By Martin J. Kidston
About 60 prospective students hit the MSU-Northern campus on Saturday to pilot a new program intended to ease the process of registering for classes, a campus spokesperson said.
Associate Chancellor of Student Affairs Carol Green said the program, which is part of Montanas Banner 2000 conversion, will allow students to register for classes from afar simply by accessing the schools web registration page. Green said the students who took the new device on its maiden voyage were happy with the results.
The students seemed please in being able to register themselves, Green said. In the future, we will be establishing a handout for students explaining how to do this.
The new web registration, soon to be connected with Northerns web site, becomes the third way for students to register for classes. On-site and interactive voice registration have long been established.
But even as long distance registration becomes that much easier, Green said, it will not replace the importance of the student/advisor relationship.
The key to the whole thing is good advising, Green said. The faculty adviser is the most important person in the students career.
No matter what method the student uses to register, Green said it will not change the things to do list when it comes to registering.
Students will still be expected to meet with his or her faculty advisor. In turn, the advisor will give the student a PIN number after the students course list is approved. Without the PIN number, registering is impossible. Students off campus, to whom the new web registration site is particularly valuable, will be required to maintain either phone or e-mail contact with their respected advisor.
Its high-tech, high-touch, but we cant do away with that person-to-person contact, Green said. The point is to put together a program that is in accord with the students goals, so they can get the courses they need to graduate in four to five years.
The new web registration is part of the states Banner 2000 conversion, which enables all Montana universities to communicate with one another. Green said Northern has been working on the conversion for about one year and everyone will be trained in its operation.
It requires a great deal of training and technical support to make this happen, Green said. Everyone has to be retrained, that is the faculty, the students, the staff and the administration.
The web registration site (http://atlas.montana.edu:9002) is not yet linked to the schools actual webpage, located at (www.msun.edu). However, both sites can be accessed and are fully functional.