FirstLink go-live date extended

Yesterday a decision was made to extend the ctcLink go-live schedule for FirstLink colleges. Tacoma and Spokane colleges were scheduled to shut down the legacy administrative systems and “Go-Live” with the new system (ctcLink) on November 17, but the SBCTC, Ciber, and FirstLink colleges’ executive teams recently reviewed all aspects of readiness and collectively agreed more time is needed.

“We are very close to where we need to be and everybody has worked so hard to get us to this point,” said ctcLink Project Director Barbara Martin, “but we all agree allowing a little more time will be beneficial to everyone.”

The additional time will be used to ensure the solution is sound, complete and fully ready for end users, as well as allowing ample time for knowledge transfer and training. The project team intends to press on with core project activities as if they were striving for the November 17 date, which will also allow time for a “dress rehearsal” in the new system in advance of the new go-live date.

“So much good work has been done and we have much more to do, “Barbara said. “We are going to keep the momentum going and push forward toward a successful implementation of ctcLink for the FirstLink colleges and beyond.”

The new go-live date for Tacoma and Spokane is under review and will be announced within the next week.

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Wave 1-ers volunteer for User Acceptance Testing

User Acceptance Testing (UAT) for FirstLink colleges continued this week and this was the second week that we had some much-appreciated help from some Wave 1 volunteers. In fact, in looking at a sample of two of the days this week, 302 test scripts were executed and the volunteers from Wave 1 colleges played a big role in that! The ctcLink team, along with Andy Duckworth from TCC and Dick Hol from Community Colleges of Spokane, want to give a big “THANK YOU” to Wave 1 volunteers.

As of Wednesday (Oct 8), 1601 test scripts had been executed in UAT. That’s 40% executed. FirstLink UAT continues through October.

Thank you to the following Wave 1 college staff who have been able to help us with FirstLink testing so far:

  • Christi-Anne Anton, Judy Armstrong, Cindy Lauderback — Peninsula
  • Christy Campbell, BaoTruc Price, Heidi Bealer — Clark
  • Kristy Enser, Darlene deVida, Angie Rogers, Cliff Hicks, Karla Rivers – Lower Columbia
  • Eduardo Rodriguez, Janet Hovland — Columbia Basin
  • Nancy DeVerse, Stacey Savino – Grays Harbor
  • David Larsen, Sarah Postel — Green River

We captured some of the UAT fun below… (click to activate slideshow and see captions).

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Another ctcLink Newsletter for you!

Now that students are back and you’re getting settled in to fall quarter, when you have a few minutes, check out the latest ctcLink Newsletter and find out what went on this summer. FirstLink colleges (Spokane, Spokane Falls and Tacoma) began user testing, Wave One colleges are gearing up for a May 2015 ctcLink launch date and the Ciber CEO visited and shared his commitment to the project. That and more… Click and read the ctcLink September 2014 Newsletter!


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Spokane and Tacoma prepping for Nov 17 launch date

The FirstLink colleges (Spokane, Spokane Falls and Tacoma)  and the ctcLink project team have been involved in a flurry of activities as we march toward the rescheduled ctcLink go-live date of November 17.FLC SMEs-UAT Kickoff

Recently, more than 60 FirstLink College subject matter experts (SMEs) converged on the SBCTC Bellevue office to learn more about how the new system will work. Each SME group (Finance, Student Services, Financial Aid and HR/Payroll) had a chance to delve a little deeper into specific aspects and functionality of the PeopleSoft software. SMEs were also given the opportunity to reflect on the changes they see coming with ctcLink and how those changes may impact their day-to-day activities. Here are just a few of those comments:

Financial Aid:

  • I am much more comfortable with ctcLink than I was before these sessions.
  • I like that everything is combined into one system now!
  • Everything we do will change.


  • No more paper records!
  • One of the highlights was opening a virtual cashier office.
  • ctcLink is going to create accountability on all levels of the business processes and practices.
  • It’s more automated!


  • Building classes quarter-to-quarter looks much less cumbersome
  • There is still so much to learn and comprehend!
  • The whole PERC process is awesome! (Post Enrollment Requisite Checking)
  • I am as comfortable with ctcLink as can be expected for something that is changing our world as we know it.

HR/Payroll (HCM)

  • Huge change in procedures!
  • It seems very intuitive.
  • Love the Employee Self Service!
  • This will impact me in pretty much all ways, but it’s a good thing. We need a new system and have been waiting on getting one for a long time.

This week, Tacoma and Spokane jumped straight into User Acceptance Testing (UAT), which is scheduled through October 30. For the majority of UAT, testers will follow test scripts in a prescribed sequence by business process, with the goal of finding defects and problems that need to be fixed before we go live. The last couple weeks will be focused on “day in the life” testing, giving SMEs a chance to test their daily job activities and set up and run through their own test scenarios. Look for a UAT update and pictures of happy testers next week.

Meantime, check out these pictures from the recent FirstLink hands on sessions in Bellevue. Click on photo to enlarge.


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Features Friday (on Monday!): Student Services Center

With so many campuses closed on Fridays (only one more summer Friday left!), I decided to save this for Monday.

Many FirstLink college SMEs recently got a chance to better understand some of the self-service features coming our way with ctcLink. Topics included Student Center (what students will see/do online); Student Services Center (what staff will see/do to assist students); Faculty Center; Requisitions (online purchasing process) and Employee Self Service.

Today we’ll focus on the Student Services Center where staff can see an at-a-glance overview of student information, activate financial aid awards, calculate tuition, create refunds, and assign and release service indicators (those are flags noting if certain services are provided to a student, such as disability services, or if any services are currently withheld until the student takes a particular action, such as paying a bill).

The FirstLink SME sessions were interspersed with online demos and hands-on practice, which helped fill in the blanks for how everything works online. We can’t do that here, but the supporting presentation linked above and below will help those who work in any of the student services areas get a better understanding of the types of features that will be available in the Student Services Center. Hint: For presenter’s notes, look for a text bubble icon in the top corner of each slide. Hover over the icon to see the speaker’s notes for that page.

Be sure to visit the ctcLink Features section of the blog for any past posts you may have missed…

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Self-Service training for FirstLink Colleges

Community Colleges of Spokane had more than 100 participants in training sessions this week, which covered ctcLink self-service features as well as the online purchase requisition process (TCC’s sessions were held earlier this month).

“The sessions were well attended and very productive,” said Dick Hol, ctcLink project manager at CCS. “Spokane SMEs received a thorough review of the Student Services, Employee, Purchasing and Faculty Centers and had the opportunity to log into the training environment to explore their capabilities.  This created a lot of dialogue and generated new ideas about the colleges’ business processes that will need to be reviewed and modified in preparation for the ctcLink implementation.”

Kudos to the following ctcLink/SBCTC staff who presented and assisted with the training sessions (and, don’t forget to enjoy the photos below…)

Michael Sheehan, ctcLink Finance Trainer; Rebecca Meeder, ctcLink Campus Solutions Trainer; Reuth Kim, ctcLink OCM Lead; Adam Clements, Ciber OCM Lead; Mandy Mineard, SBCTC Campus Solutions Functional Analyst; Jan Means, SBCTC HCM Functional Analyst; and also Colleen Woods and Dick Hol of CCS for their great planning and coordination efforts.


Before Self-Service Sessions

ctcLink Trainer Michael Sheehan, right, discusses ctcLink with Colleen Woods (left), Melody Matthews and Dick Hol of CCS.


After Self-Service Session
Click a pic  below to start slideshow:

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ctcLink Features Friday: Enrollment Requirements

The hands-on workshops for FirstLink college subject matter experts (SMEs) continued this week. On Wednesday, several SMEs from Spokane and Tacoma colleges got a detailed overview of the enrollment requirements process in PeopleSoft, along with a demonstration of the configuration process.

Using their college’s course data, they were able to practice creating course requisites and conditions for enrollment in the ctcLink Sandbox. After the rules were built, they learned how to assign them to individual courses. In the end, here’s an example of how a course would look in the online catalog, detailing the enrollment requirement:


Click here for more details on the Course Requisites process the SMEs walked through during their session.

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