Schedule Planner update streamlines registering process

Megan Ivey, Associate News Editor

Academic advisers and students will be able to use Schedule Planner to organize and register for classes for the summer and fall 2015 semesters with the update that launched Monday.

Schedule Planner is a feature located on through PAWS that allows students to choose possible courses, with different scheduled times and instructors for those courses. Before, Schedule Planner was only used as the first step in the registering process — it let students create a schedule, but adding the selected courses had to be completed in PAWS.

Now, students can create schedules and complete registration solely in Schedule Planner.

Registrar Amy Lynch said the vendor of Schedule Planner allowed updates.

“Before, we could not open Schedule Planner for certain windows,” she said. “We can have the windows open for seniors first, then juniors, and so on.”

Alternative PINs, which are given to students through their academic advisers, are still needed for registration, but they can be entered through the Schedule Planner website.

“We heard that before it was a hassle to write down the course and PIN(s),” she said. “Advisers are excited to use it, and we continue to hear how much the students enjoy using it.”

Lynch said preparation for the update took a couple of months, with a one-month trial run.

After testing the site for a month, Lynch said it was ready to be open to the student body.

“The goal was to go live for the fall and summer semesters, and we accomplished that,” she said.

Different parts of the university were invited to try the trial website, including advisers from the academic advising center and new student programs.

Shelley James, the interim director of center, said it will be a nice feature once students are ready to register.

“It will not really be used until March 30,” she said. “It is going to be a great additional tool to save students time.”

Taylor Spoonholtz, the marketing and team development specialist for new student programs, was able to use the beta version of Schedule Planner.

She said she was excited to be able to use the new features.

I really enjoyed the new format because I always felt like Schedule Planner and registering for classes on PAWS was not an efficient way to create a schedule,” she said. “Now that the two systems are synced together, it is going to be smooth sailing to register for the summer and fall semesters.

Spoonholtz said the update will be beneficial on a larger scale for the new student programs employees and for incoming students as part of the summer debut orientation program.

During debut, leaders from new student programs help entering freshman and transfer students walk through registering for classes for the first time.

The freshmen are already overwhelmed enough when registering for classes for the summer,” she said. “This is also going to benefit our staff because the new format is going to make their job simpler when they are trying to help 30 incoming students all register for class at the same time.”

Spoonholtz said the update eases the process both in her career and for her own schedule planning.

I think the new format is going to take some of the stress off of staying up until midnight, quickly logging in PAWS, rapidly typing in your alternate PIN number, and then having to scramble to find your CRN numbers and type them in, in the hopes that the class section will not already be full,” she said.

Lynch said while Schedule Planner is a tool students can use to their advantage, planning too far in advance might not be wise.

“Even when students think they are all set, it is important to double check to see if the classes are still available,” Lynch said. “It is most effective for when they are ready to register.”

Registration dates are staggered based on class standing.

The earliest registration opens for graduate students on March 23, and senior and priority students on March 30.

Instructions on how to use the updated Schedule Planner can be found on the Schedule Planner page of the Eastern website.

Megan Ivey can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].