CTCLink: Better Than Dial-Up



The CTCLink dashboard that students will see once registered.

ctcLink is an update to the backend of college web services that will replace the current infrastructure’s compilation of services. At-present, community colleges rely on a HP (Hewlett-Packard) system which has adapted and adopted services since its implementation in the mid-1980s. The HP system works, but it is comparable to your parents’ old dial-up internet service.

A major issue with HP is it no longer supports the systems they created or its software. It was very outdated and there was a need for an upgrade with modern technology for colleges across Washington state. ctcLink’s guiding principles were developed in 2009. After approval in 2013, Oracle Peoplesoft began developing the program and was ready to begin implementing in 2015.

Colleges Involved

ctcLink first went live at Spokane Community College, Spokane Falls Community College and Tacoma Community College in August 2015. In 2016, several issues were discovered then fixed by early 2017. This caused a short pause on implementation of the program, but ever since has been on track. In 2018, ctcLink was restructured and began deployment in several groups consisting of two to five colleges at a time. EvCC is in the fifth group and will be the 19th college to go live.

ctcLink Upgrades

Apart from being a more organized system, ctcLink will add a handful of benefits including a mobile-friendly app. Information like transcripts, financial aid, and bills will be accessible and payable 24/7 from the app or online. A stark contrast from our current system. Bills will be itemized as well so students can see exactly what they are paying for, with the option to pay off single items at a time. Financial Aid will also be shown for the year instead of per quarter with classes available to sign up for 24/7 after the registration date.

Difference in interface between CTCLink and HP system (Generated by Kyle Ogle)

To get the app, students need to register for a ctcLink account beforehand. This allows students to update their personal information at any time from the app or online. The ‘Tasks’ tab, will act as a notification center to alert students of holds, late bills, or when classes open. Starfish will not change and will still be used for transcripts with your advisor. Furthermore, when you transfer colleges, classes you have taken stay in your ctcLink account and will be available to use towards your degree. Additional perks include FAFSA integration with ctcLink, immunization attestation, and voter registration.

ctcLink at EvCC

In preparation for the launch, EvCC began moving information to the ctcLink system in 2019.
ctcLink will go live Nov. 8 for faculty, staff and administration. The system will be verified before going live for students before the 22nd, just in time to register for classes. ctcLink is also replacing HR systems, which is another component of the installation of the program.

The HP systems that will be replaced by CTCLink (Screenshot)

A recent email about the winter schedule being available mentions closures of key components of EvCC for the update.

Financial Aid will be closed from Nov. 8-21 and staff will not be able to answer phones or respond to emails.
The Cashier’s Office will be closed from Oct. 22- Nov. 21 for all in-person service and will be unable to accept payments via phone, email, or online with credit card.
Payments will still be accepted after Nov. 22 with no late penalty.
Enrollment Services will be closed from Nov. 8-21 for all in-person services and will have longer than normal response times for email or phone calls.
Entry Advising will be closed from Nov. 8-14 with limited availability through email and voicemail. There will also be opportunities to contact Entry Advising through Zoom by appointment 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov 15 and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov 16-18.

It is advised that students login to MyAccount and verify their password is not expired, as this will assist the help desk with troubleshooting when ctcLink is launched. The shutdown of the HP system will begin Thursday Nov 4.