Pierce got SIS problems and class overflow is one

Summer classes might be an opportunity for students to get ahead or catch up on credits, however, due to a loophole within the new Student Information System (SIS) there is a concern for the first day of those courses.

The problems such as system crashes and overall feelings of frustration were discussed during the Pierce College Council meeting on Thursday, May 25 however, another issue was discovered which allowed an overflow of students into summer classes without the proper registration.

Students whose registration date has passed can now register for fall classes through the new SIS system. However, some students have found a loophole that has allowed them to register for summer classes on the new system.

This means that students who registered for summer classes on the new system have not been placed in a class roster. In reality, the classes that students have registered for may be already full according to the old system.

This was not supposed to be able to happen, Dean of Student Services William Marmolejo said.

A general limit for class size is 40. However, some classes can hold more or less depending on the type of class, according to Director of New Student Programs Joanna Zimring-Towne.

Therefore, members of PCC discussed how teachers are supposed to handle the potential overflow of students on the first day of summer intercession who think they have a safe spot on the roster.

“You can’t strongly suggest that faculty take on additional students,” Department Chair of Modern Languages Fernando Oleas said.

The council members recognized that there are multiple problems that have come up with Peoplesoft and the SIS System that they were not anticipating.

“We have observed that within the many modules within the program, there seems to be something that comes up with each module,” Associate Vice President of Administrative Services Bruce Rosky said.

Though the council did not vote on a proposal to fix the issues with the new software since it launched, they recognized that students need solutions.

“The district is working on a solution to solve the problem,” Vice President of Academic Affairs Sheri Berger said.

Because the Summer A session is approaching soon, many members of the council also voiced their concern about what to tell faculty about the problem for now.

“Maybe we should send an email out to faculty so they are not surprised on the first day of class,” Oleas said.

The suggestion was not met with a concrete answer, but with the assurance from Berger that the district was handling the problem.

As issues occur, Pierce is trying to rectify problems and help students as soon as possible, Marmolejo said.

“We really tried not to let that happen,” Marmolejo said. “I really don’t have a good answer for you right now.”

Technical Support will be sending two people to the information desk to help students with their questions and respond to the growing list of complaints about logging into the student portal to access the new SIS system.

The days and times that they will be available are unknown.