Students are accustomed to attentive service--give them a higher-ed SIS registration and scheduling option that intuitively keeps them on track for graduation.

5 registration functions your higher-ed SIS doesn’t have

Students are accustomed to attentive service--it makes sense to provide a smarter scheduling option that intuitively keeps them on track for graduation

Key points:

  • Close to 40 million American adults left college before earning a credential
  • Students are accustomed to attentive service–give them a smarter scheduling option

Colleges and universities that use Excel sheets or their Student Information Systems (SIS) to build student schedules not only leave their students frustrated with the registration experience, but they also make it difficult for staff to create schedules.

Time conflicts, the inability to find seats in the right classes, and location restrictions are but a few of the common frustrations students experience repeatedly when trying to register. Not only do they create unnecessary obstacles to delivering a high-quality learner experience, but they actively contribute to students taking longer to complete their degrees than necessary. Is it any wonder nearly 40 million American adults left college before earning a credential?

Many traditional institutions hire full-time staff members to support the scheduling process. They put in hours of manual effort to create schedules–they have to remember time blocks, meeting patterns, instructor preferences, assigned teaching faculty, credit hours, release hours, and more.

Leveraging an intelligent student scheduling system that’s purpose-built for higher ed can turn frustration into opportunity – a win-win for both students and staff. Using algorithmic scheduling, such a system delivers the registration experience that students expect and the staff deserves. It creates smart schedules based on monitoring student search and enrollment activities, including course supply and anticipated demand. It accounts for common course conflicts and provides student persistence and enrollment heat maps. On top of all that, it is quick and simple to use.

Below are five critical registration functions that a smart student scheduling system allows you to do—functions a spreadsheet or SIS do not perform.

1. Allow advisors and administrators to collaborate with students and lock in courses

Student centricity shouldn’t come at the cost of positive staff experiences. While students should always be the main focus for a student information system, there should also be advantages for advisors and staff across the registrar’s office. A high-quality student scheduling system allows advisors to collaborate with students and set aside specific courses or sections for a particular student population.

For example, if first-year biology students are required to take Biology 1, an advisor can set parameters on specific sections, and even courses, to ensure there are enough seats for all first-year biology majors. Advisors can specify a specific class or provide flexibility by locking students into a section with the same class at different times.

2. Share grades and results with others, whether family or advisors 

Students don’t complete their schedules in a bubble. They want input from their families, guidance from advisors, and classes with friends. A student schedule builder purpose-built for higher ed makes these types of collaboration not only possible, but easy.

The ability to share grades and results with their families and advisors also means better student and family engagement, which leads to improved completion rates.

As an added bonus for the institution, students consulting with parents and peers dramatically lowers the volume of user questions and support calls. Learners can share their schedules, get the help they need, and then edit and control their own schedules without manual staff support.

3. Select classes based on personalized filters such as major

Time and course requisites aren’t the only scheduling considerations. Students often want to filter classes by professor, class type, their major, or specific department. An intelligent student class scheduling software makes it easy to narrow class selection based on specific parameters like these.

Enabling students to select classes using personalized filters provides them with a scheduling experience they expect. It also empowers them to personalize their schedule and choose from classes of their interest with ease, which eventually leads to better engagement, persistence, and completion.

4. Factor in commute time based on geographical location

An intelligent student scheduler that considers commute times when scheduling classes takes student registration to a whole new level.

A schedule that looks good on paper, and a schedule that is practical, are two different things. A schedule in which classes fit together well timewise would not be a practical one if those classes are located far across campus or at a different campus entirely. Distant locations cause students to hustle, and under such pressure, they’re likely to arrive late or get parking tickets. Student-centric scheduling software prevents unneeded stressful situations by building in commute times to schedules.

5. Sort schedule options on certain factors

Students have all kinds of unique wants and needs, and high-quality enrollment management should be able to accommodate them with ease.

For instance, one of the top challenges campuses are facing today is accessibility. When a university experience is truly accessible, it provides an equal experience for students of all abilities. This means that any barriers facing students should be taken into account in all aspects of campus life—including scheduling. A student scheduler with accessibility considerations built in includes features to remove barriers. For example, it allows students to sort classes based on accessibility criteria such as physical locations and accessible ramps or even class spaces that make accommodations for visual impairment. Addressing these crucial needs is a hallmark of a flexible, comprehensive schedule planning system.

In a world where students are accustomed to attentive service, it makes sense to provide them with a smarter scheduling option that intuitively keeps them on track for graduation. As a bonus, a high-quality student scheduling system also streamlines workflow for registration administrators.

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