Published March 15, 2013
Final Steps to the Semester Conversion
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The countdown to the semester conversion is ticking away as enrollment, scheduled to begin April 15, draws near. Strong involvement from RIT’s colleges, students and faculty have contributed to the final version of the SIS system and class conversion. Additionally, student feedback and various testing phases have helped the system evolve to its current state.

According to Assistant Vice President and Registrar Joe Loffredo, one of the main sources of student feedback was the “Pilot Enrollment.” Conducted with over 600 students, it allowed the participants to use an updated version of the SIS system to register for classes as if they were registering for fall 2013. Updated features include replacing the class number system with letters and names for easier class searching and the addition of automatic prerequisite verification. To participate, students only needed to have completed an Individual Advising Plan (IAP).

The feedback from the test proved helpful in finding possible conflicts and errors that could appear during enrollment, such as conflicting class times between colleges. J. Fernando Naveda, director of the semester conversion, was pleased with the feedback and data collected from the test. “These kinds of things need to done because when you create a new schedule you don’t know the kinds of problems you may encounter as we move forward,” he stated.

One of the main tools for students looking for a smooth transition is their IAP. Lynne Mazadoorian, Director of the Institute Advising Office, stressed the importance for students to not only follow their IAPs but to get them done as early as possible. “The IAPs are really meant to be a tool to help students understand how they will complete their degrees once they transition into the semester calendar and requirements,” said Mazadoorian. “The ‘Individual’ in IAP is really important for students to remember.”

Sarah Thomas, third year Finance major and current Student Government vice president has worked with the semester conversion leaders to gather more student feedback and inform them about the upcoming changes. “We’ve surveyed students in regard to what changes they would like to see, what additions and improvements,” said Thomas. The data from the surveys will be available on the SG website after it is presented to the conversion committee.

Though the conversion might come with its fair share of problems, most of the individuals involved believe the colleges are well-prepared and students will be able to adapt to the system quickly. “I’m very confident that we are going to do well,” remarked Naveda. “In the end if you guys [the students] are happy with the conversion and everything is working, then everybody is happy.”

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