New course registration system streamlines processes

University officials are cutting out the middle man when it comes to course request for next school year.

A new enterprise resource planning system allows students to register in real time, eliminating the "course shopping cart."

Nancy Cronk, registrar and director of Registration and Academic Progress, said the system helps streamline the registration process for students.

"There's just going to be a lot more up front type of information that you can select from," Cronk said. "[You will] know immediately whether or not you can take the course and if you're enrolled in the course. So, that's a big benefit."

The updated course enrollment process is part of the new Banner SunGard ERP System, which was first implemented this fall.

The system is used to operate several internal processes such as finance, human resources and payroll. One of the changes most visible to students is the MyBSU page, offering student financial aid information in a central location, which launched two weeks ago.

The new ERP system will eventually replace My Education Gateway and Parents Education Gateway. Both programs, which are accessible through the "Current Students" tab on the Ball State website, were created by the university. The new system is part of a massive overhaul to streamline data across the university, making access easier for students.

"As more things get rolled out, we'll still need MEG and PEG as we're transitioning, but eventually these homegrown systems will be entirely replaced," said Stephen Jendraszak, operations manager for University Marketing and Communications.

Cronk said the new system won't replace educational resources such as Blackboard and InQsit. Instead, it would complement these systems.

The value of the system is the ability for the software to be updated frequently as new versions become available, Cronk said. It also offers a template instead of customized fields for backend users.

"You have to understand where we came from, and that we grew up being able to customize screens and accommodate the needs of a department at a particular time," Cronk said.

The system is also more user-friendly for students, allowing them to use mobile devices like cellphones and tablets to access their information.

Before course registration opens in mid-April, students will have the opportunity to learn about the new system through demonstrations and workshops.

The university has already allowed students of varying class levels to test the new system. Cronk said students gave positive feedback.

Even though course registration will be easier, some of the burden still falls on students. Cronk encourages students to meet with academic advisers before signing up for courses, keep inboxes clear and stay on the lookout for notices about the new system. She also emphasized the importance of knowing course registration numbers before signing up for classes.

"That is literally a key for you to be in the classes you need to be in," she said. "If you can hone in on the course, you will be prepared for registration. That CRN is a good ticket to have."

Cronk warned students to pay attention to sign-up dates, which are based on grade level. She said the priority structure for registration will not change.

"If you were timely with submitting your course request, then you received priority," Cronk said. "If you did not participate in course request and you took what was left, that same concept will occur." 


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