What is a Student Information System?
A Student Information System – abbreviated SIS – is the collection of administrative software applications that encompass core undergraduate and graduate enrollment service functions; student data and record information; and the university course catalog. Additionally, students use the SIS to register for classes, view grades and their progress toward graduation. Faculty use the SIS to view instructing schedules and class rosters, submit final grades, access important academic information and to perform other essential functions of course administration. Likewise, staff utilize the system to access and input financial aid applications, student billing and receivables, among other business functions.
Since 2008, UCI has been taking incremental steps toward identifying and planning replacement of its aging legacy homegrown Student Information Systems. This effort began with Exeter Group interviewing campus stakeholders that resulted in a detailed assessment of the current state of affairs for Enrollment Services.
Current student systems are disparate legacy homegrown systems that were developed over the past 40 years. Although these systems have served the campus very well, they have significant limitations that impact their ability to serve campus needs. At the same time, they are becoming increasingly difficult to maintain.
Perhaps the clearest shortcoming of current systems is that data resides in multiple disjoint, databases, each of which represents information in different ways. This makes maintenance of consistent data difficult and reduces flexibility in accessing data across multiple functional areas.
There are also increasing challenges with respect to the sustainability of current systems, which were developed over the past 40 years in now obsolete languages, architecture and databases. Vendor support is steadily waning, staff with required expertise are harder to recruit, and the overall depth and breadth of systems knowledge is declining as staff retire.
The successful completion of this project will deliver a central database with integrated real-time data, introduce a common development environment, which will provide the ability to offer enhanced features, critical data modeling and forecasting capabilities and a more sustainable platform.
The SIS project scope is extremely broad spanning all student admission, financial aid, billing, enrollment, and related processes for undergraduate (incl. Summer Sessions) and graduate students.
The project resulted in iterative, deep-dive evaluations and review of student business processes implemented over many years in legacy environments.
Change is required due to the way the software works, and to respond to evolving campus goals, improve student experience and efficiencies, address increasing student workloads, and strengthen practices. Due to this, business processes are being reviewed and revised campus-wide.
The project is supporting a transformation from a departmental-centric approach to a student-facing approach.
For the scope of the SIS Project, please visit this page.