Administration works to make scheduling more convenient

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Since unification, scheduling students on both campuses has become a challenge to academic advisers. The administration hopes to ease this in the future.

Craig Moore, an academic adviser to the College of Business in Westville, said that one of the biggest challenges with advising in Westville in regards to unification has been adopting a plan of study.

“Those who started the old plan had the option to stay with it. But the students talk to one another and sometimes can get confused over which plan they’re supposed to be following,” Moore said. “So unification initially made it harder, but as we get away from the start of it, it gets better.”

When the university unified, the two campuses also had to create a system that used the same degree and course identification. For example, Moore said, accounting courses were previously called management.

“For the most part, the course options stayed the same. It’s just the titles that have changed.” Moore said. “We set up this spreadsheet though so it’s easier for us advisers to keep track of everything.”

Ralph Mueller, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, said that as the university moves forward, incoming students will be registering to the university as a whole, not a singular campus.

“We want them to come in as a PNW student with an understanding that they may take some courses on the other campus,” Mueller said.

Mueller said one of the reasons the university will be moving forward this way is because specific experiences for the degrees are held on each campus.

“For example, when it comes to Hospitality, Tourism and Management, much of the curriculum can be done on the Westville campus; however, our major facility is here in Hammond,” Mueller said.

Mueller said the administration is aware that for some students there may be commuting challenges, but he hopes that with enough planning it can be worked out. One of the ways he aims to do this is to have the course schedules up three semesters in advance. Currently, he has charged the deans to begin this project and aims to have them by next spring.

“It is complicated, but we want to make sure that students have the appropriate options and that it fits with their prerequisites and the schedules of the faculty,” Mueller said.

Moore said that before unification the Westville campus had planned scheduling a year in advance.

“For those who took advantage of it, it was a good thing. The only negative, and I wouldn’t really consider this one, is when people wouldn’t meet their prerequisites and would have to scramble to switch their schedules,” Moore said. “But that happens normally anyway with people. I’d be all for it and I think it would be great.”

Students who are currently enrolled with the intention of one campus will not be affected, Mueller said.

“We totally understand and try to be very cognitive of the students that registered with a certain set of expectations,” Mueller said.