Schedule Planner makes registration easier for students


Katherine Middleton, Opinion Editor

On Oct. 16, SUNY Buffalo State introduced a new schedule planning feature on its Banner website. The feature allows students to select the classes they’d like to take and create a more ideal schedule before they register.

When students log on to Banner, they can find Schedule Planner in the registration section. The planner looks similar to Degree Navigator and is easy to navigate.

Buffalo State Registrar Mark Bausili was introduced to the idea during a national conference a few years ago. A representative from Pennsylvania State University emphasized how important this program was at her campus and the positive affect it had on students. Bausili presented the idea to multiple groups on campus in 2013, and this year his vision came to life.

So far, Buffalo State is the only SUNY school to implement the program and the second school in New York state to do so.

“It’s the best thing we’ve been able to give students in a long time,” Bausili said. “It’s going to make it so much easier for students, on the front end, to get their schedule going.”

College Scheduler, the company that provides Buffalo State with the new program, was started by Robert Strazzarinowhile he was a sophomore at California State University, Chico. Strazzarino says he created the app from the perspective of a student, allowing schedules to be created in minutes.

“It presents students with all possible combinations of their scheduled courses,” Bausili said. “This will enable students to get the schedules they need, scheduling breaks around jobs and other responsibilities they may have.”

Bausili said a survey of sophomores at Buffalo State revealed that creating the ideal schedule can take up to three hours. On other campuses that have implemented the planner, he said, students reduced scheduling and advising times by 20 percent. In some cases, it reduced the time by 60-80 percent.

The planner uses color codes for each of the classes students wish to take. Before choosing a class from the class list, it provides them with course descriptions similar to the ones on the Banner website. Students are also able to block off certain days and times that they don’t want to have class.

Once students find their preferred classes and times, they can lock in those preferences, which helps to schedule other course options around them. When your ideal schedule is planned, classes are locked in and sent to the registration cart. Students can access their registration cart through banner and register for class in a single mouse click, so long as those classes have open seats and all prerequisites are fulfilled.

Senior journalism major Amber Rinard hasn’t used the program yet, but hopes that it will help her to avoid scheduling conflicts.

“Banner is always telling you no you can’t have this class, or that something is wrong with the time schedule,”Rindard said. “This will be better because you can see it before you go to register and actually know what classes you’re able to take.”

Marcus Trueheart, junior broadcast journalism major, found blocking off times to be especially beneficial.

“For me, I like not having classes on Fridays,”Trueheart said. “So with me being able to use the schedule planner, I’m able to figure out what classes I need and if that class falls on a Friday, are there different sessions that I can take to avoid that.”

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