FAQs

 

General Compass


What is Compass?

Compass is the student information system and related financial aid component at Texas A&M University. The university purchased the system, a software application product, from Ellucian. Ellucian is a leading provider of software for higher education student, HR, and finance systems, with more than 1,600 clients worldwide. Many major universities utilize Ellucian systems, including most universities in the Texas A&M University System. Compass was implemented at the university for its campuses in College Station, Galveston, and Qatar.  Compass features user-friendly pages (screens) organized in handy folders, and will feature robust reporting and analysis tools. Compass offers additional functionalities for faculty and advisors.
 

Who manages the Compass project?

The Enterprise Information Systems (EIS) department and project team are responsible for the implementation and maintenance of Compass. The team includes technical staff as well as functional staff representing various Texas A&M offices that use the systems. Committees providing direction and guidance on the project include the EIS Executive Committee and EIS Steering Committee.
 

Will I receive training to use Compass?

Faculty and staff who use Compass will be required to receive training before using the system.  Your supervisor will notify you when you are scheduled to receive Compass training.
 

How do I get a Compass account?

If your job duties require you to use Compass, your supervisor will facilitate you getting a Compass Account Request form signed by the Primary Authorizing Agent (PAA).  After you complete the FERPA and ICN training, you will receive your Compass account. You will then be notified to take additional specialized training if needed.
 

What can I do to get ready for my Compass account?

If you know that you will eventually receive a Compass account, you can go ahead and take some steps to get ready. Prerequisites include knowing your NetID and password, acquainting yourself with the Howdy web portal, and completing FERPA training. For more information about these steps, on this EIS web site, click "Training," then "About Training."
 

How does the Howdy web portal fit in with Compass?

The Howdy web portal is a companion piece to the Compass student information system. The university purchased the portal software from Ellucian as part of its purchase of the student system. Howdy is the "front door" to Compass. Therefore, employees with Compass accounts need to log in to Howdy to perform functions in Compass. Students and applicants also need to log in to Howdy to perform functions in a self-service version of Compass. The student information in Howdy will be populated, behind-the-scenes, by Compass. The Howdy web portal is located at https://howdy.tamu.edu.
 

How do I access Compass?

If you are a Texas A&M University employee and have a Compass account, log in to the Howdy web portal at https://howdy.tamu.edu and click the "Employee" tab. If you have a Compass account, you will see a channel titled Compass that includes a link to the system as well as an icon at the top menu bar for easy access to the system. If you are NOT a Texas A&M University employee and have a Compass account, log in to the Howdy web portal at https://howdy.tamu.edu and click the "Home" tab. If you have a Compass account, you will see a channel titled Compass that includes a link to the system or the icon at the top menu bar for easy access to the system.

 

How do I get help with Compass?

If you have a question about Compass, see Compass Help. You'll see a list of topics and email addresses to help guide you to the staff member best equipped to answer your question.
 

Compass Access and Permissions


How can I request Compass access?

All requests must come through a Primary Authorizing Agent (PAA). A complete list of PAAs can be found from the Primary Authorizing Agents link on the EIS home page.
 

How do I check the status of my request?

Please reply directly to your Keystone ticket or email eis-security@tamu.edu and our security team will provide you with the status of your request.
 

What software is required to run Compass?

Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are the recommended browsers when utilizing Compass. If you do not have either browser on your machine, please reach out to your department’s IT office.
 

Errors and Problems


I received the following when I tried to log in to Compass:  “*ERROR* You did not connect successfully; exiting.”

Most likely this is a result of either:

  1. Your account was locked due to inactivity.  Please contact your PAA to request that the account be unlocked.
  2. The incorrect NetID password was entered too many times.  Please visit gateway.tamu.edu to verify you have the correct NetID password.  If your Compass account is still locked after this, please email eis-security@tamu.edu.


  "How To" Questions


How do I extract data from a Compass form?

Only certain pages can have data extracted.  If the page is enabled for data extract, please follow these steps:

  1. Select Tools then Export.  It may take a few seconds for the file to appear. By allowing the “Always Trust/Always Open” option may enable future downloads to require less steps.
  2. Format the info as desired. Generally, you will need to choose Format then Adjust Column Width to Fit at a minimum.