Full-Year Scheduling: Convenient or Confusing?

Course Booklet Introduces Schedules for Both Semesters


Published: April 3, 2008

As students continue to register for the upcoming academic year, the course booklet for the first time includes the Spring 2009 courses in addition to courses for Fall 2008. However, students will still register one semester at a time. In addition, departmental course listings are no longer featured in the printed course booklets, but are being listed on OASIS.

“Previously, we have made course schedules for just the next semester’s courses, which appear in the printed course,” according to Robert Moniot, associate dean at Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC).

Students will be able to better plan their courses throughout the school year, Moniot said. For instance, Moniot points out that, “If a student sees a Global Studies course of particular interest that is offered in the spring, he or she may choose to wait and not take a Global Studies course of lesser interest in the fall.”

Moniot added that some courses that are required for a major may not be offered every semester. “If a student sees that such a course is offered in fall but not in spring, then he or she would make sure to sign up for it in the fall when it is offered, and not be unpleasantly surprised when it fails to appear in the schedule the following semester.”

According to Doron Ben-Atar, chair of the history department at Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH), students will still register twice a year, but will be able to see what will be offered in each term and plan their year.

“This way, you’ll be able to choose from a larger menu of classes,” Ben-Atar said. “This approach is in line with our effort to empower students intellectually by offering greater control of the course of their studies.”

Ben-Atar added that the new process will bring about “no complications, whatsoever. In fact, it makes all our academic planning easier.”

Despite the perceived benefits of full-year scheduling, some students do not think it is a good idea. “I don’t know too much about why they are doing it, but I thought the new schedules were just very confusing. I mean, it’s nice to be able to plan for the whole year, but they need to put all the courses in the booklets, because going online is a pain,” said Meghan Carpentier, FCLC ’10.

“I don’t know why they can’t put out all the classes at once unless they’re saving paper, but they’re wasting our time by making it harder to figure out what courses are available for the upcoming fall semester,” Carepentier added.

According to Gene Fein, director of academic services for enrollment at Fordham University, the shortened course packets are a “conscious way to save paper, because many students just use OASIS to look up courses anyway.”

Arleen Panzca-Graham, assistant dean for freshmen and sophomores, said that another reason FCLC will instate the full-year scheduling next year is because the faculty are working on replacing OASIS with a new system called BANNER.

According to Fein, BANNER is a new student database that will replace OASIS next year. It will look different, with improved functionality. It will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “These changes will be an improvement that will make the student database much more accessible to students,” Fein said.

Some students are not yet aware of the recent change to full-year scheduling. “I know very little about what’s actually going down,” said Francis Pastorelle, FCLC ’10. “I think I heard about it briefly at an RHA meeting. From what I know though, I think for people like myself, full-year scheduling will be easier. A person like me will register for the semester, thumb through the booklet and say, ‘Oh cool. I can take that next semester.’ I guess if it’s something we can just look at, that’s useful.”

Moniot said that the full-year scheduling is ultimately a good idea for both students and faculty. “It benefits the departments as well as students. Annual scheduling allows the departments to plan better which semester to give each of their faculty [members] the course reduction. The main reason we haven’t done it previously is that it is a lot more work to do at one time. The one-semester planning used to spread the work out over two different periods. Now we have to do it all at once. Still we feel it is worth the extra trouble.”