Purdue University Northwest’s Information Services (IS) department will implement an upgrade to the university’s Banner system, targeting a “go live” for early October. Upgrading the system was necessary since Ellucian, the software company behind Banner, will cease support for PNW’s current system, Banner 8, at the end of 2018.
The Banner 9 upgrade project began a year ago, according to Carol Coupet, senior project manager in Information Services. Administrators from the Registrar’s office, Financial Aid and the Bursar’s office have been testing the system since last February.
The upgrade modernizes the interface for Banner’s administrative applications, migrating the environment from a Java desktop application to a Google Chrome Web browser. The shift provides users with a simplified, mobile-friendly and more accessible interface.
PNW’s registrar, Cheryl Arroyo, likes the new web-based interface, but says the only challenge is learning new keyboard shortcuts. The biggest benefit she sees in the upgrade will be for students and faculty members.
Along with Administrative Applications, the Banner 9 upgrade project also includes parts of the system known as Self-Service modules. For students, this includes features such as viewing their profile and grades, as well as searching the course catalog, viewing their class schedule and registering for classes.
“The new Self-Service interface is extremely intuitive,” said Arroyo. “We really think students and faculty advisors will like how easy it is to register for classes.”
As of last week, Coupet said the Student Self-Service customizations were over 75 percent complete. In close collaboration with IS, Arroyo said the new self-service features will be implemented for spring class registration.
The Banner 9 upgrade project group plans to conduct extensive testing of the system at the end of August. In September, a series of in-person training sessions, as well as training videos are planned to help acclimate affected users to the coming changes. Training schedules are currently under development by IS.
To learn more about the project and monitor updates, bookmark PNW’s Banner 9 upgrade project website.