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January 4, 2011 Release Notes

We updated Populi in the wee, wee hours of January 4th. This release covers a lot—encompassing a half a year's development. These release notes cover everything that we've shoved out there since our last major update in June, 2010.

Minor stuff since June 11, 2010

We haven't done a major release since June 11, 2010. But many minor releases have intervened since then; numerous features, large and small, have gone out to you. Here they are, in rough chronological order (oldest to more recent):

  • Campus and section now displayed when adding courses on Student tab and when importing courses to a Term
  • Fixed an issue where you couldn't grade incomplete students in finalized Pass/Fail courses
  • Students can see their overall percentage grade for a Course
  • Financial Aid users can select an account to credit when refunding Financial Aid
  • Numerous fixes to minor display issues here and there
  • Added a new Attendance Report to Academics > By Term
  • Students can now have multiple Advisors
  • New filter options permit an Aging Report in Financial > Billing > Student Balances
  • Added the ability to handle Foreign Currencies and Exchange Rates in Accounting
  • Custom receipts
  • Payments/Refunds report in Billing
  • Numerous improvements (and bugfixes) to Google Calendar integration
  • Online Application enhancements including some Javascript to track conversions from external websites (like your Facebook page).
  • Fixed up a dozen issues with foreign phone numbers
  • Academic Admins may export SSN's via Data Slicer
  • Fixed a tabbing issue in the Online Application
  • You can now share test questions among different Courses via settings in the Course Catalog
  • Numerous improvements to IPEDS reports
  • Student Loan Clearinghouse report
  • You can now charge Bookstore Tax and Shipping charges to student accounts
  • Re-tooling of Payment Plans to make them more understandable and simpler to use
  • Staff users can add News Items that are visible to students
  • Fixed a really pesky attendance-taking bug in the iPhone app
  • Numerous tweaks to online application and component notifications
  • Fixed some issues that permitted users to duplicate course abbreviations in Course Catalog
  • Improved access to online tests for students who've already taken those tests

The Brand-New Stuff

We did a near-complete overhaul of Populi Academics, adding a new dimension: Programs. Programs are distinct courses of study with a unique GPA, which enables Populi to more faithfully and accurately handle things like Graduate and Undergraduate Degrees. Awards have been completely overhauled—now they're called Honors, and they tie in with Programs, Degrees, Academic Terms, and transcripts in much more useful ways. Populi's built-in reports and reporting tools have been accordingly updated to let you sift through your data in light of the new improvements.

There's a new Account Management app, which lets you manage General Settings, Integrations, Payment Settings, and Invoice/Payment Histories for your Populi account—and to get backup copies of your Populi database at your convenience!

The API is now opened up to expose the data you'd want for Open Directory integration.

We also improved the navigation and interface throughout Populi—most dramatically in Admissions. Oh, and the usual round of minor tweaks, bugfixes, query optimization, and so on...

Academics

A new dimension for Populi Academics: Programs. Programs enable you to partition your Courses, Degrees, and students into unique courses of study with distinct GPA's. Define a Level (Grad/Undergrad) and Units (Credits/Hours) for each Program. Each Program can have a unique Grade Scale, Pass/Fail Threshold, Full-time Threshold, and Academic Standings (complete with custom system tags). Associate Degrees, Courses, and Tuition Schedules with Programs to restrict them to particular students.

Transcripts now organized by-Program and re-designed accordingly.

Degree Audit re-designed—easier to read and understand, with improved notifications for Exceptions.

Course Mapping tab on Student tab lets you manually re-assign Courses between Programs to fit your students' needs.

All Academic Settings, including general Grade Scales, Retake Policy, and a lot more, are now available to Academic Admins in the main College Management app.

Clinical Hours tracking now available for use by vocational and nursing schools.

Catalog Courses and Transfer Credits updated to accommodate Programs.

Student Profiles updated to accommodate new Programs and Honors.

Honors have replaced Awards; Honors can be automated by Program, Degree, or Term, or manually applied to individual Students.

Account Management

Populi Account Admins can now manage account details from within the program.

Account Settings features everything that General Settings used to include, but with additional options to allow students and faculty to upload their own ID photos, manage high-level access to SSNs, and even change Populi's header color.

Integrations is much the same as it was before.

Backups lets you download a CSV of your core Academic and Financial data once every 24 hours.

Payment Settings allows you to specify ACH information, request Pricing Plan changes, and more.

Invoices/Payments lets you view your invoice history, check your billing details, and make payments (and even pre-payments).

Admissions

We rolled out our new navigation design to Admissions.

Now you can print Applications!

We improved how you add Prospects in My Prospects.

Courses, Bookstore, and Other Stuff

You can now embed YouTube and Vimeo videos into Course Lessons

Term Book List has moved from Academics to Bookstore

Improved ways to add new items to Bookstore

A new WYSIWYG text editor (in News, Lessons, Bookstore Settings, and many other areas) gives you lots of ways to easily format text, include pictures, embed links, and so on.

A much-improved welcome email, set-password screen, and login screen (with a new option to Show Password to help you type it in correctly!)

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