Office of Records Explains PLNU’s Shift to Workday

The Point staff contacted the Office of Records for a statement regarding their choice to switch to the Workday platform and tools to navigate the website. Holly Irwin, the Vice Provost for Academic Administration, offered the following statement: 

Workday is a platform that supports Point Loma Nazarene University’s financial, employment and student systems. The university began using Workday for student registration, student billing and grading in 2020, though conversations to identify the best system to serve PLNU now and into the future began in 2014. PLNU was forced to make a change because the prior software system, which was 35 years old, was no longer going to be supported by the vendor. In order to serve our students and university well, we took a year to investigate several potential platforms and ended up choosing Workday since it was the system that best met our needs.

As students engage with Workday, they may notice different calendars (i.e., green, blue and gold). This was done to distinguish between the different types of courses offered, whether in the traditional undergraduate program (green calendar), or one of the graduate and professional programs (blue and gold calendars). Having this distinction in place keeps students from inadvertently registering for a class that is not applicable to their degree program. 

There are two catalogs to try to reduce confusion. One catalog (found at catalog.pointloma.edu) focuses on the policies, programs and course descriptions for PLNU traditional undergraduates, and this is the best place to find detailed information about the required courses for a major. The second catalog has the policies, programs and classes for the graduate and professional studies students. 

With any change, there is a learning curve. As Workday Student was rolled out, the university held training sessions for both students and faculty. In addition, a set of searchable “how-to” videos and guides were developed. These can be found in PLNU’s Knowledge Base. To access Knowledge Base, go to help.pointloma.edu. Students should look in the upper right hand corner, click “Sign In.” Once logged in, the user should click “Knowledge Base,” which will display a menu of helpful PLNU information. Picking the box that says “Workday Student” will bring up the location where a number of instructions for different tools are located.

Once in the Workday Student area there are two sections: “Student Academic Records and Registration” and “Student Financials.” For each of these topics there is a collection of instructions as well as some video demonstrations. In the “Student Academic Records” section, topics covered include: finding class sections offered, planning a schedule, registering for classes, asking for a prerequisite override, finding unofficial transcripts and changing home address. There is even a tips and tricks category. In the “Student Financials” section, topics covered include understanding the financials worklet, setting up payment elections such as direct deposit and maintaining friends and family.

We know that when something is only done a few times each year, it can be difficult to remember all of the details. So during the registration time each semester, we send students a reminder about how to access these resources and instructions. This year the link was sent on Oct. 13, the day before Advising Chapel. 

One of the reasons we chose Workday is because they continue to make enhancements to their product based on customer feedback. Workday Student continues to benefit from these enhancements and during their years at PLNU, students will see improvements and changes in the system.