CtC Link Rolls out Slowly

The State Mandated System Which Intended to Make Registration Easier for Students Hits A Seed Bump

With in-person classes returning to a state of normality, the number of students coming back to campus and enrolling in classes should be increasing. But that hasn’t been the case for EvCC. A new system has been put in place in order to connect students with their academic history from one college to another. CtC Link is the new standard for colleges in the state, the system which was implemented at every Washington state community college would allow every credit completed by a student to be more easily accessed by an advisor and used to see a student’s pathway more clearly.

All of these things are claimed to be the case for CtC Link within the schools. However, the program at times has worked more as a roadblock for incoming students who are still attempting to learn how college works.
One of the main complaints towards CtC Link heard from students is when it comes to financial aid, the process is now interwoven into the same system. In speaking with Sindie Howland, the current EvCC lead for CtC Link, many students have experienced a learning curve with the program and their financial aid setup. However, this isn’t necessarily at the fault of the college itself. Howland stated “Tuition and fees are set by our legislature and there’s three different areas of tuition and fees. In CtC Link it shows that breakdown; in our old system, it didn’t.” With this being the case, there is just as much of a rebuilding period for college faculty as there is for any student trying to navigate their way through financial aid. Thankfully, the idea is that more information is visible to the student.

Now in its fourth quarter at EvCC students may be wondering if the ease of registration hoped for by the school and by the state has been achieved. If it hasn’t then where is the disconnect between systems? In searching for support on CtC Link’s website or for someone to talk to, there appears to be nothing to be found. The help available is mainly self-run, clicking on the “Help” link on the CtC Link page takes the user to a tab entitled “student self service.” This would be effective, however none of these options connect you with any live person who helps the process when something such as a financial aid error occurs. Howland points students towards help in saying “[email protected] is our CtC Link team and there are three of us. We try to get back to you within 24-48 hours to answer students”. If students face problems with any issues with login or account setup. Any problems they can’t answer themselves, their IT desk has a phone line that is active and ready for students.

Another question then becomes raised. If the previous system wasn’t broken, why has the school system decided to fix it with a replacement system that doesn’t do what it’s promised to improve upon? The possibility that this system, just like every other, has been backlogged to no end with people facing the same complaints is not ruled out. Howland mentions “The old system didn’t have the same abilities in enrollment that CtC link has, each school had built their own third party softwares to help with enrollment because schools didn’t have enrollment portals built in like we do now with CtC Link.” In a situation like this, with people of all ages starting or restarting their post-high-school education, a system able to keep up with an ever-changing technological society is needed. CtC Link is supposed to be the answer to that, but so far has left more in the dark.