Course Change Process
The 15/SP, 15/FA and 16/SP submission pages will be open to Department Chairs on or about Monday, September 8. The schedules should be submitted to the Registrar’s Office no later than Friday, September 26. As always, we appreciate getting changes before the due date as we would like to publish the Spring 2015 schedule to the campus community by October 6.
What are we asking for this time? As you recall, in Fall 2013 the Registrar’s Office/Provost’s Office requested three semesters of schedule and projection data for the first time. The point of this exercise was threefold: (1) to provide meaningful data to the upcoming academic/fiscal year’s budgeting process for the Provost’s Office, especially as it relates to the adjunct budget; (2) to provide an earlier look at how faculty load would be distributed within a department (also for the Provost’s Office); and (3) to create an iterative schedule creation & revision process with less opportunity for last-minute problems than the old system allowed (a long-overdue innovation that aids the scheduling process for the Registrar’s Office).
This fall, we are asking for THREE semesters’ worth of data: a final look at the Spring 2015 schedule, as well as projection data for the to the Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 semesters.
Next spring, we will ask for TWO semesters’ worth of data: a final version of the Fall 2015 schedule for publication to the campus community on March 6, and a meaningful look at the Spring 2016 semester so that the Provost’s Office can begin to draw the FY ’15 budget together.
Notes for Entering Spring 2015 Data
As in the old system, to finish the 15/SP schedule in time for registration to begin in mid-October, we need you to enter a complete (i.e. “99% there”) schedule for your department. To accomplish this, we have loaded all information provided last spring, including any “dummy” courses (signified with an ADM subject prefix) representing sabbaticals, course releases, overloads, etc. and the instructor with which each course is associated. Using this data as a starting point, we now need full offering information such as day/time, section capacity (more on this below), instructor name(s), and information about Honors, writing intensive courses, and waitlist information. The Registrar’s Office will complete final scheduling steps using this information, while updating the Provost’s Office on any staffing questions that remain unresolved, such as under- or over-loaded faculty members, adjunct requests, etc.
We have fixed the problem where the lab sections for each lecture were not automatically created. Additionally, you will notice that there are TWO fields related to a section’s capacity. The first is “TmpCap” and the second is “MaxCap.” This was for use during summer registration by new incoming first-year students. You can simply complete one field during this projection sequence, since we don’t hold seats for freshmen in the spring.
In order to keep track of which courses/sections should have the waitlist functionality enabled, you can now specify this using a new checkbox option.
You will also notice that the index page for submissions is no longer organized by subject area, but by department. Thus, MAT/CSI will enter all its data for both subject areas on one screen, Foreign Language Studies will enter all its data for its multiple languages on one screen labeled “FLS,” etc.
Notes for Entering the 2015 Fall Data
For 15/FA, we are only asking for your best guess (i.e. “60% there”) projected schedule for the semester. This should only include the course and section numbers that you project offering within your department (as well as non-departmental offerings such as ENG 101 and GRW 101) along with the name of the instructor who will teach each section. The word “Staff” should be used in cases where the anticipated instructor has yet to be determined, especially if it is unlikely to be covered by a full-time faculty member.
Please note that to correctly predict faculty and departmental load for the total academic year, each full-time faculty member should be slotted with their standard load of course sections on this entry form. Any discrepancies should be noted by use of a dummy course as described in the instructions below. Faculty for whom you anticipate a sabbatical or other leave, a course waiver, an overload (i.e. receiving an additional stipend) or who will be teaching a GRW or ENG 101 (i.e. a one-course load reduction in your department) should be listed as such to round out this information. See step 8 below for more information. At the end of this semester’s process, we should be able to answer the question “what is each full-time faculty member teaching to cover their expected load?” This is the main function of the projection from the Provost’s Office perspective. The ancillary benefit (from the Registrar’s Office perspective) is that it eases the amount of work you must do to create the final “99%-there” schedule for each semester.
Remember: there will be one more opportunity to adjust projections before registration for this outlying semester begins, thus we are not asking for day, time, classroom or waitlist information at this time. The Comments field should ONLY be used to discuss staffing concerns; we will share all relevant comments with the Provost and will discard other information.
Instructions for Using the Course Change Form
1. The Course Change Forms can be found on http://admin.washcoll.edu under the Department Chairs heading. You will need to login, as only department chairs have access to these screens. If you receive an error message and believe you should have access, please contact Molly Mears in OIT.
2. The links beneath the Department Chairs heading correlate to each semester for which information is requested.
3. Once you have clicked on one of the Course Change Form links, an index of department areas appears. Clicking on the department for which you are responsible will produce a list of projected courses based on the data you previously supplied last semester, including “dummy” courses representing sabbaticals, leaves, course releases, overloads, departmental faculty teaching a GRW or ENG 101 section, etc.
4. There are four checkbox columns at the start of each row. The first should only be checked if you intend to cancel a section. The second, third and fourth checkboxes will be pre-populated with a check mark to designate that the section was previously indicated as Writing Intensive, Honors or waitlist-enabled course. Writing Intensive courses are denoted with an asterisk (*) on the schedule and on student transcripts, while Honors courses are denoted with a capital “H.” Waitlist-enabled courses allow students to add themselves to the waitlist once the section fills.
- If you want to cancel a course, click the first checkbox on. To reactivate it, click the first checkbox off.
- To designate a section as Writing Intensive, click the second checkbox on. To remove the Writing Intensive designation from a section, click the second checkbox off.
- To designate a section as Honors, click the third checkbox on. To remove an Honors designation from a section, click the third checkbox off.
- To designate a section as waitlist-enabled, click the fourth checkbox on. You may also use the Comments field to explain information about how the waitlist should be used (although this is not necessary if you have already communicated this information to Ashley or Drew).
5. To make other changes, for example an instructor change, replace the information in the text box as needed. Note: If you are unable to add data to a form field, try scrolling to the end of the form field and deleting white space to make room for new characters in your entry.
6. If you anticipate offering a section for which an instructor has not been assigned/hired yet, please simply enter “Staff” in the Instructor field and any helpful information for the Provost in the Comments field.
7. To add a new section of any course, scroll to the bottom of the page and type in the new section information on the first blank row. You may add up to nine new course sections using this entry form. Remember that sections of ENG 101 or GRW 101 that you project will be taught by your department’s faculty should be added at this stage as well.
8. As with last semester’s projection request, the Registrar’s Office will continue tracking sabbaticals, course releases and overloads using the same database as we use to build the semester schedule. Please update existing information and/or enter new information for your department’s faculty using the blank rows at the bottom of the form entry. For example, to specify that an instructor will be on a sabbatical in a given term, please simply enter “Sabbatical” in the Title field and the instructor’s name in the Instructor field. If you project that a faculty member will teach an overload, please specify this by entering “Overload – [course number]” in the Title field.
9. If you need to add more course sections beyond the nine blank rows, please email Ashley with the required information (preferably in an Excel spreadsheet) and we will add these manually.
10. When you have completed your changes, click the “Check my entries” button at the bottom of the form. This will bring up a results page, listing any changed data with a strike-through (—-) and the new information printed immediately below. The new course sections are listed below any changes you have made to the existing section data. If the results page is correct, and you are finished, click the “Submit” button. If you are not finished, click the “Save” button and you will be able to return to your work at a later time.
11. Once you have submitted your entries, a message will come up showing the URLs to the changes you made and the completed (static) page. The Registrar’s Office will begin to process these changes as soon as you submit your entries. Although you may edit your data and submit them more than once, please be aware that we will receive an email each time you do this, and may have already begun making your changes as soon as the first submission was received. Thus, if you need to correct anything after your initial submission, we ask that you contact us IMMEDIATELY so that we can take stock of which changes have already been applied.
12. New for this year: After an overwhelmingly positive response to the increased use of the waitlist functionality in 2011-12 and even more buy-in during 2012-13, all courses and departments that previously asked us to create waitlists will have this functionality turned on by default. We will only run these waitlists after the initial registration period has ended for all class years through the last Friday before the semester begins. The waitlist information remains visible to instructors as a guide after classes start, but is not binding on the instructor. During the scheduling period, if you would like to make changes to the exact courses that should incorporate a waitlist, or any kind of logic used to determine waitlist ranking (e.g. majors, then class year; or simply class year), please email Ashley with this information.
13. Any specific room requests may be entered directly into the Comments field. In future years, we will be creating separate comment fields for room requests, waitlist requests, and comments for the Provost. Also, recognizing that certain recitation periods are more in demand than others, once the schedule has been published to the campus community, we ask that you and your department’s faculty make room change requests as soon as possible prior to the start of the semester.
Additional Information about the Comments Field
The comment field has been added primarily so that department chairs can offer a brief rationale for overload courses and adjunct hiring (e.g., enrollment pressures, parental or sabbatical leave from a full-time faculty member, multiple SCE or chair releases, and so on). Because adjunct hiring must be approved by the Provost’s Office, early communication about departmental adjunct staffing needs will help facilitate this process.
Below are examples of the kinds of comments/rationale that would be most helpful.
- Adjunct needed because [x] will be taking an SCE course release, and this course regularly enrolls 20 students.
- Adjunct needed to cover [y]’s parental leave.
- Adjunct needed to cover [z] who is taking two course releases (one for being chair of a complex department). Department can absorb the loss of one of these courses, but not both.
- Adjunct needed because our department is contributing two GRW courses
- When an existing section’s instructor is unknown, enter “Staff” in the Instructor field and enter more information in the Comments field, e.g. “Proposed adjunct hire” or “New tenure-line hire.” Please remember to communicate the instructor’s name directly with the Registrar’s Office once it is known, so the name can be added to the schedule seen by students.
- When an existing section’s instructor is known but has not been hired officially, enter that person’s name in the Instructor field and enter more information in the Comments field, e.g. “Adjunct hire pending” or “Previously employed adjunct” or “New tenure-line hire.”
- When adding a new Sabbatical dummy section, include the instructor’s name and a comment about whether it has been “approved” or is “projected.”
- When adding a new Course Release dummy section, include the instructor’s name and a comment about the rationale for the release, e.g. “SCE waiver” or “Chair Release.”
Q: I saved my work for later but it disappeared. Why?
Due to browser caching (archiving), it often appears that your work was not saved when you return to the course change entry screen. This does NOT mean your work is gone. It occurs when your browser attempts to load a version of the page that it previously cached. Browsers do this in an effort to speed up the load time of pages across the web. The fix is simple: just hit the F5 button, or type Ctrl-R (Command-R on a Mac), or click on the Refresh button within the browser. You should find that the page immediately updates to a new version that includes your edits. If not, please contact us and we can almost always find your missing entries.