New registration software launches on TopNet

Casey Mccarthy

WKU has launched a new registration software program on TopNet, which will be available for students registering for classes for the upcoming Fall semester.

The new software, Schedule Planner, is a third-party software that has been used at other universities across the country already, Christopher Jensen, director of Academic Advising and Retention Center, said. 

Jensen said Schedule Planner will aim to offer a more user-friendly experience for students, eliminating possible frustrations students have encountered registering for classes in the past.

“Looking at it, it’s out of date,” Jensen said about the current registration software. “We needed a more user-friendly experience for the students.”

In the past, registering for classes at WKU consisted of looking up class registration numbers for the courses registering students wished to take. The new software looks up CRNs for the user, only asking students to put in their desired courses before generating any possible schedules that can be built from the courses selected.

Jensen said the other universities that have used the new software have seen an increase in credit hours taken by their students. 

Schedule Planner will be mobile-friendly, working with iPhone and Android.

Jensen demonstrated the software by putting in random colonnade courses and ended up with thousands of possible schedules built around the preferred courses. 

Jensen said Schedule Planner will also allow students to add breaks into their schedules.

“Breaks are a positive feature, acknowledging most students have outside responsibilities as well,” Jensen said. “Most students aren’t just students.”

In addition to trying to make the process easier for students, Jensen said the new software should help WKU in learning what courses students are looking to take, helping the university better accommodate these demands.

Jensen said he feels the new software will be beneficial to the advising process as well, eliminating time advisers spend helping students build their schedules on TopNet, offering more time to work and discuss other issues with students. It eases the adviser’s burden, ultimately, Jensen said.

Michael Dimeo, a junior from Bowling Green majoring in Chinese and advertising, said registering in the past felt needlessly complicated.

“Adding in breaks sounds like it would be a huge help,” Dimeo said. “If it all works smoothly, it will make things a lot easier, though having had to use TopNet for the past three years, I’m somewhat skeptical.”

Jensen said he brought in random students to beta test the new software, who had virtually no issue using the new software with basically no instruction.

The registration software that has been used in the past is not being eliminated; students and faculty will be able to use the software they are familiar with if they so choose. 

Schedule Planner was presented to the SGA at its meeting on Tuesday for promotion and demonstration.

Reporter Casey McCarthy can be reached at 270-745-0655 and [email protected]