Improved KAPS makes students’ lives easier

Steve Schirra

Credit: Steve Schirra

Students can now “shop” for classes online.

The improved Kent Academic Progress System will help students plan their route to graduation. It will also help departments plan to offer classes students need to take.

One KAPS improvement allows students to view course descriptions and add them to a cart, which can be used for planning out degree programs. Classes in the course cart also can be used by administrators to choose the courses offered for upcoming semesters.

After a student registers, a pop-up box appears asking a student to go to the KAPS report Web site to request courses that he knows he will have to take in upcoming semesters.

“It’s a good opportunity for students,” University Registrar Susan Cole said. “I’ve heard over the years about students who have stayed an extra semester because the course they needed was only offered a certain semester.”

This new method of picking classes for semesters could be compared to shopping online, Cole said.

If a student knows what classes he needs in the future or sees a class that interests him, he just has to put it in the course cart. When he is done shopping and plans to purchase the items, he can check out. That is what will happen to all the courses; they will be sent to the registrar’s office to be complied into one report sent to the specific department that offers that class.

This process will plot out a timely degree progress for students, said LuEtt Hanson, associate dean of the College of Communication and Information.

“Using the course cart system will make extra work for people,” Hanson said, “but the flip side of it will help departments make good decisions.”

This will almost force students to plan ahead, Hanson said. They must understand what classes they need to take and when so they can graduate on time.

“Student need to have a road map to follow for the degree process,” Cole said. “The course cart is the students chance to let the university know where they want to go next with their future courses.”

Orientation and advising needs to be taken seriously. Students need to make appointments with academic advisers to make sure everything is on track.

In terms of getting through the sequences on time, the course cart can help students graduate in a timely manner.

“This one computer program is designed to do many more jobs efficiently and let us use what we have,” Hanson said.

Each department will be given the information, and based on that information it might have to rethink about what has always been done.

Professors put together the courses with academic knowledge that students need. The classes could be offered at different semesters with more or less sections based on student plans.

As with all new projects, this will take a little time to get used to, Hanson said. But it is an investment for students to participate.

“We have to brace ourselves,” Hanson said. “There might be some glitches along the way, and we have to be patient. We will keep trying to make it all work for the students.”

Contact student affairs reporter Missy Pollock at [email protected].