+1 (740) 420 5907 blazertech@ohiochristian.edu


  • Rachel Sones
  • Cynthia Tweedell
  • Dustin Epperly
  • Tera Keuhne
  • Brandon Ritchey
  • Robin Patrick
  • Jared Black



  • During our recent permissions audit, we found an alarming number of student worker accounts still active in Sonis.
    • This is a huge problem when the student is still active – because their login stays active in Active Directory, so they can continue to log in as staff and have access to records (HUGE FERPA violation). This is a policy/procedure we need to lock down.
    • How often should we do a permissions audit? How can we ensure these get turned off when a student worker leaves?
    • Decision:
      • I will contact Carrie Swackhammer since she handles student workers to see how those are handled.
      • A two-pronged approach:
        • Supervisors should open a ticket notifying when a student worker leaves.
        • Every six months, a listing is pulled and sent to each department head. They audit and confirm or correct the listing to ensure student workers do not retain access after they leave.
  • Using Affiliations to adjust the Materials Fee Additional Fee for students who opt-out of books.
    • Decision:
      • When an opt-out form is received (these will also need to be set for all current students who have opted out of receiving books):
        • The student’s affiliation will be set to reflect the student’s decision to opt out of books.
        • The student will be assigned a status indication so everyone can easily see that the student has opted out of books.
      • A negative Material Fee for that affiliation will be set for each course section so when any student, who is associated with that affiliation, registers in a course, Sonis will automatically post the negative Material Fee for that student (to offset the positive Material Fee that will be assigned through the Additional Fees functionality).
      • In the future, Jenzabar will add the affiliations option to Additional Fees. At that time, we can set the Material Fee to not post at all when the student is associated with the Book Opt-out affiliation.
  • GPA Table Management – Dustin asked whether the Sonis upgrade included any enhancements for GPA management. No, Sonis hasn’t, but the Dev Team previously discussed setting it to run automatically on the weekends/evenings. This will take some time because it will require a lot of coding. Until then, Dustin will run it on Saturday evenings.
  • Rachel asked if Sonis had a Registration Activity Log (something like the student ledger that captures every time a student is enrolled in a course, dropped from a course, withdraws from a course, etc.). Sonis does not currently have anything like this, but I will think about what we could offer as a solution (if anything).
  • Rachel mentioned the complexity of CCP course charges. She will send me a listing of all the CCP variations and I will review it to see how best to handle them (either Sonis settings or procedural changes).



  • For new partnerships with the University, need to create a new campus.


Sonis Upgrade

  • What are your thoughts
    • How did the upgrade process go?
      • Everyone agreed, “It went way smoother than expected.”
      • “I’ve heard nothing but positive things.”
    • How is the system doing?
      • “At first, it was really fast, but now it’s slowing down.”
      • “It has been really slow, especially the last couple of days.”
    • How do you feel about Sonis 3.3 as a whole?
      • “We are really liking it. The interface is so much nicer.”
    • Do you have any other feedback for us?
      • “Buttons aren’t consistent on pages (but that was a problem before too).”
      • “Status Indicators should all be red so they stick out.” (we checked to ensure the default color is red for all status indicators). “Old status indicators, that came over from old version are different colors – Athletics are mostly black. (I demonstrated how to change the color of individual status indicators).
  • Kuddos to these users who extensively tested Sonis 3.3 (and thus had the least number of issues after go-live).
    • Brandon Ritchey
    • Rachel Sones
    • Scott Marsee
    • Dustin Epperly
    • Nita Surbaugh
    • Jessica Roaden
    • Michelle Blanton
  • Most go-live issues were from departments who didn’t test (or didn’t test thoroughly enough).
  • Jenzabar moved some things around in these latest versions. If you see where you have lost access to anything, please open a helpdesk ticket and we will make sure that you have access to that functionality in its new location (and will explain how to access the new location). I tried to find them all and fix the ones I found, but I could have missed some.
  • Upgrade is over for staff, for the most part, but IT and Dev Team are still working through reported issues. Please have patience with us, we are handling a lot.


Some new features (Sonis 3.1, 3.2, and 3.3) – I will be meeting with individual depts for department specific new features

  • Demo: Wiki Help (new “page specific” help)
  • Withdrawn Timed Task Notifier – notifies the group of anyone who has WD from a course. Would this be helpful? Who would need these notifiers?
    • Rachel and Brandon would like to meet regarding these.
  • Notification – Attendance Start Date – monitors attendance and notifies the group of students with excessive absences (those that exceed the defined threshold).
    • Dustin would like to meet regarding these.
  • Don’t forget that we have the Systems/Report Date Range – sets the default date range on all reports (each one can have a different default date range)
  • Multi-select drop downs no longer require you to use the “Ctrl” key.
    • “Select All” or “Deselect All” added for quick selection
    • Drop downs are taller – allowing for 5 items at a time instead of 3
  • The width of all input fields has been increased and there is more vertical separation between fields (to improve consistency, readability, and usability). Even the left menu has been modified to allow the entire function/page name to be displayed (wrapped if necessary) and to allow for more room “vertically” between menu items.
    • Dustin asked if there is a way to prevent the wrap around text in the drop downs. I will look into this.
  • DMS removal audit (users now must provide a reason for removing a document and that information – along with the reason – is stored at the bottom of the DMS screen for future reference).
  • Status Indicators can each have their own color (besides just red)
    • Faculty can now be allowed to see status indicators which have been marked to allow Faculty viewing  (Dustin asked where this is located in the Faculty portal – I will look and report back).
    • You can also have a different color for individual status indicators on student records
    • Rachel reported that she is using Status Indicators to track those sent to collections. She wanted to know if there was a way to control who can see them. I told her that is coming in the future upgrade.
    • I showed where to access the Status Indications report. Rachel doesn’t have access to it, so I will add that page to her profile.
  • Systems – Login: Switch to a different profile without having to log out of Sonis
  • Sponsor Portal – do we have a need for this? Do we have student mentors? If so, this is how they would interact with the student(s) and help with their educational needs (If we need this, I will research more about it)
    • Robin said this may be a great feature for school counselors who need to track/see student progress. I will meet with her to discuss and set it up.
  • Search capabilities for Course Registration page (including Faculty and Student portals)
  • New print functionality allows Admin users to print any page without menus or toolbars (Print is in the right-hand drop-down menu)
  • Breadcrumbs – upper right-hand side (last 5 pages visited – logon session based)
  • Form builder – build forms for student and faculty to fill out and submit
  • Document management for portal access (actually a 3.4 functionality)

There are A LOT more features, so I will be divvying these up into lists to go over with individual departments. Expect meetings ahead. I’ll schedule meetings to go over these new features and let you determine what gets implemented and what doesn’t.


Next Upgrade

  • Upgrade to Sonis 3.4 in December – this will put us on the latest version of Sonis
  • Future upgrades will be in December.
  • Jenzabar releases their upgrades around May or June, so we will wait 6 months to give them the change to fix all the bugs before we upgrade. All were in agreement that it’s wise to wait 6 months before upgrading.


Some Sonis 3.4 features (to come)

  • LOTS of PowerFaids improvements. We are hoping these improvements will fix all the issues we currently have with PowerFaids/Sonis data transfers. I will meet with Brandon to go over these so we know what to expect.
  • Workflows – set it up with a series of pages, then when it’s run, Sonis takes you though all those pages, in order. Great for processes that require entry on a lot of different pages. Sadly, this is currently limited to the user who set it up (can’t share them with others, but that is coming).
  • When emailing a student, new feature provides the ability to save it as activity on the student’s record.
  • Form Submitted notifier – alerts when a form has been submitted
  • Affiliations “hide” option – to hide sensitive affiliations from certain users
  • AUTO LOGOUT!!! This logs you out when you time out instead of waiting for you to submit the page you are working on, only to find out that you’ve been logged out.
  • Preferred name on Faculty roster
  • Secondary email editing in Student portal

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