Course Substitution Request System Adviser 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.

WebAccess login screen

1.2 Accessing Accessibility 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 button

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

Default Mode button

1.3 Link to eISIS

If you use eISIS, a link to the system is provided in the menu as well.  The site will open in a new tab or window and could be affected by pop-up blockers if you have them turned on in your browser.

2.0 Managing Requests

This section includes tutorials on how an administrative staff, adviser, department head, or dean could manage or view different requests submitted on CSRS.

2.1 View Requests

Use the following process to view all the requests available to you.
1. To access or view all requests, click on My Requests on the left panel.

My Requests button

2.1.1 "Awaiting My Review" Tab

1. In Awaiting My Review tab, users can view requests that require approval. Users can View, Edit, and Delete requests.

Awaiting My Review tab

To View a request, click any of the links show here. Click View to approve, deny, or take other actions defined by your college on the request.

View request options

To Edit a request, click the pencil icon show here. (See section 2.3)

Edit request button

To Delete a request, click the trash can icon show here.  You will be asked to verify that you want to delete the request. (See section 2.4)

Delete request button

2. User can also hover over i icon to view the Workflow Steps.

*Note: Different programs may have variations of Workflow Steps

Proposal WorkFlow steps

2.1.2 "I've Submitted" Tab

1. A user can view all the requests submitted by clicking the I’ve Submitted tab. A user can also View, Edit, and Delete requests in this tab.  You will only be able to Edit or Delete when the request is still in your workflow step.  Once you approve or forward the request, you can no longer edit or delete. If you have many requests, there will be page numbers at the bottom of the table as well.

I've Submitted tab

2.1.3 "My Advisees" Tab

1. The My Advisees tab will list current and past substitution requests for students who are assigned to you (according to the data warehouse) regardless of who has entered the request.  Current “Open Requests” are shown by default.

My Advisees tab

2.1.4 "Search Results" Tab

1. In the Search Results tab, users can view all the requests awaiting his/her approval and request submitted for approval. In this tab, users can also View, Edit or Delete requests.  You will only be able to Edit or Delete requests that you have access (in your Department or College) to and that are still in the Adviser workflow step.
*Once requests have been approved and forwarded, user will not be able to edit or delete requests.

Search Results tab

2. Enter student’s information in the Student Search and the search bar will expand based on the information entered.

Entering an ID number into the Student Search box

3. If no requests have been submitted for that particular student, no results will be shown in the table.

Search Results screen

4. Search results can be filtered to Open Requests, Pre-Approved, or All Requests just as the other tabs can.

5. Search results can also be filtered by the College or Department of the request.  You may choose any single College or Department.  Additionally, you can choose to filter to only the requests for any College or Department you are assigned to.  By default, you will be shown results for Departments you are assigned.  To change this, simply make a new selection from the drop down.

College and Department pull-down menu

2.1.5 Filtering Results

1. With all request tabs, you have the option of changing the results to show only “Pre-Approved Requests” or “All Requests” by changing the Filter option above the list of requests.

Open, Pre-Approved, and All Requests buttons

2. Showing “All Requests” will display both active and completed requests. Approved Requests will display with a check mark in the status field, while denied requests will display an “X”. Pre-approved requests will display an exclamation point within a triangle.

All Requests button

Request stage icon legend

3. You can also filter to a specific student by using the Student Search box above the list of requests.  You can search by any of the following pieces of data:
a. Student ID – the nine digit student id formatted without dashes.  For example: 999999999
b. Access ID – the PSU user id given to students.  For example: abc1234
c. Last name of the student

Student Search box

4. You may type or paste any of the information into the box.  As you type, the system will search student records and present students matching what is currently typed into the box as shown below.  At any point, you can click one of the entries to apply the search for that student.

Entering an ID number into the Student Search box

5. To remove the filter, press the “Reset” button.

Reset button

2.2 New Request

Use the following process to add new requests as an adviser.

1. Click on the New Request button on the side panel.

New Request button

2. Enter the Student ID, Access ID, or Last Name in the following bar.

Student ID box

3. Select the desired student from drop-down list once the Student ID, Access ID, or Last Name is entered.

Selecting a student from the pull-down menu

4. After selecting the student, data about the student will be retrieved from their student records.  Additionally, you will be able to see other requests for this student that have been entered into CSRS.
*Note, substitutions entered prior to CSRS will NOT be shown.

Student information screen

Click the “Show Request History” link to see prior and CSRS current requests for this student.  Click “Hide Request History to hide the list again.

Request history screen

5. After selecting the student, select which of the student’s programs to initiate the course substitution request.

Selecting the student's program option

Note: Certain programs might be inactive for selection if the adviser entering the request is not assigned to the applicable department or college.  In the image below, this adviser does not have access to the Spanish department and cannot enter a request for this minor.

An option that is not available for selection

6. Select where Requested Exception for the course substitution will be applied.
*Different exceptions may be available based on your particular college.

Selecting the request exception type

*Note: Certain exceptions are not available for certain programs/colleges.

Request exception type selection

7. Select the option Yes or No, depending on whether the course substitution is pre-approved. Certain courses may have been approved before the student registers or takes the course. Pre-approval could be a Penn State or a non-Penn State course.

Selecting Yes or No for if the request requires pre-approval

8. *Optional: An adviser can select one of the options to view a student’s transcript and enrollments. Selecting these options will redirect user into a new window to view the transcript.

View transcript, advising transcript, and enrollments buttons

9. Enter Course Name in the Requirement bar in Step 5 to reveal the pull-down options. 

Program requirement pull-down menu

Custom requirements can also be entered.

Custom requirement text box

10. Available courses on the database can be accessed from the pull-down menu in the Course Taken column.

Course Taken column

a. To enter courses that are not available on the database, access the pull-down menu and select Choose this to manually enter info option to manually enter course information.
*Business rules apply for perspective colleges.

Course manual entry option

b. After the course information has been entered, click the Add button.

Selecting the Add button

11. Once the Courses Taken option has been selected, click on the Add button and results will be shown below.

Completed Courses Taken form

Submitted course information

*Note: More than one course can be added in this process.

Multiple submitted courses information

12. In order to substitute a course, an adviser will have to enter his/her justification as to why the course taken qualifies for a substitution. Enter comments in the Justification box.

Justification text box

13. An adviser can upload supporting information, such as a syllabus, of the course taken to justify the substitution. Click on the Context Type pull-down menu and select the type of document uploaded. Enter information in the File Description box. Click the Upload button after information is entered.

Context type pull-down menu

*Note: Only file(s) in .pdf, .doc, .docx, .txt, image formats can be uploaded and there is a limit to the size of files that can be uploaded

14. An adviser can also View and Delete after files are uploaded.

Buttons to view or delete a file

*Note: The system will try to open the document in a new window.  If you have trouble viewing the file, you may need to disable pop-ups for

15. Enter any comments in the Comments box, or simply access the Predefined Comments pull-down menu for more options.

Predefined Comments pull-down menu

An adviser can also add more comments even after selecting a predefined comment to suit the particular request.

Additional comments text box

16. Once comments are added, the adviser has the options to add more substitution request for the same student by checking Create Another Request For This Student box and then selecting one of the 3 options. Otherwise, proceed with clicking either 3 of the buttons to complete the request.

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

*Note: Course Taken, Justification, and Comments have to be entered in order to complete the request!

17. Automatic Approvals – Colleges can, at their discretion, choose to pre-approve common requests. If your College Administrator has set up an automatic approval that matches all the criteria of your request, you will have the option to skip all approval steps and move the request to the last step in the workflow. If your request matches the criteria you will see the following message after you approve the request.

Choosing Yes or No for a request's automatic substitution

If you select:
Yes”, the request moves forward to the eISIS entry step of the workflow
No”, the request goes through the typical approval process
Cancel”, you will return to the entry screen with no actions taken

18. After approving or denying a request, the site will be redirected to the My Request page. Newly added requests will be displayed first on the list.

Course Substitution Request System home screen

Congratulations! You have successfully added a new request.

2.3 Editing Requests

Before a request is being approved/forwarded to the next person on the approval process, the adviser can edit requests if additional supporting documents are available.
1. Click the Edit link on the left the Request ID column on any tab on the My Requests screen.

Selecting the pencil icon in the Awaiting My Review tab
2. The adviser can update information from Section 3 to Section 8 on the request page.

Updating a proposal's information
3. Once the information has been updated/uploaded, click the Update button to complete the Edit process.

Update button
4. The page will redirect itself to the homepage.

Course Substitution Request System home screen

2.4 Deleting Requests

Before a request is being approved/forwarded to the next person on the approval process, the adviser can delete requests.

Requests submitted can be easily deleted from the My Request page.

1. Click Delete next to the Submitted On column.

Selecting the trash can icon in Awaiting My Review

2. The system will prompt the user for confirmation before request is deleted. Click on the OK button.

Deleting a proposal prompt

3. The system will redirect user back to My Request page.

2.5 Searching For Requests

Please see sections 2.1.4 "Search Results" Tab and 2.1.5 Filtering Results for instructions about searching CSRS requests.

3.0 Managing Account and Email Options

3.1 Navigating to the Account Page

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

Modify Account button highlighted in the Tools menu

3.2 Modify Account and Email Settings

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.

User Account Modification screen

You can also change your email preferences here. If you check the following box, you will be copied on correspondence to students 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

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