New system provides advising for students
Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 17:09
The UCF College of Business is set to officially release its online resource tool, the Student Planner, midsemester for undergraduate business students looking to plan their studies online rather than going to see an adviser. The planner is currently available on the COBA Pass website in its testing stages, and students are encouraged to use the planner and offer feedback and suggestions.
The planner will act as a counseling system by using students’ course history to determine which classes are left for them to take before completing their degrees. The planner will only show class options a student has met the prerequisites for. However, it will not enroll a student in a class.
Taylor Ellis, the creator of the planner and associate dean for the College of Business, believes the online tool will help with wait listing for both full-time and part-time students, as well as cut down on the excess hours the advising offices spend talking through class options with students.
“Seventy percent of the students that see an adviser have questions about schedule planning, a process that should be pretty straightforward and routine,” Ellis said. “The planner will hopefully allow advisers more time to deal with other problems students may be having, as well as help ensure students are taking prerequisites in the right order. This way, excess classes aren’t being taken and students are graduating on time.”
Anne Kizer, an academic adviser for the UCF College of Business, said that it is also the students’ responsibility to review the information the planner gives for accuracy.
“There will be an option for students to resist or modify their course history if there is a mistake, and on top of that, the suggested plan of study the planner comes up with will automatically be sent to a peer adviser for review,” Kizer said. “From there, the student will get an email stating either there were or weren’t changes made.”
Anna Jones, a senior in the College of Business, is a full-time student taking 16 credit hours this semester, as well as working as a marketing specialist for Donper America. For her, like most business students juggling classes and work, finding free time for an advising appointment can be challenging.
“I usually go to school from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and then go straight to work until about 5:30 p.m., sometimes later. I don’t really have any time to squeeze in an advising appointment unless one of [my] classes happen to get canceled,” Jones said. “The student planner would save me a lot of time. I would definitely use it.”
Kizer hopes the planner will be an effective tool in helping students feel more in charge of their educations, but also reminds students that a walk-in appointment with the College of Business Undergraduate Student Services will still always be an option.
“We’re living in an age of technology and really in an age where some students are more comfortable dealing with things online and on their own than they used to be,” Kizer said. “Students will always have the option of coming in and seeing someone face-to-face if they want further advising, but I’m hoping the planner can help cut down on all the wait time and lines that usually accommodate going to see an adviser.”
At this point, the College of Business is the only college at UCF that is set to have the option of an online advising system, but Ellis and Kizer both predict if the planner is successful, other colleges will implement their own online student planners in the near future.