SIS S.O.S.

Pierce students have been having difficulties logging in, clearing fees and registering for classes for the summer and the upcoming fall semester as LACCD transitions to a new Student Information System (SIS).  

The new system is replacing DEC in favor of an SIS powered by PeopleSoft used in all California State Universities. The information technology provides a single-access portal for services such as student email and class registration.

The new SIS will be more user-friendly and convenient for students, according to the Pierce College website. However, the initial transition has resulted in multiple problems.

According to the Pierce College Facebook page, the most common issues students are having are logging in and enrolling.

“Sometimes we will run into a couple of hiccups or challenges that are not anticipated,” Dean of Student Engagement Juan Carlos Astorga said. “We are having some natural challenges that, hopefully, moving forward won’t be issues anymore. These are all growing pains.”

According to Associate Vice President Bruce Rosky, the district has been proposing for years to upgrade to a new information system.

“DEC is a very old software,” Rosky said. “It does not have support any longer.”

The district is phasing out DEC, and will use it until the end of this summer session. To register for the fall semester, students will have to use PeopleSoft’s SIS system.

New students attempting to enroll in both the summer session and fall semester are experiencing issues because a different record is created for each system, Dean of Student Services William Marmolejo said.

The records of continuing students will transfer to the new SIS.

“The discrepancies between the two systems will eventually go away because all the information will be in the new system,” Marmolejo said.

In the meantime, the Pierce College Facebook page states that the best way for students to resolve any SIS issue is to ask for help at the Information Desk on the ground floor of the Student Services Building.

According to Astorga, there are phone numbers and instructional videos on the login webpage that students can use to troubleshoot problems. There is also a banner located in the ASO with instructions and an introduction to the new system.

“The new process is going to be better in the long term, but they are so used to how it was done before, that I think that the students that are having the easiest time with it are those that are brand new, because they have never known another system,” Astorga said.

Enrollment numbers continue to be down throughout the district. According to Marmolejo, the low numbers are due to various reasons, but confusion with the new SIS system may contribute to lower numbers for the next few semesters.

“Our enrollment numbers have been off,” Marmolejo said. “I do believe the issues could have something to do with it. I haven’t seen the numbers, but I imagine that it is impacting it.

“But the system is working and students are getting in. When we find a problem, we identify it and cross reference and contact the district to have it fixed.”

Updated: 6/23/2017 12:54 p.m.