Staying off the on-line bandwagon

Staying off the on-line bandwagon

by Jessica Savage

As the school year approaches completion, students have made appointments with their academic advisors to complete a schedule for the fall 2002 semester and to ensure they are on track for graduation.

Some colleges are beginning to make the switch to on-line class scheduling to avoid the headaches of individual advising. Simpson, however, has decided to stay out of that area for now to avoid foreseeable problems.

Registrar John Bolen sees areas of concern in eliminating individual advising sessions.

“It is just one of those things that we might do in the future, but not now,” said Bolen.

He said the issue of Web advising will be addressed through the faculty first. But he already foresees two main concerns with a new system.

“One of the consistencies you don’t want to take away is the one-on-one advising,” Bolen said. “We also register students by alphabetical groups in a certain order.” He added that it could get complex when you have to sort though people from the Web.

Although students cannot sign up for classes on the Web, they can access other necessary information.

Students are now able to check their grades and view classes that will be offered for the coming semester on the StormFront Web site.

Central College also has a service to students similar to StormFront.

According to Central’s Assistant Registrar Kelly Taylor, they currently have a program called Web Advisor where students can look up grades.

Taylor said they hope to have on-line scheduling in place by next fall or spring.

“It has really been something that the administration feels the students want,” Taylor said.

Wartburg, Coe and Cornell Colleges currently do not have on-line scheduling but are considering that option for the future.

“I think it would be much more beneficial,” said junior Lacy Carroll. “Most students don’t utilize their advisors and if they want to, they go to them.”

Carroll also said it would be more convenient for students because they would be able to log on and get their scheduling done faster.

Although on-line scheduling might benefit students and faculty, some would not want to see it replace advising.

“I would not want to see students filling out a schedule online without the assistance of an advisor,” said Psychology Professor Jane Kvetko.

“I think it’s still important to have that interaction with the advisor,” junior Troy Mohror said. “If you know what you want it may be fine but I think a lot of people still need time with their advisors.”

Despite what students or faculty think would be better, privacy might be another concern.

According to Frank Colella professor of economics, it is hard to keep all records confidential when they are on-line because someone might find a way to hack into a student’s account and either take personal information or change information.

According to Bolen, Web advising will probably be available at Simpson one day in the future. The StormFront Web site took over a year to prepare so Bolen said they want to be sure it is accurate and works properly before they start any other programs.