PBSC welcomes students back to campus, rolls out major systems
Palm Beach State College welcomed back more than 23,500 students for the fall term and rolled out two major systems— Workday Student and Canvas —to better serve them.
With four learning modalities — face-to-face, online, live online, and hybrid —students have more options to take their classes as they return to some sense of normalcy since the height of the coronavirus pandemic. However, with the coronavirus cases still on the rise, the College has maintained its sanitation processes and other COVID-19- policies to keep students, faculty and staff safe.
“This is going to be a different year for us as we continue to deal with the pandemic,’’ President Ava L. Parker, J.D., told students in a video message. “I’ve asked faculty and staff to be very flexible as we meet the needs of our students, and I’m going to ask you to do the same thing. Please be flexible and understand that we’re evolving and changing to ensure your success.”
Some of the major ways in which the College is evolving is with technology. Workday Student was the last piece of a massive enterprise resource planning system (ERP) that PBSC began rolling out in phases in 2018 with Human Resources first followed by Finance. Workday replaced PantherWeb, a decades-old system that had been used by a consortium of seven colleges in the Florida College System, but it had not kept up with today’s technological advances. Each college decided in 2015 to get its own more modern system.
“I think it’s going very well,” Dr. Ginger Pedersen, vice president of Information Services, said of PBSC’s Workday Student rollout. “Students have a new modern dashboard from which to do their transactions, which is so much different than we had with PantherWeb. There are a lot more services that they can request electronically that used to be handled either by coming in person or by email that they now can do directly in Workday. We also link out to all of the other kind of features we have at the College.”
Central to Workday is that upon login, students can hit the Canvas button and they are automatically signed into Canvas. “All of these systems are connected together, which is another great feature we have with Workday,” Pedersen said.
In addition to the benefits to students, Pedersen said Workday features also help staff and faculty.
“We’re able to provide information to staff and faculty so much faster than we could with PantherWeb. Most of the reports that we get from PantherWeb were from the Data Warehouse, which means the data was not real time. If you were running reports on enrollment for things it would be based on data at 1 a.m.,’’ Pedersen said. “Now with Workday, when you run a report, it gives you the data at that exact moment in time. When you’re making tough decisions about classes and consolidating classes, you’re much more confident in your decisions. Faculty response has been super positive. We have done a lot of training over webinars. All of their functions that they do as faculty is in one place now, which was not true of PantherWeb.”
Following a statewide trend among some of Florida’s colleges and universities, PBSC also switched from Blackboard to Canvas classroom learning management system. It provides a modern and more robust student and faculty interface with better tools.
Dr. Roger Yohe, vice president of Academic Innovation and Strategy, applauded the College for simultaneously implementing the systems.
“It’s not common for institutions to change two major systems at once. We did it, and overall, it has worked well. I’m proud of our staff and faculty for pressing forward to better serve our students.”