Campus, News

Student Link to be replaced with modernized system ‘MyBU’

The Student Information System at Boston University is implementing a renewal program over the next year to create a more “user-friendly” student link called “MyBU.”  The new system will have an impact across numerous different departments and divisions from applying to BU to registering for classes.

The Boston University Student Link homepage. The Student Information System will replace the Student Link with a new system called “My BU” by Spring 2023. HUI-EN LIN/DFP STAFF

The current system uses technology from the 1980s and while it works, it is “very dated,” Christine McGuire, the University Vice President and Associate Provost for Enrollment and Student Administration, wrote in an email.

“Updating the system will not only reduce the risk for the University, but it will transform the student experience with the new student portal,” McGuire said.

In Spring 2023, students will have access to a more user-friendly portal to use Student Link. Housing will be updated with information about the pronouns and gender identity of students, and this will support gender-affirming housing services.

In the Fall of 2023, staff will process new applications and financial aid in the new SIS. In Spring 2024, students will also be able to register for the next semester’s classes in the new system. In the Summer of 2024, students will be able to pay their bill and apply for student employment under the new system. 

The renewal program is being led in a collaboration between Information Services and Technology and Enrollment and Student Administration. McGuire described how their joint work on the program has been in the works for many years.

“This program is massive in scale, planning first began in 2017, and it was formally approved by the Board of Trustees in 2021,” she wrote. “The design phase is still ongoing and will continue as the program rolls out in multiple deployments.”

One of the changes from the program has already been put in place, allowing students to update the University with the name and pronouns of their choice through Student Link. 

McGuire said implementing the new program could “be a challenge.” 

“Basic activities like registering for classes, obtaining a class list, or checking degree progress, will be different,” McGuire said.

Denali Baker, a sophomore in the College of Fine Arts, said she was surprised at how old the Student Link appeared when she first looked at the website. 

“I was like, ‘was this made in like 2006?’ so I’m excited for it visually,” Baker said. “I’m worried that it’s going to change how we register for classes, and it’s going to confuse everybody, but it does need an update.” 

Mahi Saboo, a freshman in Questrom School of Business, said she finds it difficult to find and select classes in Student Link.

“I don’t really like the website right now,” she said. “While doing my planner, once I have selected the class and I’ve added it to my planner, after that it alerts me about time conflicts.” 

Anthony Kurtzer, a freshman in the College of Engineering, said he currently finds the website “very difficult” to navigate.

“If there’s an easier way to get into it and a much better way for students to access it, I feel like that’d be very beneficial,” Kurtzer said.

McGuire said the University is looking forward to seeing how the renewal will positively impact students, and how the implementation of the program goes.

“Any change of this magnitude will cause some disruption, and the program team is focused on making the transition as smooth as possible, providing helpful communication, training, and support along the way,” McGuire wrote.

Fiona Broadie contributed to the reporting of this article.

 

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