The Student Information Systems (SIS) Project began with a mission to improve UC Berkeley’s student experience by providing students, faculty, and staff with an integrated student information systems’ solution that is reliable, collaborative, and user-friendly. Despite setbacks and difficulties, the project was able to transition or replace many existing campus databases, websites, and platforms into one integrated student information system. Now, at project end, the SIS organization continues its work to build on the vision of the SIS Project: to create a more supportive UC Berkeley student experience.

 

The Logical Architecture Map

The Logical Architecture Map provides a compelling case for change and understand the scope and complexity of the SIS Project.


A Community Journey Timeline

Pre-1983

Student enrollments and records are managed manually through paper forms. 

1983

Tele-BEARS, UC Berkeley's first telephone registration system, is installed. Previously, all registration was done manaully with paper forms.

1996

Tele-BEARS is repurposed for the internet. Students begin to register for classes through the internet for the first time.

2005

Student Affairs begins effort to replace its vulnerable student legacy systems.

2006

Kuali Consortium is identified as the path forward.

2008

Student Affairs coordinates a technology program and portfolio management.

2010

First-ever cross-campus student legacy systems risk assessment, inventory, and audit is executed.

Student Services Initiative of Operational Excellence (OE) focuses on improving the student experience.

New level of awareness is reached of the growing risk in the university's aging and brittle student systems.

2011

Consolidation of seven divisional student service units into one with the creation of SAIT and a dual reporting line to the CIO.

End of UC Berkeley participation in the Kuali Consortium.

2012

SIS Project begins initiation and campus commitment phase.

Campus suffers several near misses of critical systems such as Tele-Bears and Degree Audit, highlighting the urgency and need for student information systems’ overhaul.

2013

The first phase of the new SIS project begins: developing and refining scope and requirements.

2014

SIS enters the requirements gathering phase.

CalCentral is created as an improved interface to BearFacts. System analysis and design begins.

2015

System configuration and development begins. Berkeley Summer Experience Live is held.

June 1: Go-Live 1

August 18: Go-Live 2

December 16: Go-Live 3

2016

The SIS Project begins the transition from an implementation project to a support organization. Phase 2 planning and evaluation begins.

February 2: Go-Live 4

March 22: Go-Live 5

August 1: Go-Live 6

Fall Semester: CalCentral replaces BearFacts and TeleBEARS

September 19: Go-Live 7

2017

June 30: SIS team implements the upgrade to Campus Solutions 9.2. SIS Project came to an end.

 

A Collection of Aging Systems

The SIS Project officially began on August 9, 2013. Yet the real story of the project begins three decades earlier.

In the 1980s, UC Berkeley began installing many of the information systems that the Student Information Systems Project (SIS) replaced. These systems were a constellation of dozens of siloed and aging applications, databases, and websites that resulted in process delays, data inaccuracies, and security risks.

When arriving at campus, many students were surprised and frustrated at how complicated it was to perform basic tasks. Students, faculty, and staff were often required to log onto multiple systems to update contact information, manage enrollment, access records, and more. The process created a strong negative impact on the student experience, causing unneeded financial expenses and even delayed graduation.

The aging systems were also a pain point for the faculty who were unable to adequately manage basic issues around course management. The labor-intensive environment took precious time away from students, faculty, and staff.

After extensive evaluation and consultation, it became clear that UC Berkeley needed a completely new information system to provide students, faculty, and staff with the quality online experience they deserve from a world-class university.

SIS Project Kickoff

Moving Forward

Before the SIS Project, students enrolled in classes through Tele-BEARS, a repurposed telephone system originally installed in the 1980s. It was slow, frustrating, and completely inadequate for the university’s needs. In 2012, the university experienced several near-misses of critical systems, including Tele-BEARS, which exposed the urgency of the situation.

The Tele-BEARS experience was symptomatic of the greater issues facing the overall student information system experience: the university’s information infrastructure was completely outdated.

With leadership support and in partnership with students, faculty, and staff, the SIS Project moved forward with an ambitious effort: to consolidate and modernize multiple legacy systems into one reliable, secure, scalable, and integrated software solution.

UC Berkeley SIS Project, Spring 2016

Phases of Change

The SIS Project team designed a phased implementation schedule designed to match the entire student academic cycle – from admission to graduation. Each of the seven “Go-Lives” was scheduled to coincide with one or more key academic deadlines or events such as admission decisions, financial aid disbursements, or start of enrollment. Tying functionality releases to the academic cycle created a sense of urgency that helped the project team and campus partners stay focused on the highest priorities at each stage.