The Graduate College was recognized as a PeopleSoft Innovator for its development of an all new Interactive Plan of Study (iPOS). The announcement was made at the Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco.
Steve Yena, senior business analyst at the Graduate College, attended the weeklong conference. “It was a huge honor to receive the award on behalf of ASU and the Graduate College,” he said.
Championing ASU’s reputation as the most innovative school in the nation, the Graduate College can now add supporting student success with use of technology to its roster of innovative accomplishments. ASU was the only higher education organization recognized among 17 other companies for their innovative use of the latest capabilities in PeopleSoft to drive measurable value.
“Being recognized at a world conference as an innovator was validation for the countless hours that our team and our partners at UTO invested in this project,” said Brian Mattson, director of graduate program services at the Graduate College and the lead for the iPOS redesign project. “We always knew that we were creating something special, but receiving this recognition makes us all feel very proud of what we have accomplished for the ASU graduate community.”
The iPOS is a custom-built application for graduate students, support staff, advisors and faculty that is only available at ASU. Like an app to track fitness goals, the purpose of iPOS is to track a student's progress toward completing his or her program by making sure the student's academic plans will fulfill department program requirements. This critical university business process hadn’t been updated since 2007.
“The new iPOS will lead to a greatly improved graduate student and staff experience through the new user interface, improved course lists offerings, staff and student photos, and robust communication plan for students and staff,” Yena said.
The Graduate College began rebuilding the application nearly a year and half ago with help from the University Technology Office.
“The iPOS project truly incorporated multiple skill sets across ASU. From requirements and testing efforts provided by both students and administrative stakeholders, to development using the University Technology Office and Graduate College technical experts, the iPOS project was a truly collaborative effort resulting in a high quality and innovative product,” said Robert Yosowitz, director of information technology services at UTO.
It was this level of collaboration, user-testing and taking advantage of the latest technology that grabbed the attention of Oracle. The iPOS is one of the first applications at ASU to utilize a solution called PeopleSoft Fluid, which ensures the app works on mobile devices and tablets just as well as desktops.
“One of the major strengths of PeopleSoft is its ability for custom development,” Yosowitz said. "The Graduate College knew it could design an innovative solution using the PeopleSoft platform to quickly deliver a new product that would be modern, user-friendly, and completely meet its current and future requirements.”
Because iPOS is unique and successful at satisfying varied users' needs, the Graduate College tech team has already been invited to present at several conferences on education and technology.
“Some universities have created applications to assist with degree progress tracking, but from the research we have conducted, ASU’s iPOS far exceeds what currently exists elsewhere. We plan to take every opportunity we can to show off the iPOS and assist others to follow in our footsteps to increase student success,” Mattson said.
The recognition as a PeopleSoft Innovator is not the end of the project, the iPOS will continue to evolve with the changing needs of the graduate community.
“The Graduate College is always listening for new enhancement ideas, or ways we can streamline the iPOS experience,” Mattson said. “We anticipate that we will continue to add new features to the iPOS year after year to better serve our populations.”
The redesigned iPOS will launch after the close of the fall semester during December 2018.
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