Course Substitution Request System Administrative Staff Manual


This is the documentation for the Penn State Course Substitution Request System (CSRS). The CSRS is a tool that streamlines the process of course substitution requests. The main goal of CSRS is to reduce the amount of paperwork required to approve a course substitution and generate output electronically, integrated directly from cross-references within eISIS.

This documentation focuses on the tutorials on how to submit new requests, view certain requests, and how to access some of the features that are available to the users. It also provides topical overview of the CSRS for better understanding of how the system functions.

1.0 Login

This section is intended to provide the basic instructions for those unfamiliar with accessing the system in the beginning.

1.1 Accessing the Login Page

1. Open the Internet browser.
2. Enter the following CSRS URL:
3. Enter your Penn State User ID, Password, and Token.
*The Token is the number from your Secure ID.

UserID log in screen

1.2 Accessing Accessiblity Mode

The CSRS also includes the accessibility mode function to assist users that have difficulty accessing the feature-rich site. It transforms the site to a more accessible format to display the functions and links available.
1. Move cursor to the left panel and click on Accessibility Mode.

Accessibility Mode option highlighted

2. To reverse to the previous format, click on Default Mode.

Default Mode option highlighted

2.0 Managing Users/Accounts

This section provides the tutorials on how to add a new user to the system or to modify current users’ information or access to the system.

2.1 Accessing Organization Unit Designees Page

1. Hover cursor over Tools in the left panel to expand the available options and click on Designees.

Designees button highlighted in the Tools menu

2.2 Viewing Users for Your Organization

1. To view users in your organization, filter your respective organization by selecting the desired organization in the drop down menu of Filter By Org. Unit.

Filter By Org. Unit pull-down menu

2. Uncheck the Paged Result to view all available users in the organization.

Unchecked Paged Results box

3. A user can also filter results by positions. Access the drop-down menu of Filter Position to select the desired position.

Filter By Position pull-down menu

2.3 Adding a New User

1. Enter the user’s User ID or name, Name, Organization Unit, and Position. You can optionally limit the user to students of a particular campus.

Maintain Designees page

As you type, users matching your entry will appear in the drop down if you wish to select them as seen here.

UserID being entered into the UserID or Name field

If you chose one of the names in the list or enter a User ID, the user’s name will automatically be filled in.

2. Once a User ID has been entered, the system will automatically scan this member for FERPA quiz verification.  It will also check if the user is listed on the Advisers List for eLion and if the user has ERISDN access in ISIS.  Advisers need to be on the Adviser List and all other user types need to have ERISDN access.

Message showing that a user has not passed the FERPA quiz

3. To select the specific Organization Unit and Position, pull down the menu to reveal more options. You will be limited to the college(s) you are an administrator for.

Organization Unit pull-down menu

4. Select the Position in the pull-down menu and click Add This Member.

Add This Member button

5. The added new user’s information will appear below the page.

New member added at the bottom of the member list

6. Once a user has been verified or passed the FERPA, Adviser List, or ERISN check, a check mark will appear in the Verified column. If a user shows as unverified, you can hover over the Verified check box to see the error message.  If a user is having issues with verification, you can add the user again to double check the verification process.

A checked Verified box

2.4 Inactivating a User Without Deleting/Reactivating a User

1. An administrative staff can temporary inactivate a user’s access on the system. To inactivate a user’s access, uncheck the Active box next to the user’s account.

Unchecked Active box

2. To reactivate a user’s access, simply recheck the box to grant access to the user.

Checked Active button

2.5 Deleting Current Users

1. If a user is accidentally added or the administrator would like to delete a user, click on the delete button to left of the User ID.

Delete user button

*There is no option to edit a current user. To edit, the only way is to delete a user and adding the user back in the system by repeating the process. (Refer to 2.2)

2.6 Changing a User’s Role

When one of the users is changing or leaving the position, the administrative staff can access the Find and Replace User in a Role page to edit changes required.
*Note: Different users will have various interfaces when accessing the Tools options.
1. Hover over Tools in the left side panel. Click on Find and Replace User in a Role in the expanded menu.

Find and Replace User in a Role button highlighted in the Tools menu

2. Enter the desired user’s User ID in the Find User search box and click the Search button.

Find User search box

3. Check the desired user to replace and enter the new user’s User ID and Name that will be replacing the selected user. Click the Replace button to complete the process.

UserID and Name text boxes for replacing a selected user

3.0 Managing Designees for Review Committees

Review committees are set up to review transfer courses to evaluate if they are appropriate to use for Penn State credit.  If your college has decided to use these committees you can maintain members by choosing Review Committees from the Tools menu.

Review Committees button highlighted in the Tools menu

Once on this page you can add new users and/or committees as well as remove users for your college.

Review Committees page

3.1 Adding New Users and Committees

This is the process to add users to new or existing committees.  New committees are created when the first user is added to the committee.

1. To begin adding a user, enter the user’s access ID or name.  As you type in the information, matching users will appear in the drop down list as they do for Designees.  The name field should automatically fill in after you enter or select a user.

Entering a UserID in the Enter UserID or Name text box

2. Next choose the college for this user or committee.  You will only have access to the college(s) you are an admin for.

3. Enter a Committee Name.  If you begin entering the name of an existing committee, it will be shown to you in a drop down.  The names of the departments in the selected college will also show if they match what you are entering.

Committee name matches entry (“test”) 

Entering "Test" in the Committee text box

Department name matches entry (“bio”)

Entering "Bio" in the Committee text box

New committees are created when you add a user to a committee that doesn’t exist yet.

NOTE:  You do NOT need to use an existing committee name or a department name – you can enter any name you wish.  This feature is to make it easier to enter multiple users into the same committee without having to enter a lot of repetitive text.

4. Now you can choose either to make the committee public or not.

Public Committees – any other college can use these if they choose.  This is the method CSRS used to gather input about transfer courses across different colleges.  Use this if you are willing to evaluate courses for other colleges.
Non-public committees – can only be accessed by users in the college to which the committee is assigned.
NOTE: Once you create a committee, this choice cannot be changed.  You would need to delete users from the existing committee and create a new one with the correct setting.

5. Finally, click “Add Member” to add the user to the new or existing committee.

3.2 Deleting Members and Committees

1. Users can be removed from committees by pressing the “delete” button by their name in the list.

2. Committees will be removed when all members of the committee have been deleted.

4.0 Managing Email Preferences

Navigating to the Account Page

On the left hand menu select “Tools” then “Modify Account.”

Modify Account button highlighted in the Tools menu

On this screen, you can change your address and college information.  You will still only be able to enter information for colleges you are given access to by College Administrators.

Modify Account page

You can also change your email preferences here.  If you check the following box, you will be copied on correspondence to student for requests that you have initiated.

Receive Student Digests check box

If you check this box below, you can specify if and when you will receive reminders for requests that you may need to act on.  You can choose daily, weekly or biweekly.  If you choose weekly or biweekly, you can specify which day of the week you will receive the reminder on.

Reminder Frequency pull-down menu

You also have the option to turn the onscreen instructions on or off in CSRS by selecting or unselecting the box below.

Show Instructions For New Requests and Show Instructions When Reviewing Requests check boxes

5.0 Automatic Approvals

Automatic Approvals can speed up repetitive substitution requests and provide a central place to store course substitutions that will generally be approved by your college. For example, if a course that is a major requirement will not be taught during a semester, but the college chooses to allow other courses to take its place, these can be set up as automatic approval to avoid the workflow approval chain. The final entry must still be made into eISIS, but the approval path is shortened.

When an adviser enters a request that matches and auto approve, they will be able to choose to allow it to be automatically approves. They can also choose not to allow automatic approval if they question an aspect of the approval or know courses have changed, etc. View the advisers’ manual to see what they see. If they choose to allow the automatic approval, the request is moved ahead to the eISIS entry step in its workflow and skips all intermediate approval steps.

Automatic Approvals can be created in two ways. You can either manually enter the request into the automatic approval forms or save a current request as automatic.

5.1 Manual Entry

1. Go to Tools > Edit Auto Subs.

Edit Auto Subs button highlighted in the Tools menu

2. Enter a title.

Title being entered in the Title text box

3. Select college (you can only choose colleges you have access to).

College pull-down menu

4. You can then choose a program and exception type from the college.

Entering a program and selecting an exception

5. Enter your Requirement as your advisers will enter the requirement when processing actual requests (for example, STAT 200).

"Stat" being entered in the Requirement text box

6. You can then enter a course to be used as a substitute for the requirement. You may enter more than one course (for example, you can enter two 2.0 credit courses to take the place of a 4.0 credit course).  If you are substituting a PSU course for the requirement, you can begin typing the course code to have you list filtered to courses that match what you enter.  Once you select the PSU course, the data will appear in the fields below.  If the course is from another university, you can enter the course data directly into the fields below.  Be sure to click the “Add” button and verify the course is added.

Entering a course in the Course text box

Add course button

7. Enter a beginning and ending semester for the courses.  All courses take must be between the beginning and ending semester to trigger the automatic approval.  You can choose semesters as far ahead seven years into the future.

8. Click the “Active” checkbox.

9. Click the “Add Auto Requirement” button to add and enable the automatic substitution.  It will then appear in the list at the bottom of the page.

Completed Auto Requirement form

10. You may also Copy one Automatic Approval to another or minimize data entry of similar records.

Highlighted Copy button

5.2 Adding Via the Approval Path

1. Check the box when approving request (if the box is not available, please contact the Help Desk to have if added to your workflow step)

Save For Later, Return Request To, Approve and Forward, and Deny Request buttons

2. Go to Tools > Edit Auto Subs.

Edit Auto Subs button highlighted in the Tools menu

3. Find the substitution you just approved and marked for Automatic Substitution in the list, then click the “Activate” button.

Activate button highlighted

4. Relevant information from the request is carried over to the Automatic Approval record.  Rename may it if you choose.

5. Enter semester values.

6. Check “Active.”

Title textbox, Semester Begin and Semester End pull-down menus, and Active check box highlighted in the approval form

7. Click the “Activate Auto Requirement” button to add and enable the automatic substitution.

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