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Skip Navigation Links2013AccomplishmentsReport 2013 Technology Solutions Accomplishments Report

Stat #1:

over 32,000 help desk tickets resolved with average resolution time of 52 minutes

A Message from Vice President/Chief Information Officer Paul Czarapata


2013 was an incredibly fast-paced, hectic, yet very productive year for the Technology Solutions department. Higher education is in the midst of an extraordinary opportunity to leverage new technologies that stand to disrupt the “traditional” notion of higher education as we know it. The gaining popularity of flipped classrooms, competency based education, adaptive learning systems, and massive online open courses (MOOCs) to name a few, all heavily leverage technology. While it is imperative in 2014 that Technology Solutions continues to provide enterprise services such as network, library systems, storage, phone, email, intranet, administrative/academic systems, and end user training - we clearly need to identify, embrace, and implement new technologies that directly support the vision of KCTCS as the nation’s premiere community and technical college system. Technologies such as three-dimensional printing, gamification, wearable technology, augmented reality devices, truly adaptive learning systems, and the pervasive use of open education resources will all enable new and innovative if not game-changing opportunities in higher education.

The achievements noted in this report directly reflect the passion for excellence, commitment to service, and spirit of innovation within this department. The dedication and teamwork of technology staff at both the system office and our colleges is truly remarkable. The credit for our success goes to this team. I am very proud of their accomplishments in 2013 and hope you enjoy the new web-based report format. We look forward to meeting 2014 head-on with numerous technology implementations that continue to bring us closer to our vision and truly make a significant difference to the students, faculty, and staff of KCTCS.

Sincerely,

 

Paul B. Czarapata
Vice President/Chief Information Officer
Kentucky Community & Technical College System

Stat #2:

over 34.2 million visits to our public websites in 2013 & over 150,000 visits to the employee intranet October-December

Who We Are

KCTCS System Office Technology Solutions strives to be the trusted advisor for and champion of technology-based solutions for our students, faculty, and staff of 16 Colleges at 70 locations. Technology Solutions is comprised of 42 dedicated team members and an extended network of contracted third-party partners that give us the flexibility to expertly plan and execute strategic technology. Strategic partnerships with best-of-breed technology providers such as Cedarcrestone, Cincinnati Bell Technology Solutions, Cisco, Dell, Microsoft, and Oracle allow us to extend our reach and provide round-the-clock support to our students, faculty, and staff.

The Services We Provide:

Administrative Systems Development & Support

  • Human Resources/Payroll
  • Financials
  • Student Information Systems

Data Warehousing

  • Business Intelligence
  • Decision Support System
  • Reporting

End User Support

  • Training
  • Application Administration/Security
  • Administrative System Help Desk

Email, Messaging, & Lync

  • Electronic Mail
  • Phone
  • Instant Messaging
  • Video Conferencing
  • Emergency Notification

Intranet Development & Support

  • Internal Web Management
  • Web Development, Support
  • Content Management

Library Services

  • Library Resource Discovery and Access
  • Library Enterprise System
  • Library Administration and Management Tools

Network Engineering

  • Network Design
  • Performance Management
  • Firewall Management

System Office Technology Support

  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Mobile Device Support

Security Management

  • Security Education/Prevention
  • Incident Response Coordination
  • Sensitive Data Management
  • Proactive Technology Assessment

Stat #3:

1800 managed network devices

Our Vision, Mission, & Values

Vision

To be the trusted advisor for and the champion of technology-based solutions while first considering the human and functional elements in any proposed solution for KCTCS Colleges, faculty, staff, and students.

Mission Statement

  • Create better understanding of the pervasive nature and role of technology in all facets of the KCTCS mission.
  • Provide enterprise-wide hardware, software, and support for management and analysis of administrative and academic functions.
  • Provide advice, hardware, software, and/or support for a college or consortia of colleges for specific, goal-directed administrative or academic functions based on the priorities established by the PLT and President’s Cabinet.
  • Provide functional and technical staffing for development and/or implementation of software and hardware enhancements, improvements and features which meet prioritized business needs.
  • Be the go-to business unit at the System Office for support of all technology planning and development activities for the Colleges and campuses of the KCTCS system.
  • Provide a common technical experience for faculty, staff, and students across the system as they access administrative systems and support services.

Values

  • Responsiveness to students, faculty, staff, employers, and communities
  • Access with innovative and flexible delivery mechanisms
  • Trust, respect, and open communication
  •  Inclusion and engagement of appropriate, multiple constituent groups in planning, prioritization, and acquisition of technological solutions
  • Continuous improvement in practices and processes

Stat #4:

1 million valid emails received & 200,000 new email messages sent per day

Guiding Principles

​The development and definition of the goals for the KCTCS Technology Solutions organization were based on six guiding principles and fourteen goals. These are:

arrowGuiding Principle 1: Alignment with KCTCS Strategic Plans and Transformation Initiatives

  • Goal 1.1 Technology Solutions will develop and refine unit strategic goals that are consistent with the KCTCS
    Strategic Plan.

arrowGuiding Principle 2: Commitment to Service

  • Goal 2.1 Technology Solutions will endeavor to meet the diverse and unique technical support needs of students,
    faculty, staff, and alumni.
  • Goal 2.2 Technology Solutions will continue to monitor the utilization of staff, and funds for alignment with the
    KCTCS mission.
  • Goal 2.3 Technology Solutions management and staff will focus on our mission and values, assessing projects and individual contributions for alignment with KCTCS objectives.
  • Goal 2.4 Technology Solutions will foster an environment where open, thorough, and effective communication
    with all constituents is valued and rewarded.

arrowGuiding Principle 3: Commitment to Best Practices in Technology Communications

  • Goal 3.1 Technology Solutions will create a dedicated role for system-wide and departmental technology communications including administrative, upgrade, outage, and training information.
  • Goal 3.2 Technology Solutions will recognize and reward its employees whose actions are mission-focused and exemplify teamwork and good communication.

arrowGuiding Principle 4: Leveraging the use, adoption and training for underutilized technology resources

 

  • Goal 4.1 Technology Solutions will work with the Colleges to provide services that will allow personally
    owned computers and other mobile devices to be effectively utilized for instructional and customer
    service purposes.   
  • Goal 4.2 Technology Solutions will identify and determine effective usage of new delivery models such as cloud-based models.

arrowGuiding Principle 5: Commitment to an effective system-wide infrastructure

  • Goal 5.1 Technology Solutions will continue to leverage economies of scale to expand and upgrade networks and other technical structural needs.
  • Goal 5.2 Technology Solutions will seek local, state, regional and global partnerships, and other opportunities to supplement and expand KCTCS’ technology services investments.
  • Goal 5.3 Technology Solutions will provide guidelines for system-wide and college-managed access for faculty, staff, and students to use information for the accomplishment of professional and educational goals.

arrowGuiding Principle 6: Effective use of KCTCS resources via promotion of Technology standards

  • Goal 6.1 Technology Solutions will develop and publish biennial standards and guidelines for hardware and software procurement, replacements, and upgrades so that Colleges can make informed and timely decisions about the sustainability of the Colleges’ technologies and support services.
  • Goal 6.2 Technology Solutions will employ best practice principles of project management for all development and enhancement projects within its purview by dedicating specific personnel with project management skills to the management of all on-going and new projects. 

Stat #5:

6,517 device alarms responded to in 2013

Completed Projects

2014

Administrative Systems

arrowPeopleSoft PeopleTools Upgrade & Fix Bundles

A major infrastructure upgrade of PeopleSoft PeopleTools and the application of fix bundles was completed in October 2013. The infrastructure upgrade and application of fixes provide the groundwork for future enhancements, upgrades and implementations, utilizing updated technologies which will provide improved functionality and user experience. System landing pages (main pages & pagelets when users login) were also reworked to streamline, provide more relevant date, and mesh seamlessly with the new tools infrastructure.

arrowPeopleSoft Hosting RFP Awarded to Cedarcrestone

KCTCS was in the cloud before the cloud even had a name. In 2002 KCTCS entered into an agreement for remote managed services and hosting of their PeopleSoft enterprise systems, the first higher education institution to do so. That contract served them well, but with all contracts due diligence is required after a length of time to ensure you are getting the best service/performance for the money. KCTCS issued an RFP over the summer 2013 and awarded a new contract for hosting services to Cedarcrestone that was effective February 2014.

Stat #6:

8.75 million calls in 2013

Looking Forward: 2014

2014

 

arrowCivitas Learning Predicative Analytics Project

KCTCS has signed a contract with Civitas Learning to develop a predictive analytics platform in order to better understand what factors truly make an impact in areas of student retention and academic outcomes. Phase I of the project implements the Illume product which is a dashboard using historical data from numerous administrative systems to predict future outcomes using proprietary algorithms to surface student segments and data insights. Phase II will be a degree mapping tool which students and advisors can use to improve course outcomes (e.g. reducing excess credits, helping improve on-time graduation, etc.) by making personalized course recommendations.

arrowImplementation of Primo Discovery System

The libraries began implementing the Primo Discovery and Delivery system in early November 2013. In order to provide for branding, customization, and searching the unique resources of each library, KCTCS will implement 17 instances of Primo and SFX, one for each of the colleges and the System Office. The System Office instance will only have resources available system-wide that can be copied for each of the other libraries and then customized with college branding and each libraries’ additional resources. The first cohort of libraries—Bluegrass, Jefferson, and Maysville—will make Primo available to a large segment of the KCTCS population while also rewarding contributions to the RFP committee. Cohort one libraries are scheduled for a beta launch of Primo in mid-March 2014. All the other libraries will follow in short order at a rate of two per week with a system-wide beta launch projected for mid-May.

arrowOnline Admissions Application Redesign

Technology Solutions is working closely with representatives from all 16 colleges, the system office, and our consulting partners Cedar Crestone to develop a new online admissions application which will greatly improve the student experience and streamline the admissions processes in support of the Student Service Center project and strategic enrollment management. The goal is to have the new application live in late spring 2014.

arrowClass Search Work Group Recommendations

After receiving requests for changes to the delivered class search within PeopleSoft from the Distance Learning Peer Team and others across the system, Technology Solutions formed a work group to develop formal recommendations for modifications to the class search. The work group submitted the recommendations in the fall of 2013. Resources will be committed to the implementation of the recommendations in the 2014/2015 budget year.

arrowDirect2Degree

Direct to Degree is an innovative competency-based online program currently under development. As KCTCS moves toward implementation of this program, Technology Solutions will be responsible for the development of customized processes and functionality to support the identification and tracking of competencies earned while enrolled in courses within the Direct to Degree program. Staff within the department are currently evaluating the new Program Enrollment feature to provide a clear path to enrollment within the program.

arrowVisual Scheduler Builder

The KCTCS Class Search work group recommended the purchase and implementation of the Visual Schedule Builder class search tool. This tool will provide an interactive, visual representation of potential class schedules for our students as the student identifies the courses he/she hopes to enroll. The student can narrow the number of schedule combinations by blocking out days and times the student may be unavailable based upon work schedules or other commitments. Staff within the department are currently working with the Visual Schedule Builder team toward an implementation in late spring 2014.

arrowStudent Services and Financial Aid Transformation Projects

The 2nd phase of Student Services Transformation is scheduled in 2014 and will focus heavily on student recruitment, admissions, and records. Technology Solutions provides technical requirements for the integration of PeopleSoft SIS (Student Information System) with both SIMS (Support Interaction Management System) and StarFish, a retention and advisement support software. Additional enhancements to academic transcripts and other tools to help students through the admissions process are scheduled to be launched.

Deployment of Student Loan Application and SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress) Appeal form are planned for the Financial Aid Transformation in 2014. Deployment of these forms would automate data gathering and improve services to students and colleges.

arrowBlackboard Learn Analytics Project

In 2013, Technology Solutions started work on a Blackboard Learn Analytics implementation. Blackboard Learn Analytics combines extensive data from Blackboard Learn, the KCTCS course management system, with student and course attributes from Peoplesoft Student Information System to create comprehensive reports and dashboards for students, instructors, staff and leadership. Prior to KCTCS purchasing Blackboard Learn Analytics, the Decision Support System (DSS) team developed its own proof of concept Blackboard Analytics model and plans to combine and roll-out the new Blackboard Analytics software in 2014-2015 timeframe.