Students, faculty talks conversion at forums

By Giuliano Djen

An open forum was held on May 10 and Thursday to address campus concerns regarding the impending semester conversion. The forums were held in the Collins College of Hospitality Management and at the College of Engineering and were open to faculty and students.

“What is going to help us in our case is it’s going to put Cal Poly Pomona at the same calendar as all the CSU campuses,” said Francelina Neto, the director of semester conversion for the Division of Student Affairs. “[The] CSU has 23 campuses and only six are on quarters, and most of the community colleges are on semester.”

The switch to a semester-based system will have students sit in 15-week courses instead of the quarter system’s 10-week courses. The longer courses will allow students to contact their professors more frequently and as Neto stated, “It will give you more time to digest the material, and to maybe engage in undergraduate research.”

Chonlawan Khaothiemsang, a fifth-year biology student, has met many students from community colleges that have been under a semester system.

“The transition for the students coming in from semester calendar to our quarter is a little difficult for transfer students.”

Neto also added, because CPP will be changing to a semester-based system, it will be easier for transfer students who are used to a semester system to smoothly transition into CPP.

“Hopefully, thinking in terms of the future, if we have campuses that teach the same course, the student can transfer with the same units, so there’s lots of advantages from that point of view,” said Neto.

Recently, a tool has been implemented within BroncoDirect that facilitates the process of acquiring classes in the remainder of the quarter system and also during the semester transition and after.

The program, MyPlanner, will aid students with planning their paths toward graduation and help students meets the requirements needed to take the courses they need. MyPlanner will encourage students to put more thought into planning their schedules and seek guidance from their advisors.

“I look at it as a tool that the students can use to plan out their program while they are here. ” So it is a tool for everybody to use to make sure that our students are well planned out,” said Ronald Yeung, interim associate dean for academic programs and student services at the College of Engineering

Even though students are encouraged to meet with their advisors, the tool will allow students to communicate with their advisors through online comments. The comments will be timestamped and recorded, so students and advisors can keep track of when things happened or were said.

“[MyPlanner] will help also the department knowing what [the] demand is for the courses, so they serve you better. And it all goes in hand in hand with the demand for courses, the offering of those courses and [making] sure that it services the students,” said Neto.

The tool will help each department know what courses to make available and help it plan how many to make available in the future, so students will have more opportunities of getting the classes they want.

The transition will go into effect fall 2018, but in the meantime, the university departments need to do behind the scenes work to get everything in order for the transition to go smoothly, say administrators behind the conversion process.

On the conversion timeline available on the CPP website, the departments are currently reviewing curriculum changes and will prepare to assist students who will be caught in the middle of the transition.

The MyPlanner tool is already available for use by students and faculty and will continue being available for use after the semester transition is completed.

Semester conversion forum

Miranda Holguin / The Poly Post

Semester conversion forum

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