The adviser scheduling system that never sleeps

Amadeus Smith

The black beast with shiny metal rings for teeth once sat perched atop the receptionist’s desk in the undergraduate advising office.

But students, staff and advisers no longer dread facing the beast – a large black binder used to schedule advising appointments.

Instead, they have been scheduling advising appointments via the Web-Scheduler.

“It’s nice because students are able [to] get an appointment online instead of making phone calls and probably getting the run-around,” said Kaylee Phillips, junior hospitality management major.

Students in the College of Education, Health, and Human Services began surfing over to the new system in September 2005.

Since then, six other departments have adopted the program.

System developer Brian Dehoff said 14 other colleges have shown interest in the online scheduler. The EHHS advising office earned an award for good use of technology in advising from the National Academic Advising Association.

“There are actually people that schedule advising appointments at midnight, so it’s good for them,” Dehoff said.

The process begins with questions that determine which office and adviser is best for the student. Students in the College of EHHS have to answer four: Do you have a bachelor’s degree and are seeking licensure? Are you transferring to Kent State? Are you a freshman? Are you a graduate student?

Each department has a main contact making all the minor changes to the specified program developed from the mother system. Dehoff said he only gives the new user group a name and determines the main contact, and the rest is up to the department.

Students then select the adviser they need to meet with and choose a date and time from the online calendar. During the busy advising season, the calendar extends three weeks from the day the student sits down to schedule.

At the end of the process, students fill out a questionnaire. The survey uses a numbered scale from one to five, one indicating strongly disagree and five meaning strongly agree. Dehoff said the average answer ranges from 4.5 to 5.

But the system doesn’t only benefit students.

Students are able to write notes to the adviser through the system, which allows the adviser to understand what the student needs to discuss and better prepare for the appointment.

Similarly, the advisers can post notes online so faculty advisers can track the progress of a student.

“The faculty can see things online instead of having to come down,” said Charity Snyder, director of undergraduate advising and licensure at the College of EHHS.

Dehoff intends to enable the faculty advisers to post notes about the students by the end of the semester.

Snyder and Dehoff plan to develop scan cards, which students can use to check in at the office.

“You can go up, swipe your card and have a seat, and you don’t have to wait for a receptionist,” Snyder said.

Contact School of Exercise, Leisure and Sport reporter Amadeus Smith at [email protected].