Changes on Cyberfriar Make Registration Easier and Simpler for Students
by Brian Garvey ’19
The new registration system recently put in place by Providence College was met with resounding approval from students across campus. Many students found the new Schedule Planner to be incredibly easy to operate, as well as much simpler to work with. Peter Palumbo, director of academic advising, said, “Students by and large loved it. They really appreciated how easy it was, and how simple it was to navigate.” Many students felt that this new system was much needed, as the old registration process was outdated and inconvenient. Ryan Gallahue ’20 said, “I really, really liked the system. The old Cyberfriar way of having to look up all these different classes and only be able to see one at a time was very frustrating. The Schedule Planner really helped me physically see what my schedule would look like, and I was able to plan much better than I had before.”
Even seniors, who are used to the old system, felt that the new system was a substantial improvement. Gina DeBernardo, assistant dean of enrollment services, said, “We were at 95 percent buy-in from the whole campus. Some of my senior workers in the office here were saying they weren’t going to use it and that it was new and they wouldn’t understand it, but they all loved it too.” Kevin Gillooly ’18 said, “I really, really wish I had this all four year. It made my life so much easier. I really liked being able to see all the different combinations of classes I could do instead of having to physically draw up five or six schedules.”
Students were not the only ones who enjoyed the new updates. In fact, many department chairs and advisors were grateful for this new system, as it helped them to better assist their students in planning their schedules. DeBernardo said, “I received emails from different department chairs and advisors saying thank you for the new system, because it helped students build schedules as they could log in and see how students were building their schedules”.
One of the few complaints from students was that it was somewhat difficult at first to figure out how to use some of the program’s more complicated features, such as the Registration Cart and the Waitlist. This was partly due to the new system; even the faculty in charge were not one hundred percent sure how each feature would act under the pressure of a thousand students using it at the same time.
DeBernardo said that, “These are all questions we didn’t know the answer to until we saw it live. We can test it until we’re blue in the face, but it is hard to know what it looks like on registration day. Now that we have lived through it, we know how the system reacts.” To help better educate students, advisors will receive coaching sessions to better answer their questions about the system for next semester. Peter Palumbo said that, “We are looking to have multiple training sessions next semester, hopefully at least once a month, to refresh them on best practices, update them on changes we’ve done, and anything to help improve the experience of both students and faculty.”
Not much is going to change with the program for registration next semester, due to the fact that it was so successful. The Waitlist program will still be limited in its availability, as DeBernardo stated, “There’s still a couple issues with this program, and we want to make sure it is flawless before we open it up to all campus. In the next semester, we are looking to send out an FAQ about all the ins-and-outs of the program to help students better understand it.”
Palumbo is also working with Student Congress to set up a freshman registration orientation, so that students not even used to the old program will be able to get a handle on de-stressing their registration. Clearly satisfied about how the program exceeded expectations, both Palumbo and DeBernardo hope that this program can continue to excel and make life easier for students of Providence College