COLS How-to Video Transcripts


These tutorials describe how to use various features within COLS.


Generating Reports – Video Transcript

Welcome to Counsellors’ Online Services (COLS): www.ouac.on.ca/apply/cols.

This video will show you how to generate reports using COLS.

Start off by logging in to COLS with your user ID and password. Select “Reports” in the Service Links menu.

There are 2 reports. The “Application Status Report” includes information about university and program choices, entry points, fee payment statuses and more.

You can adjust the fields to generate your own custom report. You can also review the reports from the current or previous cycle.

Enter your desired search criteria and hit “Submit”. The report opens in HTML format and you can sort your columns as you desire.

The “Insufficient Credit Report” lists students whose current course information shows they will not receive six 4U/M credits by the end of the school year. You should run this report after the April and July grades collection.

Select “Search” to run the report. Students with less than six 4U/M courses/marks are listed. Select “Course List” to view individual student courses on file at the OUAC.

You can export the list to Excel or HTML. You can make any required updates in “Academic Information”.

In early July, the OUAC will email the students who appear on the July report.

For more features and tips about using COLS, look under “Access COLS” on the Guidance website: www.ouac.on.ca/guidance.


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How to Clear Your Cache – Video Transcript

Hello. Welcome to Counsellors’ Online Services – or “COLS”. In this video tutorial, you’ll learn how to clear the cache in your web browser.

If you experience error messages or corrupt web page information when using COLS, clearing your cache can ensure your browser displays a web page correctly, by forcing your browser to retrieve the newest copy from a website – which doesn’t always happen automatically.

There are a few ways to clear your cache. First, try pressing “Ctrl” + “F5”. This works for most browsers.

If that doesn’t work, here are a few different options for you to try.

If you are having troubles displaying help links and want to clear Help Link cache specifically, try this tip:

  • First, right-click on the Help icon, and select “Open link in New Tab/Window”.
  • Now, in the new window, press “Ctrl” and “F5”.
  • Then, close the new window.
  • If you click the Help link again in the original window, it should now display correctly.

Different browsers require different methods for clearing the cache.
First, we’ll look at how to clear your cache in Internet Explorer. I’m using version 8.

  1. Click the Tools icon and select “Internet Options” from the drop-down menu.
  2. In the pop-up window under “Browsing history”, click “Delete.”
  3. Make sure “Temporary Internet Files” is checked, and select “Delete” again.
  4. To do a more thorough clearing of your cache, click “Settings”, which is also under “Browsing history.”
  5. In the pop-up window, click “View files…”
  6. Windows Explorer opens, and here you’ll see all of your temporary internet files.
  7. Do a search for “ouac,” or O-U-A-C, and then select and delete all the files containing “ouac” in the title.

Once this is done, your cache is cleared in Internet Explorer. Deleting the temporary internet files should also allow your browser to display the COLS web page information correctly.

Now, let’s look at Google Chrome. I’m using version 34.

  1. Click the icon in the top right-hand corner of the screen, and select “History” from the drop-down menu.
  2. Next, click “Clear browsing data…”
  3. In the pop-up window that appears, you’ll want to select “the beginning of time” as the time range for the files you want to delete, and make sure “Cached images and files” is checked.
  4. Then click “Clear browsing data”.

Now your cache is cleared in Google Chrome.

Finally, let’s look at Mozilla Firefox. I’m using version 30.0.

  1. In the navigation bar under “History”, select “Clear Recent History”. You can also press “Ctrl” and “Shift” and “Delete” at the same time.
  2. In the pop-up window, select “Everything” as the “Time range to clear”.
  3. If not already open, click the arrow beside “Details” and ensure “Cache” is selected.
  4. Then, click “Clear Now.”

Now your cache is cleared in Firefox.

You have now learned how to successfully clear your cache, so that your web page information in COLS will display correctly.

For written instructions on this topic, visit the Guidance website and download “How to Clear Your Cache” under “Popular Resources”.

Thanks for watching!

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How to Search OST Files – Video Transcript

Welcome to Counsellors’ Online Services (COLS): www.ouac.on.ca/apply/cols.

This video will show you how to search the “OST” files you already sent to the OUAC.

Start off by logging in to COLS with your user ID and password.

Select “Search OST Files” from the Service Links navigation menu.

You can refine your search based on criteria, such as collection period, message number, upload date, processing status, errors or warnings and more.

Tip: To see a complete a list of files you sent to the OUAC for all collection periods, leave the fields blank and click “Search”.

The File Log provides a quick summary of your files, tells you when each file was uploaded or updated, shows the file’s processing status and whether there are any errors, and shows whether it is a subsequent file.

Under Processing Status, all files you recently uploaded will appear as “Queued”. Depending on the time of year, it may take several hours before a file is processed.

Tip: If your Processing Status shows “Queued”, it’s okay to close your browser. Closing your browser will not affect the file processing.

Scroll to view all of the different options.

In the “Actions” column, you can download the raw data, or click “View Summary” to see file update statistics and a detailed summary of any errors and warnings that may have occurred when your file was processed.

For details on individual errors, click “View Details”. The student, position and line number for each occurrence of the error or warning is listed.

You can export any of these lists to Excel or HTML.

Scroll to the top to return to the previous screen or start a new search.

For more features and tips about using COLS, look under “Access COLS” on the Guidance website: www.ouac.on.ca/guidance.

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How to Send OST Files – Video Transcript

Welcome to Counsellors’ Online Services (COLS): www.ouac.on.ca/apply/cols.

This video will walk you through the process of sending your Ontario Student Transcript (OST) grades files to the OUAC.

Start off by logging in to COLS with your user ID and password.

Click “Send OST Files” in the Service Links menu. The file you will upload is called the “Transmission Data File”.

To locate the file on your computer, click “Browse”. The file name must begin with the letter “S”, followed by your 6-digit school number (MIDENT).

You can upload a single file, a zipped file, or select multiple files at once by holding down the “Ctrl” and “Shift” keys, and then clicking the files you want to upload.

If you select an incorrect file, you will see an error message next to the file name. Click the “x” to delete the error.

When you’ve selected the appropriate files, click “Upload File(s)”. The length of time it takes to transfer the file will depend on the size of the file, the speed of the internet connection between your computer and the OUAC, and how busy the OUAC server is at the time.

Unprocessed files will appear in the Pending Files section as “Received.”

Any errors found during the upload are indicated under the “Status” column. If you don’t want to process the file, click “Delete” under the Actions column.

Click “Process All Received Files Now”.

Important: The OUAC will not receive your files until you select this link.

Your files will be placed in the OUAC queue for processing and you will see your information appear in the File Log.

For more features and tips about using COLS, look under “Access COLS” on the Guidance website: www.ouac.on.ca/guidance.

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How to View and Change Academic Info – Video Transcript

How to View and Change Academic Info – Video Transcript

Welcome to Counsellors’ Online Services (COLS): www.ouac.on.ca/apply/cols.

This video will show you how to use the Academic Information function to check the status of, and change information for, your full-time and part-time students.

Start by logging in to COLS with your user ID and password.

When you are logged in, choose “Academic Information” from the Service Links menu.

In Academic Information, you can double-check the information you sent in your OST files, verify student info, update diploma info, update course info, change grades info and more!

Note: Non-home schools have limited access to Academic Information.

Tip: You can search for your full-time and/or part-time students under Student Status.

To see a list of all your students, select “Both” under Student Status and leave all other fields blank.

Enter your search criteria and click “Search”.

Tip: If you want to see a list of all of your students, leave the fields blank. You can also search for your full-time and/or part-time students.

The School column shows your MIDENT for your full-time students and the MIDENT for your part-time students’ home school.

To maintain your part-time students’ courses, they must add your school to their 101 application under Academic Background.

To see the academic information for an individual student, select “Review” in the Actions column.

There are 3 tabs for your full-time students. For your part-time students, you have access only to the Courses tab.

In Diploma Details, you can update all diploma-related information for your full-time students.

In the Courses section, you can add, update and drop courses for your full-time and/or part-time students.

Notes: You cannot view the full academic record of your part-time students. You can maintain the courses part-time students are taking at your school only. Home schools can maintain all academic information for their full-time students, including part-time courses taken at another school.

Home schools can also correct any course-related errors generated from OST file uploads.

To add a course, click “Add Course” and fill in the required information.

To update a course, select the appropriate values from the drop-down.

Note: To change the course code or completion date, you must drop the course first and then add the course again.

To drop a course, check the “Drop” box located all the way to the right.

When you have made all your changes, click “Save all courses and diploma details”.

You will see a notice at the top of your screen in blue text indicating your save was successful.

Any errors will be highlighted immediately.

You must correct all errors to save your changes to this student’s file.

If you add a course for your part-time student that the home school already added, your course will be placed in an error status for the home school to fix. This will happen for duplicate and repeat courses.

If your file has any errors that resulted from your file upload (pending errors), you can choose to correct them, or you can ignore them, before moving on.

The Course Summary tab shows you the most current status of all the information on file with the OUAC for your full-time students.

On each of these tabs, you can also review the Academic History of your full-time students.

You can export the Courses and Diploma Details to Excel or HTML.

When you have made all your changes, select “Close” to return to your search results.

Select the options at the top to change your criteria or start a new search.

The COLS Administrator at your school will receive an email when courses/grades have been reported by a school where your student is registered part-time.

For more features and tips about using COLS, look under “Access COLS” on the Guidance website: www.ouac.on.ca/guidance.

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How to View and Print PIN Letters

Welcome to Counsellors’ Online Services (COLS): www.ouac.on.ca/apply/cols.

This video will show you how to create PINs, generate a checklist of PINs and print PIN letters using the “PIN” and “Test PINs” functions.

Start off by logging in to COLS with your user ID and password. Select “PINs” from the Service Links menu.

The “Create a PIN” function allows you to create an account for 1 or more students and store it on the OUAC’s database. Most accounts are created when your school submits a file of demographic and academic data to the OUAC in the October/November submission.

The “Create a PIN” function is used when it is not possible to submit such a file to the OUAC.
E.g.,

  • A student registers at your school for second semester
  • A student transfers from outside of Ontario.
  • A student was inadvertently missed in the Oct/Nov submission.

The “Create a PIN” function contains only minimal information about the student: Name, SSSN and OEN. It does not contain any of the demographic or academic data that is normally sent in the October/November data submission.

Important: Do not create a PIN for a student if your school does not hold the student’s OSR.

If a student transfers to your school, you must ensure the previous school transfers that student’s OSR to your school.

Enter the required information and select “Add Account”.

Tip: The SSSN must be 12 digits long. If your school’s student numbers are shorter, add zeros to the beginning of the number.

If your school does not have student numbers, enter the OEN with added zeros at the beginning.

If you receive a “Duplicate” error message, a PIN may have already been assigned with an identical SSSN or OEN. Contact the OUAC’s Undergraduate Division for assistance.

Use the “PIN Checklist” to view the PIN you created and print the PIN letter. You can also view any test PINS you created.

Use the search criteria to filter your list and select “Search”. The list is cumulative and is in alphabetical order.

You can download your list in HTML or Excel format.

Students who already received a PIN and transferred to your school will not appear on this list. Use the “Actions” column to re-assign a PIN or view/print the PIN letter.

“PIN Letter Generation” allows you to download and print PIN letters in bulk.

Filter your list by the dates you created the PINs and select “Download PIN letters for all students”.

Tip: To generate a file for all of your students, leave the selection fields blank and click “Download PIN letters for all students”.

It may take several minutes to generate your PIN letters.

Select “View/Print” to open your file.

If you are using the 101 practice application, you may need a “Test PIN”.

Enter the required information and hit “Add Account”. Note: Your MIDENT and OEN are pre-populated.

Use the “PIN Checklist” to view and/or print your PIN. Select “Yes” in the Test PINs drop-down box to view only the Test PINs and click “Search”.

For more features and tips about using COLS, look under “Access COLS” on the Guidance website: www.ouac.on.ca/guidance.

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Logging in to COLS – Video Transcript

Welcome to Counsellors’ Online Services (COLS): www.ouac.on.ca/guidance.

This how-to video will show you the steps for logging in to COLS.

Under Access COLS, click “Log in Now”.

You must register for a COLS account each year, even if you were registered in previous year: www.ouac.on.ca/guidance/counsellor-resources/forms.

After you have registered, you will receive your user ID and a temporary password by email in late September.

If you have misplaced or forgotten your password, you can request a new temporary password.

Enter your user ID and email address, and a temporary password will be sent to you. This password will expire after 1 hour, so you must log in and reset your password within that time frame.

When you have your temporary password, click “Log in”.

The first time you log in, you will have to change your temporary password to your own personal password.

Once this step is done, the log in process is complete.

For more features and tips about COLS, look under “Access COLS” on the Guidance website: www.ouac.on.ca/guidance.

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Registering Users in COLS

Welcome to Counsellors’ Online Services (COLS): www.ouac.on.ca/apply/cols.

In this video, COLS administrators will learn how to register a new COLS user, update a current user, activate users from previous cycles and deactivate users who no longer require access.

After you have logged in to COLS, choose “COLS Registrants” from the Service Links menu.

To add a user, select “Add New Registrant” and complete the required fields.

Select the Access Level you wish to assign to the new user and change their Access Status to “Active”. Save your changes.

A username and temporary password will be emailed to the new COLS user.

To modify a user, on the search screen, enter a name and any other information needed to find a specific user and click “Search”. To view all registered users at your school, leave all fields blank.

Click “Update” next to the name of the COLS user you wish to modify.

Review and update their information. You can also modify their access details or update them for the current cycle.

To deactivate a COLS user, change their Access Status to “Inactive”.

After saving your changes, verify that the user has been updated.

You can find more features and tips about using COLS on the Guidance website under “Access COLS”: www.ouac.on.ca/guidance.

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