By Dickson Ganza
Oklahoma Christian University has begun using a new enrollment software called Student Planning. This software will allow students to create up to eight-semester plans individually and will replace web enrollment, the faculty advisement tool and the schedule search.
The new software will create and implement eight-semester plans for each student. A student’s advisor (or the student themselves) can load a recommended eight-semester series of courses for their major into their own individual plan.
Dr. Virginia Smith, associate chief academic officer, said the new software caters to the student’s needs.
“Once they have the recommended courses in place, the student and their advisor can make modifications to fit exactly what the student wants or needs,” Smith said. “Because this plan extends eight semesters (or more) into the future, it makes it easier to adjust and accommodate for situations, such as the student wanting to study abroad for a semester in Vienna.”
The software will draw data from the school college system, keeping track of courses, grades and schedules. This will help cases where classes are only offered in certain semesters because the software will take it all into consideration when arranging the suggested timeline of courses.
“If a student or advisor accidentally moves a particular course into a semester where there is a problem or conflict, the software will not only notify them of a problem but also what to do about it,” Smith said.
The purpose of this software is to make advising and enrollment easier and more consistent. It will display all student information, course catalogs and schedule information as well as check degree requirements for courses students have taken or plan to take. Students will also use it to enroll in courses.
“It helps prevent problems by clearly indicating the path forward, what remains to be completed and an appropriate timeline for completion,” Smith said.
The software has been tested and evaluated for almost a year and is ready to be put to use by the students and faculty members at Oklahoma Christian.
Professor David North, the program chair for computer science, said the new software has been received positively among his students.
“I have been using it in the computer science major for a year and the computer science students all like it very much,” North said.
The new student planning tool is already operating and has replaced the old system, which is now no longer accessible. It will be used to enroll for the winter and spring semesters and the faculty advisors are all working to build plans for students. This feature can be found on “my OC” under a link that says, “Student Planning”.
North said the campus-wide “enrollment parties” can help students learn how to navigate the technological changes.
“It is important to attend the training events put in place to learn how to use this software. There is one happening next Monday, the 19th of Sept.,” North said.
Ivan Mugisha, a computer science major, said he liked the new enrollment process.
“The software is amazing; I have used it and feel comfortable knowing what I have accomplished and what I have left,” Mugisha said. “However, my only issue is, I feel it is going to take away the time I have with my advisor.”
The software plans to increase campus retention by helping students create a clear plan to graduate.
“The software is not a replacement for the advisors. There are more things you need to talk to your advisors about than just class enrollment, such as career guidance, planning and goals,” North said. “The software is meant to improve the student advisement experience by making it easier for faculty to advise.”
There will be an “enrollment party” on Sept. 19 where students can learn how to use this new tool. Several trained students will be teaching others about the interface and how to use this tool. Cookies will be provided and a dunk tank will be involved.
“Each student who completes the short training will receive coupons for cookies and a turn at dunking a favorite professor,” Smith said.