North Carolina State University

North Carolina State University

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NC State Seeks Strategic Changes to Safeguard Student Success Efforts

Holly Swart, Associate Registrar, partnered with Ad Astra Information Systems on a Strategic Scheduling Check-Up to analyze low-enrollment sections, historical course scheduling and shrinking capacity. The space capacity management portion of the Check-Up provided architects, schedulers and campus officials with valuable data to understand in which spaces they have capacity to grow and where they have no growth opportunities.

The course offering study, which looked at historical enrollment trends, tagged 55 low-enrollment courses as potential reduction or elimination candidates. These results will be useful as the campus seeks to identify areas of low productivity. The Division of Enrollment Management has already submitted low-enrollment threshold recommendations that decision makers can use when determining which sections to cancel.

Strategic Scheduling Change on Campus

The registrar’s office at NC State is currently making and reviewing recommendations for change based on the Check-Up data. Swart plans to use the analysis to inform their decisions and propose new scheduling policy, including: enforcing existing seat fill ratios per section, minimum hours a room is used each week, and spreading classes throughout the week. While they have always encouraged scheduling within standard meeting patterns, she plans to recommend making this a requirement to reduce instances of non-standard meeting times.

Swart and her colleagues know that significant changes are the only way to continue to offer their students exceptional service and education. “The Strategic Scheduling Check-Up allowed us to begin a conversation about capacity and efficiency,” Swart reports. “We had mentioned these things before, but the data was important because it came from an outside observer. Now stakeholders from across campus understand and appreciate the importance of making improvements, which we hope will positively impact course offerings and student class schedules.”

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