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One for All, All for One

Did you know that UC San Diego leverages two separate systems for storing student records? One houses records for undergraduate, graduate and Health Sciences students, and another houses records for the Division of Extended Studies (DES, formerly Extension).

Having two systems can sometimes generate issues. This is especially evident where there is overlap between the DES student population and the matriculated student population, such as when an undergraduate or graduate student opts to take DES courses or programs.

Having two systems also can mean missing out on opportunities to better serve our students. As learners increasingly want to be able to “mix and match” their educational experiences and to have their learning tailored exactly to their specific needs, the ability of students to move seamlessly between all UC San Diego educational offerings will be crucial to the future of the university.

To support improving the student experience and to better meet the changing needs of all learners, the strategic vision for the Student Information System (SIS) project calls for bringing DES together with the rest of the university in just one new student system. In this future-state where the entire university exists in one SIS, an individual will have only one student record.

Seeking Synergy

This move to only one system will bring both opportunities and challenges, which are top of mind for DES Chief Administrative Officer, Collins Ejiogu. “An effective systems implementation framework is top of mind when I think about how we can best maximize the opportunities present for both DES and main campus in our strategic vision for this SIS project, as well as overcome the challenges and mitigate the risks of trying to get this right,” said Ejiogu.

Ejiogu added that transparency and communication will be key to effectively navigating the change brought about by implementing one new SIS for the whole university. “In pursuing one system, I believe we should be forthright in addressing all gaps between the vision and reality in order to accurately account for the work and resources needed to meaningfully change practice and policies organization-wide.”

In his role as a member of the Student Information Services Committee (SISC), Collins brings the DES leadership perspective to the committee. He is also always alert for areas of potential conflict between the DES and the campus processes, which will need to be resolved before the new system goes live, and areas of potential synergy, where the campus can leverage the expertise of DES or vice versa.

Other methods for discovering areas of possible synergy or conflict are business process mapping and ideal state development. The SIS project business process team has now documented nearly 200 processes, including more than 55 specifically from DES, and continues to map more processes with every passing week. The process mapping work is important because the discoveries made in the current state process mapping can then be used to inform the ideal future state.

Taking Steps toward the Future

As UC San Diego aims to develop new business models and innovative learning experiences and to meet the needs of a myriad of learner types, it will become increasingly important to be able to provide seamless support to all students. With the move to just one student information system for everyone, we will be taking a meaningful step toward that goal.

Category: Student & Faculty, News