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Otterbein University's Registrar's office responds to student frustrations over class scheduling

Three-credit-hour model causes problems in Otterbein's scheduling system

After scheduling for the 2019 spring semester, many Otterbein students have complained about the difficulties of scheduling under the new three-credit-hour model. 

Problems include pages failing to load in Otterbein's Self-Service Banner, students' degree audits not accurately reflecting academic progress, overlapping of classes, and minimal offerings of class sections.

Michael Wright, a sophomore nursing major, risked losing seats in several other classes by choosing to add a different, more important class to his schedule. He also said he could have had less issues if the system had recognized him as a junior, rather than a sophomore.

"This is my third year at Otterbein, but I only have 58 credits, so I'm recognized as a sophomore," said Wright. "I had to wait another day to add classes. It's bullshit."

Mariella Briones, a junior public health education major and psychology minor, said she had so many issues with her schedule, she had to take a summer semester at Columbus State Community College.

Briones said she tried to fit a night class in her schedule to be make room for a public health class. However, the professor removed already-seated students to reserve seats for other students, causing Briones to change much of her schedule.

Briones originally had her psychology minor completed, but now said she has to take another class, which wasn't introduced until after the switch to the three-credit-hour model.

"I talked to my advisor, and he said I had to take one more class, so I might end up having to take it at Columbus State over the summer because I have no room [in the spring]," said Briones.

David Schneider, who works at the registrar's office, talked about changes in this semester's scheduling, and how to better accommodate students in the future.

"From where I sit, the semester is not vastly different," said Schneider. "Class times are a little bit shorter, and students are expected to take one to two more courses per semester than they had in the previous four-credit model. The part that helps is that because classes are shorter, there are more sections offered to accommodate students."

Schneider said some INST classes had long waitlists and that there is still work for the registrar's office to do.

"As a university, we need to do a better job of spreading out sections," said Schneider. "Classes that have sections offered at 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. need to be viable options, rather than cramming everything into the 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. window."

Schneider said the registrar has made an investment in DegreeWorks, which will eventually replace Banner options and make them easier Students could be using the portal as soon as fall of 2019.

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