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UC Berkeley Extends Innovation for Student and Faculty Self-Service eForms

By January 25, 2019January 23rd, 2023No Comments

BERKELEY, CA – The University of California, Berkeley is delivering a dizzying array of self-service options for students, faculty, and staff within its PeopleSoft 9.2 Campus Solutions applications. Leveraging the PeopleSoft Approval Framework and the GT eForms bolt-on, UCB has been creating intelligent forms to automate processes ranging from Change of Major to Emergency Loan Requests.

Since implementing their first eForm in 2016, the University of California, Berkeley, has become a leader in extending their PeopleSoft Campus Solutions applications with intuitive, dynamic, workflow-enabled electronic forms for student- and faculty-related processes. UCB has replaced over 30 manual forms with 9 dynamic, multi-purpose eForms created by the University’s staff, including:

  • Emergency Loan Request
  • Change of Academic Program
  • Concurrent Enrollment
  • Special Enrollment Petition
  • Graduate Committee
  • Course Attributes
  • Term Withdrawal
  • Late Petition
  • Veteran Benefits

The results have been staggering. Thousands of person hours have been saved in both the development and use of the online forms and over 200,000 eForms were processed between June 2016 and November 2018. At an average of 2 pages per manual form, that’s over 400,000 sheets of paper saved.

The Graduate Division has been one of the heaviest users of eForms. One of their key goals for forms automation is to replace all paper forms with eForms and efficiently and accurately track student records through PeopleSoft rather than 188 file cabinet drawers and over 30,000 papers.

With thousands of forms processed, Berkeley’s Graduate Committee (“GC”) eForm has been one of their most successful and most popular. The Graduate Committee form replaced three paper forms with one eForm that efficiently accommodates three different processes, and intelligently restricts students to select only the request(s) for which they are eligible.

  1. Qualifying Exam (QE) request allows the graduate student to apply for their PhD qualifying exam. When applying for this exam, the student selects a panel of committee members along with additional information related to their research.
  2. Advancement to Candidacy (ADV) request allows students to apply for their advancement. This request also requires the student select a panel of committee members along with additional information regarding their research.
  3. Reconstitution of Committee request allows students to modify their committees for either of the two previous requests.

Whereas some departments had been completing the manual forms on behalf of the students, the new form ensures consistency by placing the responsibility squarely on the student to formally initiate each request. To make it as easy and accurate as possible, each form automatically populates with necessary information including data on the student and their current plan. The Reconstitution eForm auto-populates a grid with any named committee members and includes appropriate rows for the required number and type of committee members required for each request.

Automatic validations executed within the form have reduced the amount of intervening staff time by over 20 minutes per form. The eForm performs 30 different requirement checks on the student and committee members upon both initiation and submission, eliminating manual validation unless the form detects an exception based on the student’s request.

Previously, the manual forms were only routed once per week via intercampus mail. As an online form, each GC eForm routes immediately upon submission, reducing overall processing time from 2 to 3 weeks to just hours or even minutes. Rather than having ALL forms routed to the Graduate Division, logic within the forms route only those that meet “exception” criteria for review by the Grad Division staff. All others can be approved automatically by logic within the form or by assigned department staff or faculty. Ad hoc routing also enables staff the flexibility to route to others outside of the standard workflow.

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