Academic Foundations represent core components within Workday Student that support all other student functional areas, including Curriculum, Advising, Records, Student Financials and Financial Aid.

Included under the Academic Foundations umbrella (also known as “Student Core”) are WashU’s academic structure, programs of study and credentials, academic periods and calendars, dates, student eligibility rules, and more.

Student records are another key driver in Workday that regulate student registration, academic records and institutional academic policies.

Key term: In Workday, a student record is the complete picture of a student’s academic relationship with the university and may comprise one or more academic records. An academic record is a collection of a student’s academic activities (GPA, registrations, academic history). In Workday, students may have a single or multiple academic record(s) that each include one or more programs of study. The goal of multiple academic records is to support scenarios where students have more than one educational pursuit (i.e., degree).

WashU will use Workday Student for the following Academic Foundations/Records-related activities: 

  • Defining and maintaining the academic organizational structure (academic units) for schools, colleges and departments
  • Configuring programs of study used across all functional areas
  • Maintaining academic records
  • Defining rules and processes for enrollment, grading, and graduation to minimize manual entry and administrative burden

Key changes  

Automated processes

Currently WashU doesn’t have a single source of student information that includes academic, demographic, admissions and co-curricular data, which creates manual work for activities like degree audit. Moving to a system with more automated processes will improve data accuracy; enhance long-term compliance, efficiency and reporting capabilities; and lighten workloads to free time for other activities.

Examples of processes that will be automated in Workday include:

Reduced number of academic periods in academic calendars

Academic calendars are foundational to delivering education as they impact class schedules, grades, billing, degree conferral, faculty hiring, pay, etc. They also are foundational to federal and external compliance as they impact financial aid, visa issuance, federal and external reporting, etc.

Currently we have multiple academic periods in our academic calendars, which creates confusion. Course and term dates do not necessarily match financial aid dates, leading to manual manipulation of data to support complex federal reporting requirements. Complexity in calendars is a risk because it is extremely difficult to ensure that all policies, federal financial aid, and reporting requirements, as well as opportunities like cross-program registration, are adequately and consistently supported.

Workday has significantly more functionality related to registration and other date controls, which allows for a more simplified academic calendar structure that will enhance the experience for faculty, students and staff; reduce administrative burden; and minimize risk.

Examples of improvements include:

  • Fewer academic periods will allow for less maintenance and make it easier to schedule courses.
  • Academic calendars in Workday are effective-dated to enable changes and track changes over time.

Consistent grading categories

Today, most undergraduate and graduate students can select from three or four primary grading options when registering for courses: credit (letter grade), pass/fail and audit. But schools use a variety of grades within these options.

With the transition to Workday Student, we will have a more consistent set of grade options (called grading bases) and grade elements, which are the specific grade values (A, B+, etc.) that can be assigned. This change will simplify grading for instructors and create a more equitable experience, particularly for students studying across schools.

Aligned GPA

Workday will allow for improved clarity in GPAs based on programs of study and grading basis rules that can be configured in the system. Once Workday goes live, students will earn credit toward their cumulative unit total for any course in which they are allowed to register for credit. Students also will earn quality points toward their GPA for any course in which they are allowed to register for quality graded credit (excepting properly recorded repeats).

A transcripted course will then appear in a clear and consistent way regardless of which school a student starts in or whether they switch schools during their academic career. This will make for a more transparent experience for students, their advisors and external transcript reviewers.

Effective dating

Effective dating is a new concept in Workday that allows for more accurate views of the student record at a particular point in time. For example, looking up the membership of a student cohort at a specific time, e.g., who were all of John Smith’s advisees in Spring 2020?

Systems

SIS web applications WebFAC, WebAdvising and Egrades, used by faculty for advising support and entering and approving final grades, and WebSTAC, used by students for registering for courses and accessing their student record, will be replaced by Workday Student. Workday will connect with other systems to exchange data related to rosters, classroom assignments, course materials, instructor evaluations and updating the Bulletin.    

Reporting

In general, we will be able to view and report on the same types of curriculum and registration data in Workday Student as we do in our current systems. The primary difference in Workday is the consolidation of data in one system, which should reduce the need to combine data from multiple systems using external tools like Excel, Access or other databases. The move to a single student administrative system also should eliminate certain audit reports currently used to ensure that data “matches” in multiple systems, e.g., in SIS and Workday HCM.

Contacts

Questions?

Please contact Andrea Androuais (change manager for Academic Foundations and Admissions) or Joe Rehder (change manager for Records and Registration), who serve as liaisons between the WashU community and the project.

Alternatively, you can submit questions or comments through this form.

Project team members 

Campus team members 

View the Sunrise campus teams roster to see who’s on the Academic Foundations & Records campus team from your school or unit. Campus team members provide input on how Workday Student is configured and insight into how changes will affect their area.

Learn more about Sunrise campus teams

Related Resources

Current state assessments

Sunrise project work related to academic foundations and records is informed by current state assessments developed during the Discovery Phase:

Workday 101

Explore educational material on the Workday 101 web page to learn more about key topics related to academic foundations and records, including academic units, programs of study, business processes, effective dating and more.

Articles

These articles are from past issues of Sunrise Spotlight, the project’s newsletter.

View all articles or sign up to receive future issues

Introducing Workday business processes  

Introducing Workday business processes  
In Workday, a business process is an automated workflow that routes tasks to designated users. These processes will improve student experience and make operations more consistent and efficient.

Introducing academic units

Introducing academic units
Academic units are the primary organizational structure in Workday Student. They are used to represent schools, divisions or any other unit that admits students, offers programs of study or offers courses. Academic units are structured together to manage academic process flows, security access, Workday rule inheritance and reporting.

Campus teams guide transformation

Campus teams guide transformation
Project’s scope extends beyond technological transformation, examines tools, processes, policies and structures that support our academic mission