New student information system discussed

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The ability to adapt to emerging technologies and the need to meet student and faculty expectations are two of the reasons the University is moving to replace its student information system, according to a report presented today (Sept. 19) to the Finance, Business and Capital Planning Committee of the Board of Trustees.

The Integrated Student Information System (ISIS) is being updated as part of an ongoing $97-million multi-year initiative. ISIS is a critical tool for nearly every aspect of facilitating the student experience at Penn State, and can be used to obtain information provided by various University offices, such as Undergraduate Admissions and the Registrar's office.

“With this initiative, we will be prepared to meet the ever-increasing needs of the Penn State student community, and improve efficiencies and effectiveness for staff and faculty,” said Nick Jones, executive vice president and provost. “While costly, we are convinced that the benefits of this project will be well worth the investment, and enable strategic leveraging of Penn State resources."

The initiative, which has been named Project LionPATH, is scheduled to begin in early 2014. A phased roll-out of the new system is slated for fall 2015, with the implementation to be completed by fall 2016. The system will be provided by an outside vendor, and Penn State’s project team will be assisted by consultants from an implementation partner.

ISIS was custom-developed by Penn State in the early 1980s to reflect the way Penn State did business at that time -- before the Internet, when none of the Commonwealth campuses offered four-year degrees, and when there were only two levels of tuition: in-state and out-of-state.  While the University has added some web-based functionality to ISIS, the programming language, the database and many of the processes remain as they were designed in the 80s, rendering the current system obsolete.

The new system will be integral to the work and academic needs of tens of thousands of Penn State community members daily. Not only will it be used to manage billing, the awarding of student aid, course scheduling, transcripts and student records for Penn State students from admission through graduation, but also will be the backbone for eLion, Penn State's Web-based portal for students, advisers and faculty.

To learn more about Project LionPATH, visit online.

Media Contacts: 

Kimberly Tremaglio

Work Phone: 

Technical communications specialist, Project LionPATH

Last Updated October 09, 2013