Solution for Scheduling Stress

Written by Jesse Marshall on Monday, 27 August 2012. Posted in Ad Astra

Solution for Scheduling Stress

Be nice everybody. This time of year can be rough on schedulers.

If you haven’t done it, you don’t know what I’m talking about. But anyone who has done it knows: creating a fall schedule, even for the smallest private school, can be hard (or insert another four-letter word here). Even if you can get all of the classes at the right times and in (what you hope is) the right room, you know that your “final” schedule is going to be picked apart by things like late registration, cancelled classes, or an old professor with an axe to grind. And this year, you’re supposed to do it “better”—whatever that means.

You think to yourself: forget trying to be more efficient, it’s hard enough just to get it done. We understand. Here at Astra, we call that “focus on completion vs improvement.” It’s perfectly understandable given the situation that schedulers are put in.

But don’t worry. As always, we’re here to help. If an inefficient scheduling practice is the illness, we have the remedy: a Strategic Scheduling Check-up. Give us some historical data, a planned schedule for this year’s fall term, and about 4-5 weeks to slice and dice your data, and we can show you how to improve your efficiency, possibly grow your enrollment without any new building, and most importantly, how to use your data to enforce the policies that allow you to do this into the foreseeable future. It’s a combination of looking at what courses you’re offering vs what you could or should be offering, a deep dive into your meeting pattern overlap, investigating what rooms you’re using when and by what course, and…well, I could go on, but I’d be giving away a little bit of the secret sauce. Our CEO told me not to do that anymore, and he signs my checks.

Suffice it to say, our secret sauce has been popular. The Checkups we’re delivering are allowing institutions small and large to adjust to the tough climate facing higher ed at exactly the right time. Just this month, we’ve been able to help colleges and universities at a record clip, delivering eight studies in the last five weeks. And we’re not done there—we’re lining up the resources to deliver even more next year than we did this year.

So even though this time of year might feel like it’s your least favorite, it doesn’t have to be. We think like you and we want to make it better…we just have the time to do the thorough data analysis that you might not. And we think you might like what we have to show you if you have some time to look at it with us.

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