Streamlining and connecting our student systems

The Student Sunrise project’s guiding principles encourage us to adopt common practices, innovate and modernize wherever possible. To these ends, we plan to leverage Workday’s functionality to its fullest.  

Workday has functionality to support much of our core academic and student administrative work. Today, WashU relies on 100+ technical systems, applications and databases to manage academic operations across its schools and administrative units. As part of the Student Sunrise project, we are evaluating which of those systems can be replaced by Workday Student or another core application. We are also identifying which systems need to exchange data with Workday. 

Coming together 

Streamlining our systems, processes and data will improve how students, faculty and the staff who support them perform essential academic functions by: 

  • Reducing the number of tools they need to learn, use, and support 
  • Providing consistency across programs and schools 
  • Making data more readily available across the university 

Workday Student will consolidate many of our current applications into a single, user-friendly system with mobile capabilities.  

SIS is the largest “system” we’re replacing with Workday Student; in reality, SIS is one mega system made up of 30+ applications, including WebFAC, WebSTAC and WUCRSL. All these applications will be replaced with Workday. 

So far, we’ve identified approximately 90 systems across the university that likely will be replaced by Workday Student. The key determinant is whether a system’s core functionality overlaps with what we’re going to use Workday Student for: advising (including degree audit), curriculum, records, registration, and student financials.

In addition to Workday, Slate will become our primary system for undergraduate and graduate admissions, and financial aid functionality will live in PowerFAIDS

On occasion, we may need to identify a solution to fill a gap in functionality, particularly for tasks we perform in SIS where Workday doesn’t meet our business needs.   

For example, during the university’s transition from HRMS to Workday for human resources, flu shot tracking was identified as a gap. HRMS was customized to track immunizations; however, that wasn’t something we could do in Workday. As a solution, the university purchased ReadySet, which you likely used earlier this fall to authorize your on-campus flu shot or to upload your off-campus vaccination. 

Making connections 

Some of the applications we use today for academic operations will not be replaced by Workday Student if they: 

  • Do things Workday doesn’t, such as learning management (Canvas), course evaluations (Blue) or room scheduling (EMS, Archibus) 
  • Do things we’re not using Workday for, namely PowerFAIDS for financial aid and Slate for admissions  
  • Are external tools we use for tasks like federal reporting and accreditation 

Among the systems we’ll continue to use, some will connect to Workday to exchange data. PowerFAIDS, for example, will need to share financial aid award information with Workday, and Workday will need to share student information, like program of study, credits earned, credits enrolled in, etc., with PowerFAIDS. 

Looking forward, the Student Sunrise project team will continue to meet with each school’s IT leaders and system owners to discuss next steps, such as designing integrations, developing retirement plans and communicating changes to end users. 

Questions? Please fill out the Student Sunrise contact form, and we’ll route your question to the appropriate person on our team.