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Academic Leadership Toolkit

Office of Faculty Development and Advancement

Course Scheduling

 

Overview:

Staff members in each department are responsible for building and adjusting course schedules each semester. The process occurs well in advance of student registration for each semester, which also occurs very early in relation to the start of the semester. Deadlines for having courses entered into Campus Solutions normally occur midway through the term prior to the applicable semester, especially for large lecture courses. This allows students the ability to plan their schedules well in advance and make informed decisions about purchasing the course materials they will need.

 

Goals:

  • To provide enough course availability to allow students to progress toward their degrees in a timely fashion.
  • To balance availability with efficiency in order to maximize instructional resources.

 

Authority and Responsibility:

  • There should be one or more staff members designated as the course scheduler for the unit.
  • Department chairs, with input from appropriate staff members, determine what courses should be taught, how many sections should be offered, and who will teach each course/section. These decisions are based on the record of and future projections about enrollment as well as faculty Assignments of Responsibility.
  • Department chairs and program directors are responsible for ensuring that the staff member has the training and support to accomplish course scheduling tasks.
  • Department chairs and program directors should understand the process and use dashboard data to make strategic decisions about adjusting course schedules by adding or eliminating sections, cancelling under-enrolled courses, consolidating sections, releasing caps on enrollment, etc.

 

 

Common Pitfalls:

  • Not building courses early enough.
  • Not securing classroom space early enough, especially for large-lecture courses. Late requests often preclude securing a classroom close to the building housing the department/college.
  • Not identifying instructors of record in a timely fashion.
  • Not complying with standard meeting times established by the Registrar’s Office.
  • Not building enough sections to meet student demand.
  • Not having enough information to assess student course demand accurately, especially not recognizing the impact of new associated majors.
  • Holding too many seats for majors for too long, resulting in under-enrolled courses and unmet need for non-majors.
  • Incomplete editing of a prior-semester schedule that a department has chosen to rollover, especially adjusting the reserve capacity dates and number of sections.
  • Not coding special-program courses accurately so that students can see designations (such as Honors, Living-Learning, etc.).
  • Not making online fees as transparent as possible for students.

 

Resources: