings will be prior to the go-live dates from the Timeline.
TENTATIVE Training Dates:
• Admissions - Early Summer 2013
• Financial Aid - Fall 2013
• Student Records & Registration - Early Spring 2014
• Student Accounts (AR) - Spring 2014