This semester, Brooklyn College joins several other CUNY colleges in the implementation of CUNYfirst, a Web-based system that will connect the entire university and streamline a wide range of services for students, faculty, and staff.

“The new system represents a huge upgrade in how we will perform routine and more complex tasks,” says Mark Gold, assistant vice president of Information Technology Services (ITS) and CUNYfirst project lead. “Student records can now be seamlessly transferred from one campus to another and users can instantly change an address, add a spouse or dependant, register for classes, or enter grades.”

CUNYfirst (Fully Integrated Resources and Services Tool) is currently accessible to all Brooklyn College faculty and staff, and goes live for Brooklyn College students in March. It will permanently replace aging computer systems like CUPS, SIMS, and WebSIMS, which for decades have been accessed locally at each campus.

“ITS and the Enrollment Management offices are working hard to prepare all of the college’s records for migration over to the new system in a manner that makes sense for the college’s needs,” says Gold. “We understand that it will take some time to adjust to the new system, but once users do, they will find it has many convenient, time-saving features.”

Below, Gold addresses some frequently asked questions about CUNYfirst.

Why are we moving to CUNYfirst?

Very few of our numerous current systems interact with each other. CUNYfirst will integrate all of our financial, human resources, and student processes within one Web-based system so that data can be used instantaneously across departments and across the university.

How do I get started?

All faculty and staff should claim their CUNYfirst accounts (pdf) right now. However, since CUNYfirst will only communicate to users through the college’s email system, every user should make sure they have an active Brooklyn College email account. If you do not have one, please contact ITS at 718-951-5861 to begin the process of obtaining one.

Claiming your account is easy. You will be guided through a few simple steps and assigned a unique CUNYfirst login ID based on your first and last name, and an EMPL-ID for access to the system. The EMPL-ID will replace your Social Security number as your unique employee identifier.

Students will be able to claim their CUNYfirst accounts in April. Our student marketing and training team is working hard to create a series of events and training opportunities to help students quickly transition to the new system.

What can I do in CUNYfirst?

CUNYfirst puts numerous functions right at your fingertips. Faculty/Advisement Self-Service includes access to teaching schedules, grade rosters, course history, exam schedules, enrollment dates, and other tools that facilitate members of the college community serving in these roles.

Brooklyn College staff may access their human resources records and update personal information, including emergency contacts, professional memberships, home address, marital status, and tax forms, as well as add new degrees, honors, and certifications.

Student Self-Service features include the ability to view grades, unofficial transcripts, class schedules, the course catalog, and much more. Students will also be able to register for classes and pay tuition within the system.

What if I’m a transfer student?

All first-year students (freshmen and transfer students) will meet in-person with an advisor, who will walk them through the registration process within CUNYfirst.

Will training be available?

Yes. “Train the Trainer” sessions are currently underway on campus. Academic advisors, chairs, and secretaries will receive training in late February or early March. Students will be trained after go-live starting in April, and instructors will be trained in time to submit grades in CUNYfirst. All training will span evenings and weekends to ensure that all staff, faculty, and students have ample opportunities to become familiar with the system.

Throughout the transition and thereafter, a specially trained team of support agents will be available to provide assistance by phone, email, and in person, as needed.

How about those with multiple roles at CUNY, like student employees?

CUNYfirst maintains one identity record for each member of the CUNY community, regardless of how many schools they’ve attended or how many roles they’ve held.

There will be cases of community members who have disparate information stored in various records throughout CUNY, and those whose merged information may need updating. These issues will be resolved by on a case by case basis by the registrar and human resources offices at Brooklyn College, as well as in coordination with other campuses.

How will Summer/Fall registration be affected by the transition to CUNYfirst?

At the end of March, CUNY will impose a system-wide blackout for up to two weeks, during which time the college may not be able to process all typical transactions. The college understands that the new system will slow various processes and will be adjusting affected schedules and deadlines to give users as much time as possible to complete their transactions once CUNYfirst is up and running.

Where can I learn more?

Please visit our CUNYfirst site for general information, announcements, and updates on training schedules.