FAQs: Faculty/Staff

1. Faculty/Staff – General Info      2. For Faculty, Advising & Administrative Users      3. For Faculty/Staff in Academic Departments
1. Faculty/Staff –>General Information
Q1. What processes will be affected by CUNYfirst? click

A1. There are three main areas in which new processes are being implemented:

  • Human Capitol Magangment: the Human Resources module in CUNYfirst. (Base HR Processes, Employee Self Service Base Benefit Processes, Recruitment and Payroll (interfaces with NYS and NYC).
  • Campus Solution: the student information system module of CUNYfirst. (Academic Structure, Course Catalog, Schedule of Classes, Student Financials, Student Records, Financial Aid, Admissions, Faculty Self Service, Advisor Self Service, and Campus Community)
  • Finance: General Ledger, Procurement (Purchasing, Accounts Payable, and Expenses), Planning and Budgeting, Accounts Receivable, Asset Management, and Cash and Deal Management.
Q2. What’s the URL to login to CUNYfirst? click
Q3. What are the password requirements for CUNYfirst? click
  • A3. Your password must be:
    • at least 8 characters long
    • contain at least 1 uppercase letter
    • contain at least one numeric char OR one special character
    • must not be one of 4 previous passwords.

    Note: Your password will expire 90 days after the last password change. The system will prompt you to change your password.

Q4. What do I do if I forget my password? click
  • A4. Visit the CUNYfirst website, choose “Forgot your Password,” and follow the instructions.
Q5. Can I use my personal e-mail for CUNYfirst? click
  • A5. No. You are required to use your City College e-mail account.
  • If you have not activated your City College faculty/staff e-mail account please do so now.
  • >>How To Activate E-mail Accounts
Q6. Does CUNYfirst work on Macs? click
  • A6. Yes, but you have to use Mozilla Firefox.
Q7. Which browser is recommended for CUNYfirst access? click
  • A7. Recommended browsers:
    • For PC’s Internet Explorer is the best choice.
    • For Mac’s CUNYfirst will also work on Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.
Q8. Is CUNYfirst available from home? click
Q9. How will I be trained to use the system? click
  • A9. In a number of ways. If you have a job that requires you to have everyday access to the system, you will be trained in a classroom setting by your peers. CUNYfirst training is based on a model called “Train the Trainer.” Professionals from throughout CUNY learn how processes work, and train individuals how to do their work. .
Q10. Will I receive training on all CUNYfirst processes? click
  • A10. No. In CUNYfirst, you are assigned roles based on the work you do. Those roles are determined by managers and supervisors who are translating your current work into CUNYfirst functions. You will receive training to perform the exact tasks you need to do your job—no more, no less. If it is determined you need training on functions outside your role, your managers and supervisors will make sure you get it.
Q11. What if I can’t access certain areas on CUNYfirst site to do my work in Campus solutions? click
  • A11. This may be because you don’t have the proper security roles. For help on that please visit Campus Solutions web page..

2. For Faculty, Advising & Administrative Users
Below is information outlining basic points and details of areas and features Faculty, Advising & Administrative Users will access in CUNYfirst.


Question: Which browsers can be used for CUNYfirst? click


  • Windows PC: Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer.
  • Mac: Firefox, Chrome. (4/03/14)
Question: What will CUNYfirst replace? What will it not replace? click

Answer: CUNYfirst will replace: SIMS, eSIMS, Webgrade, Booklist (via CUNY Portal), Attendance Verification.

CUNYfirst will NOT replace: Blackboard, ePermits, Degree Works (as of 3/30/14), CCNY email. (4/03/14)

Question: CUNYfirst has lots of new jargon. Can you translate? click

Answer: Translation of terms:

CUNYfirst term SIMS term
Academic career Track (UG, Grad, non-degree)
Program Degree (B.A./B.S.)
Academic Plan Major/Minor
Academic Sub-Plan Concentration
Subject Discipline
Class Section
Class Number Bell Code
Enroll in classes Register for classes
Negative Service Indicators/Holds Stops
Positive Service Indicators Program Codes
Semester Term
Units Credits          (4/03/14)

Access, Account Claiming, and Logging in

Question: From where can CUNYfirst be accessed? click

Answer: Training Environment must be accessed from a CUNY IP address (or by a remote connection), the main, “Production” Environment, which will go live in early April, will be accessible from anywhere. Since CUNYfirst is a web-based program, it can be accessed from mobile devices. Finally, unlike SIMS, one can be logged onto CUNYfirst from multiple computers/devices simultaneously. (4/03/14)


Question: Will CUNYfirst allow waiting lists? click

Answer: Yes, but this feature may not be implemented at first. (4/03/14)

Question: How will enrollment for Honors/Ind. Study work? click

Answer: Same as now. Signed forms will be taken to the Registrar, who will create sections and enroll the students. (4/03/14)

Question: How will ePermits be done under CUNYfirst? click

Answer: The ePermit process will not change. CUNYfirst will not be used for ePermit submission or approval. (4/03/14)

Question: Students can enroll for a course in the following semester if they are taking its prerequisite in the current semester. After the semester is over, will CUNYfirst check that they have passed the prerequisite with a sufficient grade and then, if necessary, un-enroll students? click

Answer: Yes! (This is referred to as Post-Enrollment Requisite Checking or “PERC”). (4/03/14)

Question: How do we see enrollment for several sections of a course at once (CIQ/CSQ/CRU functions in SIMS)? click

Answer: Use “Departmental Class Rosters.” Enrollment totals are shown at the right of each row. (4/03/14)

Question: How do we see registration activity by student (RIQ option in SIMS)? click

Answer: Use “Records and Enrollment > Enrollment Summaries > Enrollment Summary” (not necessarily accessible by all advisors) (4/03/14)

Question: Should I use Blackboard or CUNYfirst to look at course rosters and to see whether a student has withdrawn? click

Answer: Starting with Summer 2014, rosters on Blackboard will be updated daily from CUNYfirst. In Spring 2014, withdrawals after March 21 will not be shown. For a particular student’s withdrawals, access the student’s “course history” via the “Advisor Center” in CUNYfirst. For a course, this info is available through the Class Roster in the Faculty Center. Class rosters have an additional column labeled “Status notes” — but only if at least one student has such a note. (4/03/14)

Student Records

Question: Can one still access SIMS? Is it still useful? click

Answer: SIMS is now accessible (3/30/14), but cannot be used to register students nor change enrollment limits. Also, it is no longer updated, so any changes after March 21, 2014 (e.g. dropped courses) will not be shown, nor will Spring 2014 grades. (4/03/14)

Question: Can one calculate Major GPA using CUNYfirst? click

Answer: No. Use DegreeWorks (with extreme prejudice!) (4/03/14)

Question: How can we determine a student’s Major and Minor? click

Answer: The easiest way is to use the Advisor Center and generate an Unofficial Transcript, where Program Status is shown for each semester. (4/03/14)

Question: Can transcripts from other CUNY schools be accessed? click

Answer: Yes, by viewing an unofficial transcript in the “Advisor Center”; another administrative path via “Record & Enrollments/Transcripts” (typically not accessible to faculty advisors anyway) will only work for transcript of CCNY students (4/03/14)

Question: Can more than one adviser view a student’s record simultaneously? click

Answer: Yes! (4/03/14)

Department Administration

Question: How does dept. admin figure who has submitted grades/texbooks/attendance verification? click

Answer: See: Instructions for textbook submission

3. For Faculty/Staff in Academic Departments
Below is information outlining basic points and details of areas and features faculty/staff will use in CUNYfirst. Download PDF

SIMS after shutdown on March 21, 2014

Question: What happens with SIMS after the shutdown on Friday, March 21, 4 pm? click

Answer: After a maintenance period (and maybe as early as March 23) SIMS will become available again, but with all access rights involving data input or modification (like SUS and RUS) stripped for all users in academic departments. The old login information will still work but access will be restricted to “look up” only, e.g., you can look up a student transcript, but it will be frozen and no updates can be done. All future modifications will have to be done in CUNYfirst. But if you need to look up a student transcript, do so in SIMS when available again; do not rely on information retrieved from the simulation/training environment. (3/14/14)

Effect on Blackboard (Bb)

Question: Is Blackboard affected by the transition to CUNYfirst? click

Answer: Student enrollment and instructor names are refreshed (daily) based on data pulled from SIMS (the process is known as “running snapshot”). With SIMS being frozen on March 21 there is no new information available in SIMS going forward and thus no updates as to students adding (really late, isolated special cases) or dropping. And given that the naming of classes (like the institution prefix is now “CTY01″) is different in CUNYfirst, the date feed from CUNYfirst cannot be used either. Starting with the summer 2014 term, the daily Blackboard update will resume as class naming/numbering will be consistent again between CUNYfirst and Blackboard.

For the rest of spring 2014, students added late (by the registrar’s office) will be added manually to Blackboard rosters by the Hunter Blackboard support group. However, student drops will not appear in the Blackboard roster. Consult your class roster in CUNYfirst (after go live) for any such changes. (3/14/14)

Student status (withdrawal) information

Question: Where can I see whether a student has officially withdrawn from a class? click

Answer: If you are interested in a particular student, access the student’s “course history” via the “Advisor Center” (see how; should be available to all full-time faculty).
Withdrawal information is also available via the class roster. Class rosters have an additional column labeled “Status notes” — but only if at least one student has such a note. As a design feature, empty columns are not shown. (3/14/14)

Student major/minor/concentration information

Question: Where can I find information on a student’s concentration? click

Answer: All “plan” and “sub-plan” (CUNYfirst lingo) information is included on the unofficial transcript — in plain English, not as numerical codes (as in SIMS). However, there are no specific fields. So, if a student does not have a concentration, it simply does not show; there is no empty field labeled “concentration” or “sub-plan”. (3/14/14)

Transcripts for different programs/careers

Question: Where can I select whether I want the unofficial undergraduate or the graduate transcript for a student? click

Answer: All available transcripts are made available in one pdf document via the “Advisor Center” (should be available to most full-time faculty). Just scroll through the document and notice the change in headers and page numbering. (3/14/14)

Access to transcripts for students at other CUNY schools

Question: Will we be able to access transcripts of students not at City College? click

Answer: Yes. However, it is important to use the path via the “Advisor Center”; another administrative path via “Record & Enrollments/Transcripts” (typically not accessible to faculty advisors anyway) will only work for transcript of CCNY students. (3/14/14)


Question: Where do we give permits to attend a class at another school in CUNYfirst? click

Answer: Students and faculty will continue to use e-Permit which can be accessed by logging in to the CUNY portal. No change. All CUNYfirst processing will be done by staff in the Registrar’s office. (3/14/14)

Quick overview of seats taken per section (CIQ/CSQ option in SIMS)

Question: What is the equivalent function in CUNYfirst? click

Answer: Use the “departmental class rosters” menu item (available to “super users”) to get such a quick overview (matching quick guide). In contrast to SIMS, these are real time figures, no time delay. (3/14/14)

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