New planning system eases registration

Registering for courses can be a daunting task. Aside from meeting requirements for their major, students must meet Stevenson’s credit and graduation requirements along with any courses of interest.

The new planning system, Self-Service, provides students with a calendar-style schedule of their current and planned courses. (Photo courtesy of Alyssa Dahle)

The new student planning system, Self-Service, makes registering for upcoming semesters easier to navigate.

The system seeks to be more efficient and understandable. Upon opening the program, students are given the options of viewing their progress or scheduling future courses. Once students begin planning, they are presented with a fully visible, calendar-style schedule.

A full overview of a student’s current academic profile and class requirements are available. This includes his or her GPA, major and program, current credit count, and a list of courses that fill a department or university requirement. For example, if a business communication student needs four electives with a communication (CM-) prefix, the system will list a variety of courses that meet the needed requirements. A course catalog is also easily available online.

One of the major goals with this new system is to push students to plan for future semesters, according to Erica Gryctz, one of the system’s designers.

“It is much more user-friendly, and it’s intuitive—the students seem to pick it up right away,” Gryctz said. “It allows students to plan out their entire academic career at Stevenson, and it warns them now if they’re planning to take courses out of order. Students are made aware of all courses that are available during the semester in which they are planning for, which is great for students progress towards graduation.”

Gryctz added that the more students that use the system, the more information she can collect and share about student planning, so departments will then know how many seats they need to offer. “This creates a more organic flow of information.”

For the 2018 spring semester, about 68 percent of students planned at least one semester with the new system.“I was really excited about it,” said Emma Cathy Smith, a student who was a part of the focus group to test the new planning system. She mentioned how the old timetables from freshman year could be incredibly frustrating. Now with Stevenson’s catalog requirements built into the system, Emma Cathy is looking forward to using a much more convenient planning system to register for future semesters.

Students looking to register for classes can access the new system via, or via the “Student Planning and Registration” link found under the Self-Service menu in the SU Portal.

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