Course planning becomes easier with new website

William Buckler, the coordinator of academic advising at Youngstown State University, is working with Cory Okular, president of the Student Government Association, to create a website that will help students plan their course schedules years in advance.

“My idea is to have one place where a student can go to look at all the curriculum sheets the university offers, although it is going to be a very long process,” Buckler said.

Buckler said he expects the website to be available by the summer of 2014. “We have to review each curriculum sheet to make sure they are up to date,” he said. “Then we will have to talk to each chair of the department to verify that the bulletin matches the courses on the curriculum sheets.”

Mary Jane Quaranta, an academic adviser for the YSU College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, said students should also meet with an academic adviser.

“It helps the students stay on track,” she said. “Classes frequently change when they are offered, and an adviser would be the first to know these changes.”

Jeanne Herman, the university registrar, said YSU offers a Degree Audit Reporting System, or DARS, that can help students stay on top of their education.

“Students can see what classes they are currently taking and what they need to take,” Herman said. “It is always a good idea to plan out two semesters ahead by looking up the classes offered ahead of time. But the best way to stay on track is to always remain focused.”

Okular, who is in his final year at YSU, said he planned ahead by speaking with an adviser and making a list of the classes he needed for his degree.

“But I also include a plan,” he said. “Sometimes the classes are not offered when you need them or there is a time conflict. In reality, it’s all about planning for the worst. If you plan for the worst, you can only receive the best.”