User Support Plan

The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) provides an enterprise-wide Student Information Management System (SIMS) designed to meet the needs of students, faculty, and staff in managing their student information. 

REQUESTING HELP:

  • CITS Assistance and Service Center Help Desk, phone 410-706-HELP or via e-mail.

GETTING STARTED WITH SIMS:

Staff and Faculty:

To begin using SIMS, there are a few steps to follow:

  • Determine your SIMS access needs by working with your School/Central Office management and SIMS Strategic Committee representative.
  • Must complete SIMS User Training.
  • Contact your School/Central Office Local Area Network (LAN) manager to enable SIMS on your desktop.
  • Once a user account is established, the user is added to the SIMS production user’s distribution list and will receive all SIMS user communications.
Students:

The SIMS Student Self Service module Student User Friendly System (SURFS) provides online web access for students to view and change specific demographic information. Students also can view and register for courses and view grades, financial aid, and student billing information.

Prospective nursing students can apply for admissions via SURFS. Web admission applications will be accepted by additional schools in the near future.

SIMS TRAINING SUPPORT SERVICES:

SIMS basic functional training is offered through the CITS Assistance and Service Center Enterprise Training Center. Each School/Central Office is responsible for follow-up training in their specific use of the SIMS modules. The SIMS web page offers user guides, tips and tricks, action alerts, and other training information for many SIMS processes. Read more about SIMS training.

CITS provides training and documentation support to end users. The training plan has evolved to provide custom designed, topic-specific, hands-on, brief (one to three hours) training events.    

  • Training Support is delivered in the following ways:
    • Introductory SIMS training
    • Targeted, hands-on training (and lab time) on specific topics
    • User groups (notes sent to all users)
    • User surveys for needs analysis
    • Publication of SIMS User Guide — all modules
    • Publication of timely Action Alerts and Tips and Tricks (more than 35 to date)
    • Publication of the Who's Who in SIMS brochure
    • Quick Reference Guides (that summarize key procedures and processes)
    • Reporting assistance
    • SIMS web page oversight
    • Dedicated, Vendor supplied training (Crystal Reports Training)

Training Specifics

  • Training and documentation have been developed for the following hands-on, topic-specific workshops:
    • Academic History Workshop
    • Addresses Workshop
    • Course Catalog and Schedule Workshop
    • Excel for SIMS Users Workshop
    • Financial Aid Workshop
    • Financial Aid and Student Accounting Cross-Functional Training Workshop
    • Student Accounting Workshop
    • Grading Workshop
    • Graduation "Module" Workshop
    • International Student Data Entry Workshop
    • Recruitment Module Workshop
    • Schedule Refresher Workshop
    • SIMS "Mock Registration" Cross Functional Testing
    • Tips on Training Workshop
    • Transfer Credit Workshop
    • Other workshops offered as modules are implemented

REQUESTING REPORTS:

  • SIMS “canned” reports:
    • SIMS provides many reports that may be requested via the reporting module in the SIMS system. Also, each School/Central Office has a web reports folder containing many of the SIMS “canned” reports, developed by CITS and each of the Schools/Central Offices. Contact your local LAN Manager to have the reports folder installed on your desktop. 
  • SIMS ad-hoc reports:
    • Most of the Schools/Central Offices have staff trained in the use of report writing software who provide support for ad-hoc reporting requests. Users are sharing report writing techniques with one another via the SIMS Report Writers User Group.
    • CITS provides ad-hoc reporting support by requesting it via the SIMS Task Request form

REQUESTING ENHANCEMENTS OR NEW FUNCTIONALITY:

  • The CITS Technical Teams, the SIMS Strategic Committee, and the SIMS Implementation Team work together to respond to requests for enhancements and new SIMS functionality. Requests can be submitted to either:
    • The SIMS Project Manager via the SIMS Task Request form.
    • SCT Banner supplied releases, upgrades, and patches are applied by the CITS Technical Team on an ongoing basis.

SECURITY MANAGEMENT:

  • The CITS SIMS Project Manager is responsible for assigning users to security roles and managing the application security environment. 
  • The CITS Operations Supervisor maintains a hard-copy file containing all SIMS User Request forms.  Monthly, the CITS Quality Assurance Manager audits the file against the active users on the system to ensure that only authorized users can gain access to SIMS.

COMMUNICATIONS:

  • The CITS SIMS Project Manager or his designee is responsible for all SIMS project technical communication to the user community. This includes response to user inquiries directed to the SIMS project team, notification of system downtime for necessary vendor upgrades, patches, etc. 
  • SIMS Action Alerts are generated by the SIMS Implementation Team in conjunction with the Enterprise Training Team. The alerts are emailed to all SIMS production users as events occur within the system that everyone needs to be aware.
  • Specific SIMS functional communications are handled by the office(s) responsible for the business process.

OTHER SUPPORT PROVIDED:

SIMS General Users Group
  • SIMS Report Writers User Group
  • The SIMS Implementation Team conducts weekly meetings with Administrative Offices, and meetings with the schools as needed.
  • CITS support staff attend regional and national conferences. End users are encouraged to attend as well.
  • CITS support staff subscribe to all appropriate vendor and user listservs.