Editorial: New online system will aid students

By the time a Western student reaches senior status, there aren’t many things that can steal their joy.

Nothing, that is, except being told by an adviser that they are not going to graduate when they thought they were.

Spirits crumble like good china in a dishwasher.

In short, few things come close to that disappointment for a student.

But the possible implementation of an online degree auditing program may soon be those same students’ saving grace.

Administrators have yet to officially meet regarding the matter, but a program is being designed to meet the needs of both current and transfer students as they navigate the advisement process.

The system would allow an adviser and student to go online and see how courses will apply toward the student’s degree during advisement.

The idea came up most recently at a Student Government Association academic forum. It was spawned from a requirement by the Council on Post-Secondary Education for each state university to use a Course Applicability System, which is intended to help transfer students.

But though they aren’t requiring the online degree audit program, we’d like to give them a shout-out for getting the ball rolling toward possibly implementing the measure.

This thing is long overdue. We repeat – long overdue. The current system basically works like this for most departments: One adviser is in charge of mentoring sometimes around 200 students. That means they are entrusted with helping students accurately select the proper courses that will give them a degree of their choice.

But what inevitably happens is that mistakes occur and students are advised to take courses they either don’t need or that won’t fit into any category.

The result is anarchy – students are pissed off and advisers are left to go deaf on the complaints of hoards of angry advisees.

Not that it’s the fault of the advisers when they make such mishaps, but a computer system would have helped solve a lot of these problems.

As SGA president John Bradley said: “It will help take out human error.”

He is absolutely right.

Moreover, with the majority of advisers doubling as professors, anything that takes the the strain off their already busy schedules is a positive.

This editorial represents the majority opinion of the Herald’s 10-member board of student editors.