Students are not using the Kent Academic Progress System, also known as KAPS.

Surprise, surprise.

Figuring out how to use KAPS is about as easy as snagging a lunch date with Brad Pitt – that is to say, it’s not easy at all. Navigating KAPS can prove nearly impossible for students who have not been given specific training on how to use the system, and most students haven’t received any such guidance.

“(KAPS) is a way for students to own their educational career,” the registrar’s KAPS specialist, B.J. Brooks, told student reporter Matt White in Tuesday’s Stater.

Why, then, is it so complicated to “own” the educational career for which students pay more than $8,000 a year? After spending all that money, it seems students ought to be able to own it without quite so much difficulty.

Thus far, orientation instructors have not been trained to teach their students to use KAPS, although this semester’s instructors pass out how-to pamphlets and breeze on to the next topic, usually without so much as a question-and-answer session from confused students. Even worse is that the illustrated eight-page pamphlet is just as complex as the system it tries to simplify.

Further, transfer students, many of whom aren’t required to go through orientation, aren’t even informed that KAPS exists.

By the time students need to use KAPS – which is usually when they’ve scheduled an appointment with an adviser who says, “Bring your KAPS report with you” – they’re entirely in the dark.

Students are left with three options – admit to their advisers that they have no idea how to use the system; ask a friend for help in deciphering KAPS’ many mysteries; or attempt to decode KAPS using their own devices. Students who choose to fumble through KAPS on their own can spend hours wading through major and minor codes, and even longer figuring out just how the audits apply to their college careers.

It’s difficult for students to “own their educational careers” if they can’t understand the primary tool provided to them for doing so. Let’s face it – right now, KAPS reports are about as easy to read as Swahili.

It’s great that the university is attempting to educate students on how to employ KAPS for course planning, but how effective will the new campaign be? Unless it employs step-by-step instructions on how to use the detailed system and, more importantly, explicit reasoning as to why students should care, KAPS will remain uncharted territory for the majority of the Kent State population.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.