By Alyson Hatfield
THIS semester the York College Registrar’s office rolled out the new degree planner that is supposed to be an easier way for students to schedule and register for classes. It’s also expected to provide an easier way for the registrar to make sure students’ courses are not overlapping.
The software is called Infosilem Academic. Infosilem is used by many other institutions such as Villanova University, Binghamton University, Trent University, and now York College according to the company’s website.
Before adapting to this software the Registrar Department used an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of all the rooms and classes.
According to Associate Provost Dr. Josh Landau, Infosilem is a software company that provides tools to make the course scheduling process easier. Administrators can plan out all the courses in one place, where they can see the time and room patterns of courses.
Landau added that the main reason they chose this platform is that “it allows us to generate optimal student course schedules across the entire campus. The software can weigh all sorts of variables [e.g., available times, available rooms, student availability, faculty availability, etc.] and then attempt to produce a course schedule that help students progress on their path toward graduation.”
He continued, “One big part of facilitating student success is that we create an environment and enact policies/processes that help students move through college in a timely fashion. Graduating in 4 years, rather than 5 or 6 years, will reduce student debt and it will allow our students to begin their careers earlier.”
Infosilm uses both the degree planner in Spartan Success Network and the YCP college catalog to develop a schedule where all required courses are being offered but not overlapping. “The software helps us to manage all of this information and crunch the numbers in a central place,” he said.
The plan is to continue using the software, he noted. “Recently, our Provost, Patrice DiQuinzio, and the Academic Senate President, Jef Woodall, gathered a group of faculty, staff, and administrators to work on improving how we use Infosilem. This team is meeting regularly to discuss the elements of the system and the overall schedule creation process to determine what worked and what we can improve in our next round of creating the schedule,” he said.
This semester, since this software was new, a few professors shared their worries that the degree planner wouldn’t take their schedules into consideration since the software used what students put into it.
But the heads of each department received a sample schedule that they were able to look over and tweak, if needed, before they released the schedule to the students.
There is also a designated task force made up of faculty, staff, and administration that will identify any problems as they work to improve Infosilem over the next few semesters..
Alyson Hatfield is a junior Political Science major with a minor in Public Relations.
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