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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

School struggles with UAccess

Some students and advisers share frustrations with the university’s new web service tool, UAccess.

Interdisciplinary studies senior Meredith Hottinger said she thought it was easier to find classes on the older system, and the new search process can be more complex and time consuming.  

A perk, however, she said, is having all of your information on one page, for instance how much money you owe the university, when your priority registration is and other helpful links listed together.

Hottinger did not watch the video tutorials when the new system launched, but she said the best way for a student to learn is by exploring the site.

“”UAccess is just something to get used to,”” she said.

R. Scott Johnson, director of academic advising and student services for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, said he did not use WebReg that much but he is familiar with the system.

He said he thinks UAccess has a lot going for it in terms of the capability, but it is a big system requiring a lot to learn and understand. All of the features and their limitations are where some of the frustrations come in.

Rather than video tutorials, advisers had training classes they attended. Johnson has become more successful with the system through trial and error.

He finds the enrollment shopping cart and being able to implement prerequisites to be especially helpful features.

“”Frustrations in terms of evaluating and transfer credit or making course substitutions for students is very cumbersome and it takes a lot more time than it used to,”” Johnson said.

He said he has not had to do much hand-registering for students, but he knows that because some advisers are not confident with using the tool they may find it easier to hand-register as opposed to learn new parts of the system.

“”I don’t necessarily think either students or advisers are happy with the new academic adviser reports. They are lengthy and more difficult to read, both students and advisers have shared this frustration,”” he said.

A problem he experienced this week as he enrolled athletes and veterans was setting permission for students to be able to enroll in courses and then not

knowing why it was not working.

He said the easiest solution is to register students instead of figuring out where the problem is.

“”My hope would be that as people are getting more comfortable with it, it will work better and people will feel better about it,”” he said.

Hull, co-director for the UAccess student administration project, explained the system is still new to many students and advisers.

Advisers are providing a great service to students who may be having difficulty finding classes they need or understanding which classes have requirements that the student needs to meet before they can enroll she said.

“”As students become more aware of the advanced features and as we make improvements based on adviser and student comments, students may choose to use the self-service features more often,”” Hull said.

She said she has received complaints from both students and advisers, which is typical for any new system, because change can be difficult.

“”We are working with several groups on campus to identify concerns and prioritize improvements to the system,”” Hull said. “”A student administrative team will continue to work within University Information Technology Services to improve and upgrade the system.””

Hull said she believes the new system is here to stay because it provides more services, flexibility, and information.

This is the second priority registration with the new system, and students had the same number of course hours at the end of the priority registration period in the spring semester as they had using the old WebReg system, Hull said. She added there was also a positive increase in the response time for students using the new system over WebReg. She will continue to track the results as priority registration continues.

A new feature in UAccess is the check eligibility feature. It was implemented as a response to students’ concern that they could not tell if they met the requirements for courses in their shopping carts until their enrollment appointment time.

The reaction to this program during the open lab for students last week was positive, Hull said.

If students use the Plan feature to put classes in their shopping cart, they can now immediately check if they are eligible to take the course and make arrangements or if they need other permissions before their enrollment appointment.

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