Oct 17, 2019

Less students buy schedule

As students hammer out their class schedules for the spring semester, those using the online schedule will have access to the most recent updates while students relying solely on the printed version will not be aware of scheduling changes.

Kennel Bookstore assistant manager, Jack Gartner, said the shift from printed to online schedules is happening gradually as less and less students choose to purchase the booklets, which sell for $1.85 plus tax.

According to Gartner, the sales of printed schedules have dropped from 14,231 in spring 2000 to 6,229 in spring 2009. So far this semester the bookstore has sold about 3,200 spring schedules, Gartner said.

Some people feel that the print version of the course schedule is unnecessary.

“It is outdated the minute I send it to the printer,” said academic scheduling coordinator Anne Burkholder of the printed schedule.

“In my opinion we shouldn’t be printing [the schedule] anymore. I think the staff likes it because it’s something easy to look at,” Burkholder said. “I think students could care less. They want the accurate schedule.”

The scheduling process is decentralized as each department is responsible for deciding which classes to offer and for creating class sections, Burkholder explained. Once the schedule is prepared by the departments, Burkholder opens it up to students online in the My Fresno State portal.

The online schedule was made available on Oct. 12, Burkholder said. The scheduling office and registrar collaborate to create the printed version, which went on sale at the Kennel Bookstore Oct. 26.

The departments can make changes to the online schedule leading up to the first day of class in January, Burkholder said. However, the printed schedule is not revised.

In an e-mail interview with The Collegian, Registrar Tina Beddall said that the printed class schedule can be a very useful tool to have each semester.

The booklet includes, in detail, procedures for registration such as obtaining permission numbers, adding lecture/labs, wait lists and grading options, as well as a calendar for deadlines. Since classes are frequently added, canceled or modified, Beddall said it is best for students to use the online search when building their class schedule and have the printed version handy for referencing procedures.

Five years ago the university did away with the printed spring 2004 schedule, said Kennel Bookstore director Ron Durham. Many students were upset by the decision and the printed schedule was returned the following semester.

“It was a pretty good idea but was probably premature,” Durham said of the abrupt switch to online scheduling in 2004.

This spring, the university ordered 7,200 copies of the schedule, Beddall said. Roughly 1,200 copies are for campus distribution and the remaining inventory goes to the bookstore for sale.

With the uncertain budget, departments had a difficult time planning the spring 2010 semester, Beddall said.

“Once word of the additional stimulus money became available, the departments were able to restore class sections,” Beddall said. “Unfortunately, this was done after we went to print.”

As reported by The Collegian, a one-time federal allocation of $1.4 million will allow Fresno State to add over 200 course sections and retain approximately 50 lecturers next semester. Although Burkholder has not yet seen a large increase in class sections added to the schedule, she said departments are monitoring enrollment and making changes accordingly.

Because many initial changes were made to the spring schedule, Burkholder said she delayed releasing the printed version. “I didn’t see the point in printing something that was completely obsolete,” she said. “So we went to print three weeks later, and it went to the bookstore three weeks later, and I don’t think anybody noticed.”

Burkholder said she sees no benefit of having the printed schedule and has encouraged the university to provide the schedule exclusively online. But Beddall said that the university continues to provide the printed version because students still want it.

“I believe we will certainly review the demand of the printed class schedule and I anticipate sometime in the future we will stop the printed version,” Beddall said. “But for now, as long as we see the desire for a printed version, we will continue to offer it.”

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