Q & A for Students | Faculty | General | Human Capital Management

Student Questions and Answers


Faculty


General Questions and Answers

It is important that everyone be on the same page when it comes to understanding some of the basics of CUNYfirst. The following lists a number of common questions we’ve received from college Town Hall meetings or from emails that have been sent to the Core Team (cunyfirst@mail.cuny.edu). We encourage any question, any time.


Human Capital Management Questions and Answers


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Student Questions and Answers

What is CUNYfirst?

CUNYfirst (Fully Integrated Resources & Services Tool) is the name of CUNY’s Enteprise Resource Planning (ERP) project.

For students, this new student management system means more coordinated service and quicker, easier access to information about all areas of your academic life, from admissions through academic progress/graduation.

I need to deal with several offices, including Financial Aid, the Bursar, and Advisement. Will CUNYfirst change this?

Yes. CUNYfirst will make it easier for you to get the information you need through the online Student Center. Through this new integrated system, these offices and others can view your record at the same time in real time. This means faster answers for you with no more referrals from office to office.

What is the Student Center?

The Student Center consists of three areas:

Can I get onto the CUNYfirst System through the CUNY Portal?

No. The CUNYfirst system requires a separate username and password to be entered after logging in to https://home.cunyfirst.cuny.edu

How do I gain access to CUNYfirst?

To claim your CUNYfirst account,

For an online demo of claiming your account, click here: www.qcc.cuny.edu/cunyfirst/students2
For help with claiming your account or logon, email the QCC Help Desk at helpdesk@qcc.cuny.edu or call 718-631-6273.

I am an incoming new student. When and how do I register for classes on CUNYfirst?

All new incoming DEGREE students – freshmen and transfers – must meet with an academic adviser BEFORE they may register for any class. You will be notified by the Office of New Student Enrollment of your date for academic advisement.

Once you have received your appointment for advisement, you need to claim your CUNYfirst account. (Link to question/answer on claiming account.)

Freshmen: Your Freshman Coordinator will register you for your fall 2011 classes.
Transfers: Your academic advisor will assist you in setting up an appointment for registration. Please take this opportunity to learn more about CUNYfirst’s registration process.

What about new non-degree students?

You will receive direction on when and how to register in your letter of acceptance. Once you are accepted, you will need to first claim your CUNYfirst account before you may register. Academic advisement is not required for new non-degree students.

As a new incoming student, I am interested in taking summer classes. What do I need to do?

Try to register for summer classes AFTER you have met with your academic advisor, and for transfer students – after you have received your evaluation of accepted transfer credit. However, if that is not possible due to the time constraints with the start of summer classes, you may self-register for summer classes without academic advisement but you must be aware of the following two issues:

With access to CUNYfirst available to so many people, how do I know that my personal information is protected?

CUNYfirst has designed with an extremely comprehensive security program that provides privacy and safety. Once you are given initial access, you control your own password. CUNYfirst is NOT using social security numbers as part of the student ID.

How do I access financial aid information? How will this information be different?

You will access your financial aid information through the CUNYfirst Student Center, under the “Finances” section. You will see your financial aid listed there as “Anticipated Aid” along with a description of the aid. Once your aid is applied (credited to your account), this will be listed clearly on your tuition bill.

How do I change my classes on CUNYfirst?

In the CUNYfirst Student Center there is a “SWAP” feature in which the courses you request to change will automatically be swapped. You do not need to meet with an Advisor to change your classes.

NOTE: First semester freshmen must see their Freshman Academy coordinator to make any change to their class schedule.

What else will CUNYfirst do?

Each student has an individual record in CUNYfirst, and only one record. For example, if you take classes at more than one CUNY college, your registration, financial and personal information will appear under your single student account for each college. If you transfer to another CUNY college, you will use your same username and password to access your student account, which will now include the new transfer college information.

Additionally, you can:

Where can I go if I need assistance with registration or with other CUNYfirst features?

The Registration Center and several other areas on campus will be set up with CUNYfirst assistants who can personally acquaint you with the new system. This information will be sent to you along with your date for registration via TIGERMAIL.

For information on the CUNYfirst features, go to: http://first.cuny.edu and take the virtual tour. Or visit the QCC CUNYfirst website at: www.qcc.cuny.edu/cunyfirst/students

For help with claiming your account or logon, email the QCC Help Desk at helpdesk@qcc.cuny.edu or call 718-631-6273.


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Will CUNYfirst affect me?

Yes. By the time all modules and applications are fully implemented every one of our students, faculty and staff will have access to CUNYfirst. All employees will have access via self-service when the Human Resources modules go live in a few months. They’ll be able to view their personal information (address, phone number, etc.) and current listing of benefits and report to their local HR office if their data is incorrect.

What is the biggest difference between SIMS, our former system, and CUNYfirst?

The answer is right there - systems vs. system. Our current systems, which are numerous, operate to conduct all our business at CUNY. Very few of them interact with each other. CUNYfirst will integrate all our financial, HR and student processes so that data can be used instantaneous across departments and across the university.

Will I receive training on all CUNYfirst Processes?

No. In CUNYfirst everyone is assigned roles based on the work they do. Those are determined by managers and supervisors who are translating current work into CUNYfirst functions. When that has been determined, you will receive training to perform the exact tasks you need to do your job. No more, no less. If it is determined you need training on functions outside your role, your bosses will make sure you get it.

Can I have more than one role in CUNYfirst?

Yes. For example, let’s say you are faculty chairperson. You will have access to CUNYfirst Student processes needed to do your job in your department. You may also have access to Human Resources processes in your role as someone who manages people or can hire new employees. You may also have access to Finance processes for purchasing material for your office or getting expenses reimbursed. Access to all functions with one sign-on in one integrated system.

How will I have access to CUNYfirst?

Everyone (faculty, staff and students) will be given an ID and an initial password to sign into the system. At the first sign on, you will be required to change your password to something familiar to you. You will then be asked to give answers to three security questions of your choice so you can get help if you forget your password. You will change your password many times in a given year to ensure the security requirement needed to protect this system.

I work in a job that doesn’t require a computer. Does that mean I won’t have access to CUNYfirst?

No. CUNYfirst can be accessed from anywhere via your favorite internet browser. There are specific requirements for which browsers can be used, but if you have a computer at home, you can sign on to look at your personnel information or, in the future, fill out a time sheet. Campus IT teams are making available computers at various locations at the colleges for those who don’t use a computer in their day to day work.

I’m a student who is used to dealing with the bursar, financial aid and registrars offices. Will they all have access to my information?

Anyone who is given security access to assist students in their careers will be able to refer to a student’s record and look at the same information. They could even look at the data at the same time, but only one person can update a student’s record at a time. This will improve service as everyone will be on the same page – no more “he told me that and she told me this.”

If I am a student at the Graduate Center, but teach as an adjunct at Queens College, does that mean I will have two ID’s and have to remember two passwords?

Every person in the CUNYfirst system has one record. That means you will be identified in the system for all that you are to CUNY. This allows for your information to follow you wherever you go and should speed up new employee procedures if you move to a new job at another campus.

What are the processes under CUNYfirst?

There are three main areas at CUNY where new processes will be implemented – Finance, Human Resources and Student Administration.
Finance: General Ledger, Procurement (Purchasing, Accounts Payable, Expenses), Planning and Budgeting, Accounts Receivable, Asset Management, Cash and Deal Management.
Human Resources: Base HR Processes, Base Benefit Processes, Recruitment, Time and Labor, Leave Management and Payroll (interfaces with NY State and NYC).
Student Administration: Academic Structure, Course Catalogue, Schedule of Classes, Student Financials, Student Records, Financial Aid and Admissions.

Will there be tracking of purchases, budgets?

Yes. The new procurement module, which is now in its business process configuration and validation phase, will have a tracking feature that will allow everyone who is involved in a procurement, from requestors to those who will track packages and deliveries, as well as the payment for procurements, will be able to see its status. There is also a feature in the Procurement system that will allow checking of budgeted funds against the purchase order. A screen in the module will be the LifeSpan page (see graphic below). That shows the timeline of a procurement from Requisition to Payment.

Will Research Foundation employees be part of the CUNYfirst system?

If their work is such that they need access to CUNYfirst processes, then yes. If an RF employee manages CUNY or campus people, then they’ll need access to the managerial functions in HR. Otherwise, they’ll be part of a group of employees that have a tangential relationship to CUNYfirst, as they do now.

What backup systems are in place to make sure the data won’t be lost?

The CUNYfirst system is hosted by our partners from Oracle at a site in Atlanta, Georgia. That means our data and processes are going back and forth on the highest quality data lines from New York to there. Each day, current CUNY data is replicated at a second site every 15 minutes, also in Georgia, but far enough away to ensure that any compromises at the primary site (weather, natural disaster, etc.) will not be replicated because of proximity. The systems are backed up every night. In case of a shutdown at our primary site, a recovery plan has already been created to ensure a smooth transition to the backup data, and, when our technical teams have it available again, a smooth transition to our primary site.

I heard about Employee Self-Service and the ability to work with HR to make sure my personal information is correct. Is there anything that cannot be changed?

When the CUNYfirst Human Resource module is available to all employees, we will encourage everyone to check to make sure their data is correct from spelling of name, to addresses, family information and current benefits. If anything is not correct, employees should contact their local HR office to make sure it is correct. In that data, information like a social security number, which is needed for tax reasons, name changes, new degrees, etc. must be confirmed by HR professionals.

Do all colleges participate in CUNYfirst testing?

Yes and no. While some testing requires us to get a wide range of experiences as we put the processes through their paces, we may have some campus experts participate in one test while others are called for another. Since we are creating common business processes to be used across the university, we want to make sure we will use something that works at every campus.


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Human Capital Management Questions and Answers

How will I learn to use CUNYfirst processes?

In the classroom, from an on-line learning tool or with job-aids. Everyone who must perform their tasks using CUNYfirst tools will be signed up to enroll in classroom learning. They will be trained by members of the CUNYfirst Training team, or their peers from around the university.

I’ve heard about the concept of Train the Trainers. What does that mean?

Train the Trainer is the method chosen by the CUNYfirst Project to teach staff the specific steps they’ll perform to do their job. Most of the “Train the Trainers” were chosen by leaders at their college or office because they have subject specific knowledge of the processes. Some were chosen because they have trained or taught others before or have excellent presentation skills. Some were a combination of both. Having peers teach colleagues new functions adds credibility and extends knowledge and support throughout CUNY.

What is ELM?

The Enterprise Learning Management system contains the tools that help us schedule classes, validate learning, make class material available and provide on-line learning through the User Productivity Kits (UPK). Every employee has a profile in ELM. Through it a person can check available classes that fit their user profile, look up course material and information and take refresher courses. ELM also provides information for Application Security Liaisons that allows them to give permissions for users to access the processes they need to do their jobs.

Explain the UPK.

The User Productivity Kit is an on-line tool that takes a user through the processes step by step for all the CUNYfirst Processes. You can actually see, in video format, the process for doing specific functions in the software.

If the only functions I need to perform in CUNYfirst is to look up my personal information to confirm to the Human Resources staff, will I have to have a lot of training?

No. You will learn how to log on through a combination of messages, on-line learning and job aids. If you acquire new responsibilities that require you to have more access, then you will have access to classes to learn these new skills.

Will I receive training on all CUNYfirst Processes?

No. In CUNYfirst everyone is assigned roles based on the work they do. Those are determined by managers and supervisors who are translating current work into CUNYfirst functions. When that has been determined, you will receive training to perform the exact tasks you need to do your job. No more, no less. If it is determined you need training on functions outside your role, your bosses will make sure you get it.


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Faculty

What is the CUNYfirst Project?

FIRST stands for Fully Integrated Resources and Services Tool. ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning and for CUNY it means a massive change in how we’ll do things in the future. ERP processes in Student Administration, Human Resources and Finance will change how we do everything from registering for classes to paying our bills.

ERP computer systems will replace aging legacy systems like SIMS and CUPS and help us streamline and standardize many of the things we do at our colleges. The PeopleSoftTM processes that our students, faculty and staff will interact with via the interest have been implemented in phases.

Queensborough Community College and Queens College are the Vanguard Colleges for CUNYfirst. Roll-out plans to other CUNY campuses are underway.

What can faculty do with CUNYfirst?

Faculty can view rosters and class schedules, perform a class search, advise students, and assign grades. As advisors, faculty will benefit from the resources within CUNYfirst that allow access to the same information as seen by students. Different departments may have access to the same student at the same time, thereby eliminating wait time or the need to send students to different offices.

How will I have access to CUNYfirst?

Everyone (faculty, staff and students) will be given an ID and an initial password to sign into the system. At the first sign on, you will be required to change your password to something familiar to you. You will then be asked to give answers to five security questions of your choice so you can get help if you forget your password. You will change your password many times in a given year to ensure the security requirements that are needed to protect this system.

What are the password requirements for CUNYfirst?

Password requirements are:

What do I do if I forget my password?

Which browser is recommended for CUNYfirst access?

Does CUNYfirst work on Macs?

Yes, as long as you use a recommended browser.

Do I have to be on campus to register for a CUNYfirst account?

No. All you need is internet access and one of the recommended browsers.

Can I have more than one role in CUNYfirst?

Yes. For example, let’s say you are faculty chairperson. You will have access to CUNYfirst Student processes needed to do your job in your department. You may also have access to Human Resources processes in your role as someone who manages people or hires new employees. Additionally, you may have access to Finance processes for purchasing department or office materialsseeking reimbursement for expenses. With CUNYfirst, access to all functions with one sign-on is in one integrated system!

What is the biggest difference between SIMS and CUNYfirst?

The answer is right there – systems vs. system. Our current systems, which are numerous, operate to conduct all our business at CUNY. Very few of them interact with each other. CUNYfirst will integrate all our financial, HR and student processes so that data can be used instantaneously across departments and across the University.

Will I receive training on all CUNYfirst Processes?

No. In CUNYfirst everyone is assigned roles based on the work they do. Those roles are determined by managers and supervisors who are translating current work into CUNYfirst functions. When that has been determined, you will receive training to perform the exact tasks you need to do your job - no more, no less. If it is determined you need training on additional functions outside your role, your supervisorsbosses are responsible for ensuring that you receive the necessary training to do your job.

What are the processes under CUNYfirst?

There are three main areas at CUNY where new processes will be implemented – Finance, Human Resources and Student Administration.

Finance: General Ledger, Procurement (Purchasing, Accounts Payable, Expenses), Planning and Budgeting, Accounts Receivable, Asset Management, Cash and Deal Management.
Human Resources: Base HR Processes, Base Benefit Processes, Recruitment, Time and Labor, Leave Management and Payroll (interfaces with NY State and NYC).
Student Administration: Academic Structure, Course Catalogue, Schedule of Classes, Student Financials, Student Records, Financial Aid and Admissions.

What will the Human Resource processes allow me to do?

A major feature of the CUNY ERP will be its self-service functions, allowing faculty and staff to view portions of their HR records, including a listing of current chosen benefits.

Will Research Foundation and Auxiliary employees be part of the CUNYfirst system?

If their work is such that they need access to CUNYfirst processes, then yes. If an RF employee manages CUNY or campus people, then they’ll need access to the managerial functions in HR. Otherwise, they’ll be part of a group of employees that have a tangential relationship to CUNYfirst, as they do now.

I heard about Employee Self-Service and the ability to work with HR to make sure my personal information is correct. Is there anything that cannot be changed?

With the CUNYfirst Human Resource module, all faculty and staff are encouraged to check to make sure their data is correct, i.e. spelling of name, address, family information and current listing of benefits. If anything is not correct, employees should contact their local HR office to make sure it is corrected. In that data, information such as social security numbers, which are needed for tax purposes, along with name changes, new degrees, etc. must be confirmed by the HR professionals.

I work in a job that doesn’t require a computer. Does that mean I won’t have access to CUNYfirst?

No. CUNYfirst can be accessed from anywhere via your favorite internet browser. There are specific requirements for which browsers can be used, but if you have a computer at home, you can sign on to look at your personnel information or, in the future, fill out a time sheet. Campus IT teams are making computers available at various locations at the colleges for those who don’t use computers in their daily work.

Will there be tracking of purchases and budgets?

Yes. The new procurement module, the FINANCE section of CUNYfirst, has a tracking feature that will allow everyone who is involved in a procurement, from requestors to those who will track packages and deliveries as well as the payment for such procurements, will be able to see its status. There is also a feature in the Procurement system that will allow checking the budgeted funds against the purchase order.

How will CUNYfirst affect students?

CUNYfirst will give our students a more coordinated and personalized approach to managing their academic careers. Please visit the STUDENTS section of this website. Many of your questions may be answered through the STUDENTS Q & A link.

Where can I go for assistance?

You have several options listed on the home page for our CUNYfirst web site. You can also call the HELP CENTER at 718-631-6348. If you have difficulty establishing your account, please contact Glenna Lash at GLash@qcc.cuny.edu for assistance.