Following the release of the Classroom and Academic Scheduling Task Force final report in Fall 2016, several changes are currently underway. The changes are designed to assist students in planning their academic careers, better utilize campus resources, and increase coordination of the classroom-scheduling function among academic and administrative units. Current changes include a new daily scheduling grid for Fall 2017 and a realignment of classroom scheduling functions into the Registrar’s Office.
“The fundamental goal of all these changes is to enhance the scheduling process for our students,” said Steven Girardot, associate vice provost for Undergraduate Education. “The changes will support students in building a schedule that allows them to take the classes they need and progress through their degree programs as efficiently as possible.”
New Scheduling Grid for Fall 2017
Scheduling for Fall 2017 classes using the new daily scheduling grid is now underway. This new grid will include 15-minute pass times between classes and is expected to reduce scheduling conflicts. To ensure successful utilization of the new grid, the Registrar’s Office will be enforcing adherence to it by all academic units.
To support class schedulers and the campus community as these changes begin, the Registrar’s Office has developed a comprehensive website that explains the processes, procedures, scheduling-grid templates, and other details for the scheduling process for using this email. Found at http://registrar.gatech.edu/scheduling/fall-and-spring-scheduling.php, the site includes information about final exam guidelines, requests for off-grid class scheduling, and requests for common final examinations.
In addition, the Registrar’s Office has established a new email address for questions, comments, and concerns about class scheduling: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Realignment of Classroom Scheduling Functions
Effective Feb. 1, all functions related to the scheduling of classrooms will be managed by the Registrar’s Office. The move consolidates academic classroom-scheduling processes formerly managed by Capital Planning and Space Management with other related functions that have been managed by the Registrar’s Office. The change will enable a more holistic, efficient, and effective process.
The consolidated scheduling duties will be managed by a new officer, the assistant registrar for academic scheduling. The person filling that role will publish and manage course-scheduling protocols, final examination schedules, classroom assignments for each term, and academic events, and enforce all policies and procedures around current and forthcoming policy changes. The position is currently posted, and applicants are being reviewed.
“The approach to academic scheduling was always a broader set of functions that, while interconnected, were managed out of different units,” said Registrar Reta Pikowsky. “This change establishes a team within the Registrar’s Office that supports the wider range of activities and enables an ongoing review of policies and business practices to ensure that the needs of the academic units and students are foremost in the decision-making process.”
A permanent advisory committee that includes faculty from all six colleges—as well as other administrators involved in classroom scheduling—will be formed to advise the registrar on all related issues and to handle exceptions and other matters. The committee will work in close collaboration with the Institute Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, Institute Graduate Curriculum Committee, and Student Regulations Committee. This structure ensures faculty involvement and oversight of the process and policies. In the interim, Professor Joe Hughes and Steven Girardot, the task force co-chairs, are working closely with the Registrar’s Office as these changes roll out.
Finally, a technology audit is underway to assess potential technology investments that support class scheduling, registration, and related analytics. A scheduling tool for students is also under development. This tool, once implemented in the next few months, would help students optimize their schedules. It would interact with the student-information system, improving the registration experience.
There is also consideration of software that would support the preparation of the schedule of classes for each term, providing the academic units and schedulers within the units some better tools that would make the process easier and more efficient. Within the new Registrar’s Office academic-scheduling team, a position will be dedicated to analyzing information to inform decisions.
Full implementation of all recommendations is scheduled to be in place by Fall 2017.