1 – The Toolbar. The toolbar has icons for quick access to various features in WCS. You can hover over each icon to see the name of its function. Some of the key features are highlighted below.
2 – Quick Access Bar. In this section, you can quickly see any new conversations when a students responds to your messages (also sent to your email inbox), do a quick search for students by name or V-Number (which students you can search varies by your user role), select the desired term (defaults to the current term), or click on the Help button for access to tutorials and additional resources.
3 – User Profile and Appointments. This section indicates what mode WCS. If you have multiple roles, such as professor and staff (most common as an advisor role), you can select the drop down arrow next to the user profile to switch your roles to utilize the features specific to that role. The tabs underneath the advisor role allow you to see your upcoming appointments, set up your appointment availability and your personal appointment link, and more.
4 – Quick Links. The links on the right hand side of the page can take you quickly to common areas of WCS, such as issuing an alert or recording class assignments.
If you are an advisor, below the user profile and tabs (see the Homepage Navigation section above), you will see a list of all of your students assigned to you for the term selected in the top quick access bar. If you click on the drop down arrow next to My Assigned Students, you can select a certain type of student (major, minor, etc.) or choose to see your assigned students for all terms.
By selecting specific or all students from the list, you can click on the action drop down to messages to your students, set up appointment campaigns, issue alerts for individual students, and more.
Student profiles are the most utilized feature of WCS and are an integral part of advising. However, to understand the importance of what the student profile can do, some background understanding is required which is covered in this overview. The student profile is a set of information about the student and their academic performance. The profile contains information centered on proactively identifying students at risk of not graduating in their major and providing the tools to support the student.
- The Overview tab is a quick summary of how many D/F grades a student earned, W grades, repeated courses, cumulative GPA, total earned credits (transfer and institution) and percentage of credit completion at institution. Scrolling down, users can also see a student’s major, history of major changes, the staff working with the student, and various categories of identifiers a student has.
- Class Info: Select the tab under a student’s profile.
- In this tab, users will be able to see a student’s current courses for the term. The term can be changed by selecting another term in the top right corner of the page.
- History of courses/Term details: A student’s academic transcript will appear in the Class Info tab. Scroll down from the current courses and view a student’s term by term details including grades, credits earned, GPA, and academic standing.
- History tab: View previous visit to support centers, previous cases/alerts, and previous advisor reports.
In the student profile, advisors will now be able to view a student’s current course listing as well as their academic transcript. To access this, go to a student’s page by searching for them in the top right hand corner or by clicking on an advisee.
On their main profile page, select the “Class Info” tab under their name. Their current courses will appear. By scrolling down, you will see their academic transcripts. On the right side, you will be able to see their term GPA, cumulative GPA, and academic standing for that term.
SYNCING CALENDAR AND SETTING UP APPOINTMENT AVAILABILITY
The built in appointment scheduling functions of WCS allow you to easily allow students to schedule appointments with you. WCS syncs with your busy/free times on your WOU calendar and the appointments will show up directly on your calendar. WCS will only show appointment times to students during the availability you set up (see more below) and that are free on your calendar. This way, as you have students schedule appointments or other meetings on your calendar, those times will not be available for students to see and you do not have to adjust your availability.
Students will receive email and text (if they choose) reminders prior to the appointment and the email confirmation will include any information they need to prepare for the appointment (e.g. Zoom link, office locations, phone numbers, etc). The appointments also link directly to the student’s profile in WCS, so you can quickly pull up student information when preparing for the appointment.
Syncing Your Calendar
If you have never used the appointment scheduling feature of WCS, you will first need to sync your calendar. To sync your calendar, follow these steps:
1. Click on the Calendar icon on the left hand toolbar.
2. On the right hand side of the page, click on the Setting and Sync button.
3. Click on the Setup Sync button and choose Google Calendar. Follow the prompts to connect with your WOU Google Account.
Setting up Availability
Once your calendar is synced, you will set up your availability to indicate what times and for what reasons you are available for appointments. You will need to create availability at a specific location with specific appointment reasons. If you use multiple locations (e.g. phone and virtual, you will need to set an availability for each location)To set availability, follow these steps:
1. From the Staff home page, select the My Availability tab.
2. Click on Actions and select Add Time to create new availability. Select “Copy Time” to duplicate an existing availability. Tip: To create availability for different days of the week at different times, create one availability, copy that time and change the time and dates.
3. Follow the prompts to choose the day(s), hours, appointment type, location, and advising services you provide (e.g. Faculty Advising – Major Advisor or SSA – General Advising). Note: if you do not see the services that apply to you or your department, please email email@example.com to discuss adding new service reasons.
4. If the appointment is for a phone or virtual location, include the phone number or video link (e.g. Zoom) in the URL/Phone Number box. Then you can include any special instructions you want the students to take prior to the meeting. Tip: You can create separate availabilities for different appointment types if you want to create unique special instructions for each appointment type.
Once you have set up your availability, students can schedule appointments with you by logging into WCS in their WOU Portal, from your personal availability link or through an appointment campaign (see more details in the drop downs below).
NEW FEATURE: PERSONAL AVAILABILTY LINK
A new feature for appointment scheduling in WCS is a personal appointment link that takes students directly to your appointment options and bypasses several steps in the scheduling process. The personal availability link is available under the My Availability tab on the Staff home screen (you may need to switch from the professor home screen). You can share this link directly with students for them to schedule an appointment once your calendar is synced to WCS and your availability isset up.
You will need to make sure the Include in My Personal Availability link checkbox is marked in your availability for it to show as an option in your link.
Appointment campaigns allow you to send an email to a targeted group of students with a link to schedule an appointment for a specific appointment reason. Students will be able select a specific date and time in which to schedule an appointment instead of the advisor creating appointments for each and every student. This feature is commonly used when an advisor wants to meet with all of their students at least once per term for advising holds. Department administrators with sufficient permissions can also send appointment campaigns on behalf of staff in their area.
Creating an Appointment Campaign
1. While on the Staff Home Page, select “Appointment Campaigns” from the Quick Links section or the Campaigns icon on the left hand toolbar.
2. On the right hand side of the page, under Actions, select Appointment Campaign.
3. On the next page, fill out the fields to define your campaign.
- Name your campaign (students will not see the name of the campaign). Include the term and your name/initials in the title of the campaign.
- Select the applicable Care Unit.
- Choose your desired location (you can only select one location for campaigns). If you want to allow students to select multiple locations, you can use your personal availability link.
- Select the service (or reason) you want for the appointment (you can only select one service for each appointment campaign).
- Choose the date range for which you want the campaign to run. If a student tries to schedule outside of that time period, they will receive a message stating that the campaign has expired. NOTE: This must match the availability you have set up in your advisor home page, under “My Availability.” Ensure that you have created CAMPAIGN availability during the timeframe that you would like your campaign to run.
- Choose how many students you want to be able to schedule an appointment. Select 1 unless you are scheduling group appointments.
- Choose the desired length of your appointment. This will override the default time period for the appointment reason and allows you to customize the time to your needs.
- Once you have completed all the fields, select Continue at the bottom of the page.
4. On the next page, use the Advanced Search feature to search for students you would like to participate in the campaign. Or, choose one of your saved searches by clicking the drop-down arrow beside “Saved Searches.” Select the students you wish to include in your campaign. Confirm the list of students included and remove or add students as needed and click Continue.
5. If you have correctly set up your availability for Campaigns then you should see your name on the next page. Check the box next to your name and select Continue. Note: if you have sufficient permissions to include others in the appointment campaign, select the boxes next to anyone else you want to include.
6. On the following page, customize your message. NOTE: Always be sure to keep the Schedule Link in your email body, if that is removed students will be unable to schedule appointments. When done, select Continue.
7. On the final review page, review the details of your campaign. When you are ready, click Confirm and Send to send the email out to the students on the list.
Reviewing and Resending Campaigns
You can return back to the Campaigns section of WCS at any time to view the progress of the campaign or to resend the message to students who have not responded to the campaign. To resend the campaign, select the name of the campaign and then on Edit Campaign Details.
ADVISING APPOINTMENT SUMMARY & NOTES
Staff who meet with students are encouraged to document their interactions with students. Specifically for advisors, documentation provides continuity and consistency in advising, increases communication between departments, and improves advising relationships with students. In WCS, there are two ways to leave documentation about a student interaction: the Notes feature and the Appointment Summary/Report. NOTE: These reports are part of a student’s educational record and as such are protected by FERPA and can be requested by the student at any time.
Adding a Note
Notes can be used to add information to a student’s record for quick access or that you use as a reminder for something when meeting with the student (e.g. preferred name, degree plan). If desired, notes can also be made viewable to the student. To add a note, select a student or search for a student and go to their Profile page. Then select Add a Note on this Student on the right hand side.
Add any details in the body of the note. You can add a note reason or attach a file if desired. Then you can check the applicable boxes to make the note only viewable to you or to make it viewable to the student. Then click on Save Note. Once saved, you can view the note in the History tab of the Student profile.
Adding an Appointment Summary
If you have a scheduled appointment with a student in WCS, you can add an appointment summary from the Appointments tab on the Staff Home Page. Click on the Appointment tab, check the box next to the student you want to add a summary for, click on the Actions button, and select the option to Add Appointment Summary.
If you have an appointment or meeting with a student that was not scheduled through WCS, you can add an Appointment Report on the Student Profile page. To do this, select a student or search for a student and go to their Profile page. Select the option to report on an Appointment.
In the Appointment Report box, fill out any of the relevant information in the fields on the left, and write your notes in the Appointment Summary box, then click on Save Report. Once saved, you can view the appointment summary in the History tab of the Student profile.
The Advanced Search function within WCS allows you to search your students while applying multiple different filters to create specific cohorts of students based on your search parameters. Please note that while using the search function, you must only search for students that you a have a legitimate a need to know (such as your assigned advisees or students in your class that term) based on your job description to maintain FERPA requirements. To use the Advanced Search:
- From the homepage, click on the “Advanced Search” icon in the toolbar to the left.
- Select the drop down area in each section to enter the specific parameters you want to search for (e.g. student GPA, enrollment history, categories, etc)
- Once you have selected the parameters you want, click on the blue Search button at the bottom of the screen.
- Click on the Actions drop downs to get a list of what you are able to do with that student data. Some options include sending the students a message, creating an appointment campaign, adding the results to a student list, or exporting the results to a csv file. (Note: if you have more than one page of results, be sure to check the button that says All and then click on the message to Select all items before doing anything on the actions menu).
Saving the Search
If this is a search you perform frequently, you can save the search filters, and every time you click on the saved search it will give you data for the point in time. To do this, you will click Save at the top of this window and name the search.
Finding Advisor Assignments
Another common use of the Advanced Search for department administrators or APAs is identifying students for each advisor or to search for students in their department who do not have an assigned advisor. To search for this do the following:
- Use the search parameters to select the current term of enrollment and desired major(s).
2. Under the last drop down “Assigned to,” under Student has relationship, select Major Advisor and then under Staff select the desired advisor or No Assigned Major Advisor.
3. Then, click on the Search button at the bottom of the page. After the search loads, if you would like to download the list, select the Actions button and select the option to Export the results.
A student list can be used to save a list of students that you would like to monitor or be aware of the progress of a group of students. You can enter Student Lists in the Advanced Search, select the students to send an appointment campaign, or to track from term to term. You can create a watch list in two ways:
1. Run an advanced search in WCS (see instructions above) with the desired parameters for the students you want to save on the list. Select Search and and then check the ALL button to select all the students which came back on your search. Then click on Actions and select Add to Student List.
You will then get this dialog box asking if you want to add these students to a watch list that already exists or if you want to create a new list. Select the option to Create a new list, enter a name, and Select Save. To find your list once you have created it, click on the Lists and Searches icon in the left menu bar, and students lists will be located at the top of the page.
2. Upload a csv file with a list of students you want to save as a student list. Prepare your list by creating a csv file with the student’s name and V-Number (in separate columns). Then in WCS, click on the Lists and Searches icon, and in the Student List section, click on Actions, and Upload Student List.
You will then be walked through a few steps of uploading the file and selecting which column the Student ID (V-Number) is located in. At the end, select Save. Then your student lists will be saved and viewable on the Lists and Searches page. Depending on the size of the file, it could take a few minutes for the list of students to upload.
WCS: Overview and Getting Started
WCS Update Training-2021
WCS: Your Tool for Enhancing Classroom Management in a Remote Environment
Q: What do I use WCS for?
A: WCS has many functions to assist you in better supporting your students. You can make appointments with students, take advising appointment notes, see what other departments and appointments the students have had across campus, see detailed student information all in one place, and use the features of WCS to track student progress, search for specific students, do proactive outreach and more. For department administrators and administrative assistants, the features of WCS allow you to easily search for students by many parameters in your department to assign advisors, contact students with important information, and more.
Q: How do I use WCS to schedule appointments with my students?
A: To set up appointment scheduling, you will need to sync your calendar, set up your availability, and then send your personal availability link to students or set up an appointment campaign. For more details, refer to the tutorials listed above.
Q: I tried searching for a student but got a message that I do not have sufficient permissions to view the student. Why am I seeing this message?
A: To maintain FERPA protections, staff/faculty searching in WCS can only view students that they have a legitimate need to do so. For faculty advisors and instructors, this means you can only see students registered for your classes or who are your assigned advisees. If you need to search for a student who took a class in a previous term, you can change the term in the upper right hand corner to that term and try searching again. If you are a professional advisor who works with students from multiple majors or a department administrator/administrative assistant who works with a wide range of students based on your job description, you may need to have expanded permissions for accessing data in WCS to match your position. For any questions about user roles and permissions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: My advisee list in WCS doesn’t match my advisee list in WolfWeb. What is causing the difference?
A: By default, advisee lists in WCS and WolfWeb are term based, meaning they only show the students enrolled for the selected term. If the lists are showing different students, you can double check to ensure that the terms selected are the same in WCS and WolfWeb. At the end of each term, WCS will automatically roll forward to the new term and only show your students registered for that term. You can change the term in the upper right hand corner on the screen.
WCS also allows you the option to filter students by advisor type (major, minor, etc) or to see your assigned students for all terms. To do this, select the drop down arrow next to “My Assigned Students…” If the terms are matching and you still see differences between your advisee lists in WCS and WolfWeb, please email email@example.com.
Q: I am a department administrator or program assistant but I am not able to view students in my department. Why am I seeing this error?
A: Faculty and staff are automatically assigned roles based on Banner codes (e.g., staff, advisor, instructor, coach, etc) with the ability to see their assigned students based on that role. Users outside of those basic categories (e.g. department head, division chair, administrative program assistants), who have a legitimate need to access additional information outside their assigned students, can request their user permissions to be updated to the most appropriate role. To request a change in user permissions, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
- Your position title
- Description of what information you need to access in WCS and how it aligns with your job duties.
- Confirmation that you already have permission to access the student data in Banner (approved through the Business/Registrar’s Office)