Workday Student

Introducing Workday Student

A key component of the Student Sunrise project is implementing Workday Student. Workday Student will replace 70+ of the university’s systems and applications for academic and student operations including SIS, WebFAC, WebSTAC and WUCRSL. Workday Student will also replace various advising, degree audit and academic support systems. 

This consolidation effort will help WashU to streamline academic and student support operations, reduce manual processes and provide faster, easier reporting for decision making.

What’s included? 

WashU plans to use Workday Student for the following areas: 

  • Course Registration 
  • Curriculum Management 
  • Advising, including degree audit, which tracks students’ progress toward their degrees 
  • Student Financials, including billing and payment 
  • Academic Foundations, which includes foundational structures such as programs of study and student requirements. Student data like demographics will also be housed in Workday. 

For financial aid, recruiting and admissions, we will not use Workday Student as our primary tool. Instead, we will use PowerFAIDS and Slate to manage those areas, respectively. As part of the Workday Student project, we will configure Workday to exchange data with those systems, both of which were implemented at the university within the past several years. WashU launched PowerFAIDS in fall 2020, and Slate for undergraduate admissions in 2017. This fall, Provost Beverly Wendland and school deans also approved use of Slate for graduate admissions

We will configure Workday to integrate, or exchange data, with additional university systems, as well. The project team is currently partnering with IT leaders from the schools and academic units to develop integrations plans and timelines.

The team  

All the Student Sunrise leads who are helping design the Workday functionality mentioned above come from within WashU. This means they have a solid understanding of the university’s people, culture and operations. It also means they’re deeply invested in the success of the project and excited to enact changes that will benefit our students, faculty and staff.

Lee Koelliker, our Advising lead, has been at WashU for six years. Prior to joining us, Lee was at the Brown School as director of career services, an adjunct faculty member and an affiliated staff member at the Evaluation Center. 

“I am really looking forward to the drag-and-drop functionality in Workday’s academic planning tool,” said Lee. “It allows students to drag their remaining course requirements and drop them into their future schedules. Currently, students don’t have the ability to plan out more than one or two semesters. Workday’s functionality will allow students to visualize their entire academic experience.”

“It’s exciting to be part of something that will have a lasting impact on the university for the next 10, maybe 20 years.” 

Trevor Bilhorn, Student Sunrise lead for academic foundations

Academic foundations lead Trevor Bilhorn is looking forward to changes around registration. Before joining the Student Sunrise project in 2019, Trevor worked at WashU for 14 years doing registrar-related work at the school level for both the College of Arts & Sciences and McKelvey School of Engineering.

“In Workday, students will be able to see if they’re eligible for a course ahead of time so they aren’t panicking during registration,” Trevor said. “For example, they could see if a transfer credit came over correctly for a pre-req or if a class requires professor approval.”

“The cool part is that any actions a student needs to take can be done inside Workday. The request will route to the right people and be tracked. So, they don’t need to email or call someone to ask about their records or request a course exemption.”

Configuring workflows like the ones Trevor described is a key focus for the Workday Student team.

Key change

Workday will enforce prerequisites at the time of registration.

Today, students are able to register for any class, regardless of eligibility. Administrators check for prerequisites after registration.

Why Workday? 

Workday is a leading provider of cloud-based administrative systems, particularly in higher education. In July 2021, WashU implemented Workday’s Human Capital Management (human resources) and Finance tools. Once we implement Workday Student, much of our core data will be interconnected in one system, enabling more comprehensive reporting and consistency in user experience. 

While a few of our peers currently use Workday Student, we are an early adopter of the system and have a unique opportunity to influence the product’s development and functionality to support complex academic research institutions like ours. We are partnering with Workday Consulting for technical implementation support and Huron for academic process transformation and organizational change management advisement in higher education. 


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