SERVICES

San Diego State University turns to PeopleSoft for better student experience

SOURCE: Shutterstock
San Diego State University is upgrading its student information management systems.

San Diego State University (SDSU) has embarked on a massive multi-year project to improve its admissions and financial aid processes, and to enhance the overall experience for assessing student information.

The my.SDSU initiative will serve students through the implementation of Oracle’s PeopleSoft Campus Solutions, a comprehensive student management information system designed to improve student interactions with the university.

For the institution, this will entail the integration of currently dispersed systems to create a singular web portal that streamlines admissions and financial aid processes, and dramatically enhances connectivity and accessibility of campus systems.

“Digital is the foundation for the student experience in today’s world,” said Christian Onwuka, Associated Students president. 

“Not only will the my.SDSU initiative enhance the online experience for students, but it will also allow students to focus on their academics by simplifying many of the required tasks of their college career.”

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A critical part of the transition to PeopleSoft will be the integration of the institution’s current web portal and student information management system (SIMS). The web portal and SIMs are now two systems that students use when applying for admissions and financial aid.

Shifting to PeopleSoft will merge both functions, among others. Students will then have access to all their information in one system.

“The reason this is important to students is that there are a variety of things right now that are difficult for students to do given the multiple systems that we use,” SDSU chief information officer Jerry Sheehan said.

PeopleSoft for SDSU
SDSU wants to provide a seamless digital experience for its students and faculty. Source: Shutterstock

Commenting in The Daily Aztec, criminal justice sophomore Melissa Perry agreed, saying improving student-faculty interactions would go an especially long way for commuter students like herself.

“Being a commuter student, I find it a great idea since many commuter students are not on campus all the time, compared to students who live on campus,” Perry said. 

“This causes them to feel a disconnect from the school, but this programme would allow them to feel more involved knowing that they are able to be apart of the school from home.”

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Sheehan, meanwhile, noted that 22 of the other California state campuses already use PeopleSoft, which he described as being more user- and- mobile-friendly than SDSU’s current systems.

Rather than having to navigate the web version of the current system even while on mobile, which can be notably awkward, the new system would be mobile-responsive.

“If you’re accessing information on a tablet or on a phone, you’ll be able to have the same degree of interactivity and usability as the computer version,” Sheehan said. 

He added that the benefits of having an integrated digital experience were multifold as not only does it improve the student experience but behind the scenes, it provides the university with the opportunity to automate many of its other business processes.

As Tony Chung, associate vice president for Student Affairs and project manager, says:

“Student experience is more than just what they can accomplish on their devices, but also how they are supported by faculty and staff, as well as how the university utilises data to inform our strategies and investments to provide the best programmes and services to support student success as they progress from admission to graduation.”

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According to the institution, the transition will take a number of years but the first elements of the system, after close to a year of building, testing and validating, will go live late 2020, in time for the incoming class of October that year. 

“This is sort of a large, complex system change which is why it’s going to take us about 18 months to make the transition for admissions,” Sheehan said. 

Sheehan also said the initial focus would be on admissions but other functions will be slowly integrated over time. Full adoption is expected by 2021.