ctcLink Project


ctcLink is the implementation of a single, centralized system of online functions to give faculty, staff and students access to a modern, efficient way of doing their college business. Commonly called an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, ctcLink will provide a set of interconnected software modules to help us streamline and standardize many of the things we do at our college today. The software modules will cover core administrative processes such as registration and course management, financial aid, financial services and human resources.
The “ctc” stands for community and technical colleges. ctcLink is the name that was chosen for the system replacement (actually running PeopleSoft software) by all of Washington’s community and technical colleges. The project involves more than just new software. As the existing legacy software is replaced with modern technology, colleges will also work to align current business processes, making for streamlined, standardized practices across the 34-college system.
The current administrative systems are old and outdated. They were developed in the early 1980s by the Washington community and technical college system, and use database and reporting tools that are no longer supported. These systems have no long-term support options, and are at risk of failing. While we have been able to keep them working this long, it becomes more and more expensive to do so over time, and is not a long-term solution to our needs.
ctcLink will be a massive upgrade for the entire community and technical college (CTC) system. Faculty, staff and students will have access to information from anywhere at any time. Students will use modern online tools for doing their college business, and they’ll have a more common experience across the CTC system, whether they transfer from one college to another or attend two or more CTCs at once. They will have one student ID and use common online tools for everything from admission to graduation. Among many other things, colleges — and the system as a whole — will benefit from a single source for accurate and timely data and the standardization of select administrative processes to support efficiency and effectiveness across the system.
  • Financial Aid System (FAS/FAM): The Financial Aid System administers and manages financial aid functions for Washington state community and technical colleges.
  • Financial Management System (FMS): The Financial Management System administers and manages financial and accounting functions for Washington state community and technical colleges.
  • Payroll/Personnel Management System (PPMS): The Payroll/Personnel Management System manages the human resources and payroll processing functions required by the colleges and collects the information necessary to manage this large group of employees.
  • Student Management System (SMS): The Student Management System is used to administer and manage all student and curriculum related business functions for Washington state community and technical colleges.

Some applications that use the data from these back-end systems will also be replaced in the process. These include, but are not limited to, Degree Audit, Instructor Briefcase and TLR (time and leave reporting).

DataExpress/ByRequest functionality will be replaced by PeopleSoft reporting tools. The college will identify and train a core group of users who will work with colleagues at the SBCTC and other colleges to develop these reports. Staff and faculty will be able to run the reports as needed to fulfill their job duties.

At this point, the plan is for the ctcLink system to include all enrollment data for students from the six years prior to the time of conversion. Personnel and payroll data will be converted for the previous two years.

The legacy information will be put into a read-only mode and will be accessible through the legacy software for a time. Staff will be able to access the data, but will not be able to make changes after Go Live! At some point, after all colleges have migrated and the new system is stabilized, the legacy software will be retired, but the historical data will continue to be available (though other avenues) for reporting purposes.