My Cat Scheduler changes registration process

For more than ten years, MSU students have utilized MyInfo to register for classes. However, this process may soon change as MSU hopes to unveil a new registration process for the 2015 summer orientation.

Most students are familiar with the current registration process — an individual typically goes through the process of choosing classes with their advisor, finds class times that fit together, and locates the appropriate course registration numbers (CRN).

While this process has been in place for some time, it can often be time consuming and leads to opening multiple internet tabs to coordinate their schedule. These employees realized the complications of the process and have been working to create a new, more user friendly way for students to register for classes.

The new My Cat Scheduler is a program that Director of Special Projects in the Provost’s Office Judi Haskins “hopes will be introduced at the 2015 summer orientation.” Haskins is one of the many that represent a functional team, tasked with simplifying the registration process.

The program, which has been developed through software called College Scheduler, is unlike any program that has previously been introduced at MSU. It encompasses a simple interface that allows students to receive fully pre-made, schedules that automatically generate for the student. The student can choose from a list of courses listed by major and electives. Once the classes are selected, the student can also input work schedules and any breaks they wish to have in a given school day.

Once these options are entered, the scheduler will generate all of the possible schedules for the classes, incorporating the breaks. The scheduler will create anywhere from one to 600 different combinations for a student to choose from time-wise. If no possible combinations can be made, the scheduler will show an error and suggest what to change in order for the schedule to work.

Initially, the team decided to have two test days once the software was fully functional. They chose student leaders from across campus to register for classes with the new program. Kailey Ruff, a junior in business management who tested the system said, “I like the visual aspect of the program.”

While there are still many kinks to work out, the general feedback from the process has been positive thus far. “The program allows students to look at multiple schedules side-by-side so that they are able to compare each schedule,” Haskins said.

The software is beneficial for MSU staff and administration as well. With the user friendly components, professors can download and export lists of students registered for classes. Administrators can download spreadsheets of course information and they have the ability to find out the demand for certain classes to determine whether or not to offer the courses in later semesters.

The software is expected to be used at the first summer orientation and current MSU students would use it for the first time in Fall 2015.