The Month in Review: April 2021 Feature Releases
As we continue our march towards summer, we’re now that much closer with May. However, before we really settle in to enjoy the warmer weather, let’s take one last look back at everything that arrived and changed for the Education management products for April 2021.
Just like the copious amounts of rain, April brought with it a ton of new updates for each of the products for Blackbaud Education management. So even though it may be May, let’s take one last look back at April to highlight everything that we released. Enjoy!
In April, the Academics team made a number of changes to degree requirements and how they’re sorted. Registrars can control the order in which degree requirements display on student records by using the new View order feature from Grades and then Grading setup.
In addition, degree requirements can now be set up in bulk if needed. Under Degree from Grading setup, either edit an existing requirement or select the + sign to add a new requirement. Open the Course selector, and you will now see the options + Add course and + Bulk add courses. For more on this change, check out our Requirements help topic.
Also released this month:
- The Groups list will now display the Course code column by default, allowing you to easily see the course codes for groups.
- A new column on the Student enrollment page allows the Scheduling Manager to see how many credits a student is attempting during the selected term.
This month in Core, we made numbers updates to the View Communications area. Specifically, distribution groups that users were in that the notification was sent to can now be seen from the Sent to column. Not only that, the Message body is also viewable from the Detail column for Inbox Messages.
We’ve also made it so platform managers can delete messages from the context menu under View Communications. A Deleted column in the list view also displays whether or not the message was deleted, the date and time when it was removed, and by whom.
Your school can now establish thresholds for students to advance from one classification to the next – for example, from freshman to sophomore or from sophomore to junior. Once you have established calculations, you can run the calculations to promote students from one calculation to the next. To access this feature, go to Settings and select School information, then open the Classification calculations tab.
This month, we added new security measures for users who don’t use BlackbaudID and instead rely on “legacy” username and passwords. New and stronger enforcement was turned on in April to ensure that legacy passwords are better protected and not as easy to guess. Users who didn’t meet those minimum requirements (minimum of 8 characters, including at least 1 number, etc) were prompted to reset them when logging in.
Quality of life was the name of the game for the EMS team this month. Specifically, numerous updates were made to reporting and lists. In terms of the Contract list, Re/enrollment managers now have a Student ID column they can use and the Enrollment deposit paid by column displays who paid the enrollment deposit.
With regards to the Candidate list, we’ve added a School level column for admissions managers and the Sibling is an Incoming Student field is now available to use as a column and filter.
Also this month:
- Admissions managers now have more information available to them from the event registration header. Specifically, we've added Entering year, Entering grade, Email, and Preferred Name.
- Candidate decisions now trigger a notification to admissions managers when entered.
- School forms managers can now use a column under Started that shows when at least one person has signed.
- We've expanded the size of the modal window when composing an Official Note.
In April for Billing management, Payment status was added as a column and filter in the Recent payment tab. Payment status has three options, with each pulling directly from Blackbaud Merchant Services: Pending, Approved, and Failed. Payments with a Failed status have an explanation detailing why the payment failed (e.g., insufficient funds).
Everything else this month:
- Billing clerks now see a prompt after selecting Generate charges that lists each fee included in the generate charges process.
- A new indicator has been added to the Actions tab on the Billing management overview. The indicator displays the number of open Actions assigned to the Billing clerk accessing the page.
- Billing clerks can now see and filter financial aid records by session using the new Session column and filter.
- Enrollment deposits submitted on-premises are now editable. Billing clerks can adjust the First and Last name tied to these enrollment deposits. A message is also displayed, communicating that the enrollment deposit was submitted at school.
- Billing clerks can now see the school year associated with financial aid records using the School year column.
- Billing clerks can now refresh the data reported under Aging and Receivables on the Overview.
- The Actions tab under Billing management has been relabeled as My actions.
- Current balance is now a new column available on the Students list.
- Billing clerks can now view payment processing statuses to determine if they failed or succeeded via the flyout panel under Recent payments.
That’s going to do it for this week. Although we’re inching closer to the summer months, we have plenty more coming throughout the month of May, so stay tuned! Make sure to tune back in here next week as we’ll have another brand new topic for you. See you then!