Full-year academic schedule approved
Tamonda Griffiths – News Writer
According to the results of an undergraduate student survey, 59 percent of students who participated said they would like to have a full- year academic schedule available this coming March and are very likely to use it for advanced course schedule planning.
“I think being able to see [courses] going to be offered the next semester is very helpful,” said Alicia Carroll, registrar.
Carroll said the goal of a viewable year-long schedule would be to help students and faculty to think “holistically” in terms of registration.
Carroll said students are “bottlenecked” by courses that fill quickly, which affects their plans of on time degree completion.
“Planning is really key to all of this,” said Carroll.
She said the full-year viewable schedule does not force students to have to register for a years’ worth of courses or credits.
She said part-time and commuter students would benefit from the new schedule because it allows them to map out their work and home lives efficiently around their education in a way that is both flexible and benefits them financially.
Carroll said although those non-traditional students do not often graduate in the traditional 4-year timeline, it does not mean they want to be in school for over a decade.
“It can’t hurt to see a full-year schedule,” said Carroll. “I couldn’t think of anybody in my mind who was gonna be disadvantaged by being able to view the plan or the upcoming year.”
According to Carroll, the survey polled around 1,800 students.
In addition, she said the “strongest points” on the survey was course wait- listing.
88 percent of undergraduate students surveyed said “yes” to being alerted when an open seat of a class that had been filled is vacant.
Carroll said although wait listing was a very popular category on the survey, there is a lot of organizing and planning that would have to be done to efficiently implement such a system.
According to Carroll, Central Connecticut State University uses wait-listing during registration periods.
Carroll said another suggestion that had been made during an Undergraduate Curriculum Forum meeting was the offering of financial aid during summer and winter sessions.
Currently, said Carroll, the winter term does not offer financial aid assistance because of the length of the term and the limited number of courses offered.
“We only have so much money for the year,” said Carroll, “so the question is how do you cut it up over the terms?”
Carroll said the statistics that stood out to her the most were 24 percent of undergraduates surveyed were willing to take summer and winter courses in order
to accelerate their degree completion as opposed to a catch-up period.
“So, let’s focus on not only offering the LEP courses but the courses that can – that usually bottleneck in the fall and spring,” said Carroll, “that should also be offered in the summer for those people who want to get ahead.”
Zhane Ellison, a sophomore and bio- chemistry major, said she woke up 6:10 a.m. to register for classes.
Ellison said being a procrastinator, she personally may not find a viewable full-year schedule beneficial, but students who “want to be ahead of their time” will.
Kelly McGinniss, a sophomore and recreation and leisure major, said she only got into two of the classes she needed to take next semester because they had filled up.
“I had to, like, ask for permission in all my other [classes],” said McGinniss.
She said it had been a stressful experience and ruined the remainder of her day. She said a viewable year-long would make registration a much less stressful experience. “That’s like high school, I feel,” said McGinniss, “like it’s – you know what you’re gonna take.”
Carroll said an “overwhelming” amount of the comments made on the survey were about the morning of registration for various grade levels.
On the morning of senior registration, 14 minutes after registration had officially opened, the IT Department issued a campus-wide statement alerting students that BannerWeb could “experience delayed loading times.”
“I knew it was an issue, but I’ve worked in [the Registrar’s] office for a year and I’ve worked at the university for four years,” said Carroll. “I didn’t realize how much of an issue.”
Carroll said fixing the registration system was number two on their priority list following the idea of wait-listing.
Photo Credit: Tamonda Griffiths