Students can expect changes in the course registration process with the implementation of a new course numbering
The university has been in the planning process since 2003 to convert all three-digit course numbers to four-digit numbers. The new system is designed to make registering easier for students, giving them a clearer idea of what classes they should take in each year of study. The transition to the new system will begin in May at the start of the first summer session.
All university departments have renumbered their courses based on the year that students should generally be taking each course. Under the new system, freshmen will take 1000 level courses, sophomores will take 2000 levels and so on. Associate Vice Provost Stephanie Gillin said the changes are designed to make the scheduling process more logical for students.
“At the undergraduate level, we wanted to implement a system that students
could understand. We wanted them to be able to look at the numbers and say, ‘Hey, I get it,'” Gillin said.
Courses were previously identified with letters, such as writing intensive classes that were denoted with an “X.”
This also will be abandoned under the new system. Instead those courses will be identified by a specific digit of the course number. Now, writing intensive courses will be four-digit numbers ending in 96, 97, or 98Gillin said these changes will help the university prepare for other changes in the registration process.
“We are also looking to move our computer system to a new format that does not allow alpha-numeric characters,” Gillin said. “Also, we are eventually moving away from the Core [courses] toward general education. Until then, the required course indicators are still in the course catalog.”
A Web site was created to help students transition into the new system. Gillin said it is a good resource when searching for Core requirement classes because instead of forcing students to search by department, it allows students to search for all classes in the university that fill a Core.
Juan Galeano, Temple Student Government
Vice President of Student Affairs, also encouraged students to review the Web site before registering for classes.
“The Web site is pretty self-explanatory.
If students go through it, they will be able to understand what’s written,” Galeano said.
Scott Gratson, director of undergraduate studies for the School of Communications and Theater, said he is optimistic about the new changes but some kinks still need to be worked out.
“[The system] will make issues clearer once students get the lingo down, but there will be some confusion as we transfer through to the new numbers from the old numbers,” Gratson said.
Gratson also expressed concern about the consistency of course numbering throughout the university’s departments.
“Several majors require a certain number
of 200 and 300 level courses now,” Gratson
said. “What does that mean in the new system? Is a 350 level course now going to become a 4500 level course? Are all departments following that same format? There are still some unclear issues.”
Sophomore tourism and hospitality major
Laura Stein said that the transition will be difficult in the beginning, although the eventual switch will benefit students.
“I think it will be difficult for people to adjust at first, but it will be easier once it’s established and students get used to it,” Stein said.
Other students don’t agree with the changes, saying they further complicate the system.
“I don’t understand the point of even a triple-digit numbering system,” said Jenn Starem, a sophomore film and media arts major. “Why don’t they just start out with course No. 1?” Galeano said the course renumbering system is a good example of the administration noticing something that needed to be changed and taking action.
“This gives students a better level of the expectation of the work that will be expected of them in each class,” Galeano said.
Alex Irwin can be reached at email@example.com.