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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

WebAdvisor shutdown has left an impact on students

Error screen shown when trying to access the student self-service website page for TCC students. Joel Solis/The Collegian
Error screen shown when trying to
access the student self-service website
page for TCC students.
Joel Solis/The Collegian

campus editor

Following WebAdvisor’s shutdown, TCC has shed light on the campuses’ relation to the now defunct interface, as well as provided some further context behind its shutdown.

The beginning of April marked the end of TCC’s support of WebAdvisor, a student portal used to provide students with a reliable way to access important TCC information. The system was provided to TCC thanks to Ellucian Colleague, a cloud-based software system designed to help various institutions manage their information and informational systems.

According to SoftwareAdvice, a database for information on various software applications, Ellucian seeks to “helps higher education institutions with professional solutions to create a connected campus,” and is a platform that intends to provide “solutions for departments such as finance, IT, student services, human resources, recruiting and admissions.”

TCC utilized Ellucian Colleague and its software system for upwards of 20 years according to TR director of application development Kenneth Smith.

“WebAdvisor was a component of the Ellucian Colleague Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system and was first implemented at TCC when we migrated over to Colleague, circa 2001-2003,” Smith said. “TCC used it because it was part of the ERP they had selected and supported by the same ERP vendor. It was the part of the system that provided the student portal which allowed students to register for classes and pay tuition.”

The plan to move away from WebAdvisor had been discussed for quite a while. This can be attributed to TCC wanting to provide more advanced systems for the campuses and Ellucian itself moving away from that component of the system as well, according to Smith.

“Ellucian created a new and improved version of their student portal called self-service, which we call MyTCCTrack,” Smith said. “This effectively made the old student portal obsolete. The vendor provided functionality for students that is now being provided by their new student portal

TCC had been chipping away at developing this system, and the remaining information available on WebAdvisor moved to Hello!TCC to give students the best possible experience when interacting with TCC resources.

“The site has been purposely designed to help them find exactly what they are looking for very quickly,” Smith said. “It has a built-in filtering system, so they don’t have to scour the site to find the link they need. It also provides them with the ability to bookmark frequently used links for quick access.”

After nearly a month, some of the changes and new systems that have emerged in WebAdvisor’s wake have been a source of frustration for students.

“I actually don’t use WebAdvisor much for work, and I haven’t used any of the new Hello!TCC applications yet,” NE student worker Jordin Bryan said. “I did find the new TimeClock a little on the frustrating side – mostly because I wasn’t used to using it, but also I go into work straight from class, so having to wait to start my computer and start the applications to be able to clock in was annoying.”

The absence of WebAdvisor and the new systems in its place have been unreliable and inconvenient for some students as well, like NE student worker Anistasia Anderson.

“The issues with the new system have been, and are continuing to be rather inconvenient,” she said. “In addition to having problems clocking in, I was just trying to add a newly-added class to my fall schedule and the system is down.” 

With these systems, Anderson has become worried for the upcoming semester, believing that they won’t be able to register for classes because of technical inconsistencies. 

“I will not have time at work to keep checking the system to see if TCC track is back up,” she said. “I worry that I will not be able to take Cal 2 in the fall due to these outages, which will undoubtedly put me behind on my degree plan.”

Despite student concerns and frustrations, Smith assured campus-goers the shift will be worth it in the long run.

“We also greatly extended [WebAdvisor]’s functionality by incorporating many custom applications into it, and those applications were safely migrated to another system called Hello!TCC,” Smith said. “The shutdown of WebAdvisor is a good thing because MyTCCTrack is a new, modern student portal and will be fully supported by the ERP vendor for years to come.”

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