Advising app makes scheduling easier

Quiche Matchen

Scheduling an advising appointment can be time consuming, especially when class registration is quickly approaching.

Now, thanks to a new advising appointment app from Information Technology, scheduling an appointment will be a little easier.

The app, found inside TopNet, took six months and a team of four to develop. IT rolled out a test version for the app in May and released it to the public several weeks ago.

Advisers can set up times that work with their schedules with the new app. It also sends an email confirmation to the student and adviser for the appointment, and it integrates with the adviser’s exchange email.

Associate vice president of IT Gordon Johnson said they wanted to develop something that faculty, staff and students could easily use.

“We decided to develop it ourselves,” Johnson said. “We wanted to develop something they could easily use and not have to learn a lot that’s new, so that’s why we generally put new apps in TopNet because people know how to use it.”

Johnson said the advising calendar is sort of a separate app that IT developed inside the TopNet framework.

“We really did it in collaboration with the Academic Advising and Retention Center,” he said. “They have been using the third party app for several years called AdvisorTrac.”

Johnson said AdvisorTrac has really never met their needs fully and was kind of a “clunky app.” He said AARC wanted something new and improved that will meet their needs.

Pat Jordan, adviser and coordinator of Gordon Ford College of Business, said all her students and advisees are using the app.

“We have so many students that walk in that are used to the other system, so for my college it’s a matter of educating the students . . . and then getting them in here and getting them advised.”

“It’s not a paper schedule anymore – we’ve come a long way from that,” she said. “It still has some things that have to be worked through, but that just happens over time.”

Elizabethtown senior Tori Wade, student worker for the Gordon Ford College of Business, said she thinks the app is easier.

“Because students do it themselves now, but they could have done that with AdvisorTrac, but no one really did,” Wade said. “They always called,” she said.

Even though it’s an improvement, the app has some issues. Wade said if a student wants to change their major they can’t schedule an advising appointment through the app. Instead, they have to contact their new adviser to get the appointment made.

“If they aren’t in this major, they have to call through us and we have to do it,” she said. “And so when that happens, we have to talk to them. If there was any way we could take their appointments or ours off TopNet that would be really helpful.”

Johnson said he has high hopes for the new app.

“We’re hoping everyone uses it because it’s a great tool and we spent quite a bit of effort developing it, so we’re optimistic that it will be widely used,” he said. “Students will be better advised and better able to complete course work, better able to stay in school and better able to graduate.”