WebAdvisor deemed a success

By on June 4, 2004

Course registration is a process that students have long dreaded and have gotten headaches over.

This was the norm until now; until the recent development of a new, way to register for classes at Quinnipiac: WebAdvisor.

On their course registration day at Quinnipiac University, students must log onto a computer and compete with other students trying to register for the same courses and times.

Course registration can be tough for students lacking the credits needed to obtain an earlier registration date. These students often compromise their schedules, their extracurricular activities, internship opportunities, job schedules and even their major to come up with a feasible schedule for their next semester.

Prior to the registration period for summer and fall 2004 semesters, students were connected to programs linked to the DATATEL system, which the institution uses to register its students.

The university hopes its new web based system, WebAdvisor, which connects students directly to the DATATEL system, will provide a faster user-friendly service.

WebAdvisor has designated four “start times” for registration days: 8:00, 9:00, 10:00 and 11:00 a.m.

“Hopefully, these times will eliminate a lot of the ‘shotgun’ approaches at day break which cause network congestion,” Carolyn G. Hillegas, assistant registrar at Quinnipiac, said.

Though WebAdvisor provides a faster system, the availability of courses remains a serious issue.

Students registering might find some courses available only at times which conflict with their other courses, or some courses may be closed entirely.

The issue of assigned registration days is a matter which remains without an easy solution. Though earlier registration days are given to students who have earned the most credits, there still remains some controversy over whether or not this procedure is fair to all students.

“There’s a lot more need on the part of health science majors,” Michael A. Bay, a media production specialist and student advisor, said. “The course that will show them how to oversee [a] certain knee surgery is more crucial than a history major getting into that art class he or she was interested in.”

“I know it sucks not to be able to take certain courses at certain times, and registration is imperfect, but it is manageable,” Bay said.

Hillegas said that going by credits earned is the most equitable and objective way of assigning students their registration days and has been that way for quite some time.

“In a perfect world, every student could log on wherever and whenever they wanted and would be able to register for every course at every time which suited their needs. That’s just not realistic,” she said.

However, in the opinion of some students, people with many lab credits, such as health science majors and students who can afford to pay for extra courses, are given an unfair opportunity, a debate which many students feel rather strongly about.

“I think the process is stressful, and more time consuming than it needs to be,” Marissa Almeida, a sophomore in the physician’s assistant program, said.

“It takes forever to get logged on. Then, you can get kicked off so easily.”

Almeida admitted that the physician’s assistant program and her extra credits allow her to register on the first day available, removing some of the stresses in her case.

“I don’t think that students should have to take more classes to earn more credits just to get a better registration day,” she said.

“Registration is manageable, but I think the assignment of registration days to certain students is unfair,” Blair Donahue, sophomore secondary education major, said. “Since it’s done by credits, health science and science majors get first picks.”

Sarah Bell, junior psychology major, said she enjoyed the process of registering for classes.

“I was able to register stress-free, and it was such a weight off of my shoulders to not have to worry about getting kicked off and not getting into the very few classes that I have left to take,” Bell said.

Many students felt similarly, especially sophomores and juniors who are on the cusp of graduating, leaving them very few crucial courses to take and only a few available times left to take them.

Suzanne Rosenberg, senior, said she is sad that she missed the opportunity to experience course registration through the new Web Advisor system.

“The old DATATEL system of registration was horrible,” Rosenberg said. “I would always get kicked out right before I had finished all of my registration and then have to wait around to get back on.”

In the past, many students have had similar difficulties but now, new students will be using only the new, streamlined system.

Web Advisor also enables students to search for open classes, regardless of their registration date or time. This service hopes to provide students with a better idea of what courses are still available, making the registration process flow even smoother.

The Web Advisor system allows students to view their midterm grades, final grades, results from placement tests, their academic evaluation report and their grade history, including cumulative GPA.

Web Advisor also offers a set of comprehensive services for faculty to use as well.

New students can try out this new approach to course registration and management of their academics sometime in November, when the registration for Spring 2005 courses will begin.


About Michael McKenna