By Christina Manuel & Jennifer Morales
Everyone on campus is awaiting the transition to semesters as the countdown is visibly placed on the home page of the campus website, now around a low 200 days.
As the school year continues, academic advisors repeatedly tell their students what needs to be done in order to graduate at ease.
Emails are sent out to remind students about semester conversion and several workshops are offered to prepare students for the transition.
The Bronco Advising Center recently introduced the Semester Conversion Game for students to play and encourage motivation in them to fill out the MyPlanner on BroncoDirect.
Students who play the game will have an opportunity to win prizes such as a parking permit or tickets to an amusement park as a thank you for their participation.
There will be over 5,000 courses offered in the semester system and roughly 100 staff members working on the semester conversion plans to make the transition as flawless as it can be.
Extra staff members are being hired and Associated Students, Inc. is hiring more student representatives as the year draws closer to Fall 2018, leaving little time to pinpoint and fix problems now to prevent chaos when semesters are finally established.
The semester conversion faculty is depending on what students fill out from the MyPlanner to map out the actual number of courses needed.
If a student started at Cal Poly Pomona in the quarter system, they have the choice to plan out with their advisor to either stick with the quarter curriculum or start to follow the semester curriculum.
Although the semester system is still in the works there are a few flaws the team is working on to prevent from happening, and there are a few benefits of the conversion.
For instance, one of the downsides of having a quarter system in place at CPP is that when students are applying for summer internships, the timing for internships applications to take place is based around students who attend semester schools.
The transition to semesters will give students a better chance of landing internships the same time as other semester-based universities.
Also, learning from the mistakes that were made at California State University, Los Angeles in the Fall 2016, Francelina Neto, the director of Semester Conversion, and the rest of her team are working non-stop to prevent any type of problems the BroncoDirect PeopleSoft system has embedded.
Another problem the team encountered was many courses in all departments required prerequisites, so they are making sure that the prerequisites from the quarter system will transfer to the semester system, ensuring students don’t run into problems while registering.
For example, on the first days of semester registration for Cal State LA, students were unable to register for the classes they needed because the computer system didn’t recognize the students had taken the correct prerequisites for the semester requirements.
This created issues for students at Cal State LA because the course numbers for each class is changed to a new four-digit course number that is different from the course number in the quarter system, so when students registered for classes the computer system would not let them register because it hadn’t identified that they had taken the correct prerequisite classes for the semester.
Third-year Cal State LA business student, Daniel Gomez remembers going through the struggle of registering for his classes when Cal State LA was switching to semesters.
“The annoying thing was that Cal State LA hadn’t updated its general ed and prerequisite requirements for semesters,” said Gomez.
“For a bit it made it really confusing trying to figure out how many more GE’s and prerequisites I had to take. It took me a long time to adjust to everything.”
However, our semester conversion team took note of that incident and made sure they addressed it before it occurred because the transition is closer than it seems.
“I work full-time. I’d say 60 hours. I’m constantly working. I’m checking emails at 4 in the morning,” said Neto.
She and the rest of the team are working non-stop coding, programming and testing out the PeopleSoft system to ensure that the prerequisites for classes in the quarter system will be accepted for classes in the upcoming fall semester, and semesters to come.
All the hard work put in by the semester conversion team is to give students a smooth transition with little to no problem.
To make the jobs of the semester conversion faculty easier, be sure to check out their website at www.cpp.edu/~semester/ and go through the workshops, conversion guide and fill out the MyPlanner to take the first steps for a smooth transition into the 2018 fall semester.
Jennifer Morales / The Poly Post
Students on campus have access to resources both online and in person at the Bronco Advising Center
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