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April 2017 | Issue #54
Current Releases: SM 8.0.050 (4/3) | AW 3.5.041 (4/4)
Webinar: ACEware Software Update   (4/5 1:30 CDT)
ACEware Systems Newsletter - Information to Run Your Program
Zap Charge
From time to time, the need arises to clear out balances on particular courses. Maybe your finance office has given up on trying to collect past due balances, or maybe a course is being funded by other means. Whatever the reason, you need to do a fee adjustment for a bunch of people at one time. Student Manager 8.0.050 can help with that.

The tool is called Zap Charge. You can find it under Tools -> Financial -> Zap Charge and it looks a little like this:

Fill in your selection criteria (either course number begins or begin date in a range), the description you want to give the fee adjustment, and what type of balance to clear. Press OK and your finance people will be happy (they won't be paid, but they'll not have to worry about this anymore).

As always, see your technician or the help guide if you need any help. We will also be showing off the tool in the April 5th webinar. Happy zapping!

Contributed by  Matthew Olson
Include Interactive Google Maps for Your Locations on ACEweb
Map Pin - CC Licensed
Enter the address into the search field at

Click the SHARE link

Click on the Embed map tab

Choose a size and then copy (CTRL-C) the code from the box (make sure you get ALL of it!)

Paste (CTRL-V) it into the Additional (ACEweb) Information box on your location record in Student Manager. Don't forget to make sure the Active and Display on Web boxes are checked!

Now you should have an interactive map on your location info page on ACEweb!

Contributed by Jason Allen
Conference Schedule Finalized
We've finalized our educational program for the 21st Annual Users' Conference in Scottsdale! Attending conference is the very best way to grow your knowledge of the software and everything it can do to support your work. You'll learn from ACEware technical staff and each other. You'll have one "aha!" moment after another and will return home energized with new ideas to use immediately and share with your colleagues.

Also, we're going to treat you to an indoor western adventure after sessions on Wednesday evening. Enjoy great food and beverages, networking, and a visual journey through the  American West at Scottsdale's Museum of the West. This new museum is a Smithsonian Affiliate, and we'll have it exclusively for two fun-filled hours. This evening event is included with your conference registration fee, and you can purchase extra tickets for those who are accompanying you.

It's time to get registered! Drop me a note if you need information on what scholarship funds are available for your unit or have any other questions.

Contributed by Sharon Brookshire
Tip of the Month: Notepad to Edit HTML
If you don't parlez-vous HTML (like me), you appreciate the HTML editor tools inside Student Manager. Perhaps you're most comfortable generating and saving your content in Word to copy and paste into Student Manager's HTML editor. Is this how any of you create your course descriptions for your ACEweb pages?

Using Word Can Cause Problems
Microsoft Word is useful for writing and publishing materials for printing. It's not as useful for writing  content meant to be displayed on a web page.

For example, have you ever had issues with black diamonds or question marks in your course descriptions? By default Microsoft Word uses special characters that are not supported in web browsers, e.g. "curly" quotes and long dashes. When the browser can't read those special characters, it will replace them with the black diamond or question mark.

That's why we suggest you use a plain text editor such as Notepad or Notepad++ to help you eliminate issues such as non-supported characters.

Plain Text Editors
Notepad is a free Windows accessory that you can find from your start menu (Start>Programs>Accessories>Notepad). Notepad++ is a free text editor with many additional features that Notepad does not offer. Visit their site to learn more.

Next time you are using the HTML Editor in a course description, write your content in Notepad; then copy and paste it into the HTML Editor. You'll be glad you did!

Contributed by Sharon Brookshire and Cheryl Scott
Report of the Month: LERN "Black Box"
We received a call recently from Raul Matos, head of the Arlington Adult Education program, asking for help with exporting to Excel. Raul explained that he was trying to generate an Excel file to give him a special LERN, "Black Box," report. After getting some background information, we suggested that rather than hassle with exporting data and manually manipulating the formulas, that we build the report DIRECTLY in Student Manager, so, voila!!! The LERN Black Box Report.
This report is available for download from the Financial Reports section of the ACEware web site Student Manager Reports area.
When you import it, it will load into your "Deadbeat Report" area, and the name of the report is, "LERN Black Box."
Some Notes: This assumes that you use a, "normal," Student Manager year and term coding, with the first 2 characters of the course code the YEAR, and the 3rd character the Term (ie: 16FACE101, 16WACE101). It will group all courses by the catalog code (so all similar courses are grouped together by term), and uses the instructor pay total for the "direct cost". The, "revenue needed," is the Instructor Pay/Direct Cost multiplied by a constant. That is your desired operating margin. The default report uses a factor of 1.4 (ie: 40% operating margin). If you want to use a different constant, just modify the report and change it. Then the last column represents the actual operating margin.

One of the purposes of this report is to give you a way to evaluate performance of course categories (ie:  Cooking courses v.s. Computer Courses, etc.). It also gives you a baseline to use as am estimate for the upcoming year (i.e., what level of enrollments can I expect from group xxx?). However, do note that Student Manager already has a number of built-in statistical reports that can help you evaluate course performance.

Two report areas that I'd point you to:

  1. Statistics/ Course / Course Data Summary: In the "Demographic Statistics Based on:" slot, pick Subject Code, and check [ ] Summary Report and [ ] Include Cancelled. Then for the query, pull a year's worth of courses (either course begin date between two dates, or Course Number Begins with). Typically you would  use the default report. That gives you a comparison by Course Subject (a broader grouping of courses).
  2. Statistics/Course/Course Data Summary: This time, you'll pick the "Additional Report". So, same as above, in the "Demographic Statistics Based on:" slot, pick Subject Code, and check [ ] Summary Report and [ ] Include Cancelled, AND then choose ( ) Additional Report. Then for the query, pull a year's worth of courses (either course begin date between two dates, or Course Number Begins with). When you get to select the "Additional Report", pick: "Course Summary by Month". The value of this report is that it gives you a time reference to analyze course attendance (see the % age capacity). That is your "Butts in Seats" number. So you can evaluate general performance, and make decisions about course scheduling frequency.
If you have questions, about the use of the Black Box report, feel free to email me.

Submitted by Chuck Havlicek

Here's to your continued success!

Your ACEware team,

- Chuck, Sharon, AJ, Cheryl, Jason, Lindsey, Matthew, Mike, and Stein

 Aceware Systems
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