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Cheryl Brueggen used to make lists after lists as she tried to arrange her class schedule each semester at University of Wisconsin-Stout.
"It took hours to get the right classes arranged at the right times, and then you had to hope the classes were available or you had to start all over again," said Brueggen, of Elk Mound, a senior in family and consumer sciences education.
Scheduling classes for the spring 2014 semester was much easier for Brueggen and her fellow students at UW-Stout after Registration and Records introduced College Scheduler, a computer program that takes the hassle out of signing up for courses.
"We were looking for a product to ease students' scheduling," said Scott Correll, UW-Stout registrar. "College Scheduler did just that and a whole lot more."
The program, accessed through the UW-Stout website, allows students to generate schedules by searching subjects and then refining the search by courses and adding desired break periods and other conflicts.
Each student then receives various schedules that have been generated with the available courses. The student then selects one schedule for that semester. Course availability is updated in real time.
"The new schedule planner is very easy to use," Brueggen said. "I was able to plan my entire semester in a matter of minutes.
"I made a list of classes that I wanted to take," she continued. "The planner gave me all of the possible schedules, according to the different class sections offered. I was then able to quickly pick the schedule that fit best with my work schedule and other activities."
Correll has heard a lot of similar comments from students.
"The initial reaction from students has been nothing but excitement," Correll said. "One student even wrote a letter of thank of you to Registration and Records for the product and the impact on scheduling ease."
Besides making the process easier, the program can help students graduate quicker. "Students are able to register for more credit hours without searching needlessly for filler courses," Correll said.
Faculty and advisers, he said, will have more time to devote to actually advising students because they don't have to spend as much time "helping students hunt for schedules."
Students were provided with a training video, step-by-step guide and other materials on how to use the new software.
For Brueggen and other students, college is stressful enough without the added frustration of wasting time scheduling classes. Those days are over at UW-Stout.
"I wish that we would have had this a long time ago," she said. "It is a time saver."
Spring semester classes begin Monday, Jan. 27.
Winterm classes begin Monday, Jan. 6, and end Saturday, Jan. 25.###