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New Nighthawk Registration system live for spring semester

2015-01-01NighthawkRegistration1.jpg
A combination of UNG's Banner registration system and the online College Scheduler services, Nighthawk Registration generates multiple schedule options for students based on the courses they need to graduate and their own personal schedules, which often involve jobs and extra-curricular activities.

Nighthawk Registration, a new system that will help University of North Georgia (UNG) students find courses that fit their personal schedules and degree requirements in mere seconds, will help alleviate stress for students and staff and will help keep students on track to graduate on time.

A combination of UNG's Banner registration system and the online College Scheduler services, Nighthawk Registration generates multiple schedule options for students based on the courses they need to graduate and their own personal schedules, which often involve jobs and extra-curricular activities. UNG was the first in Georgia to implement College Scheduler.

Launching the new system, which is being coordinated by UNG's Office of Enrollment Management, also supports the statewide "15 to Finish" initiative that encourages college students to take 15 credit hours each semester to finish two- or four-year degrees on time.

"Utilizing this system will help our full-time students to complete 30 semester hours a year by assisting them in finding the best course options as quickly as possible," said Jennifer Chadwick, associate vice president for enrollment management. "The system will present students with every possible schedule option that is open and able to be registered for at the time of registration."

Information sessions for the system were held in November on UNG's Dahlonega, Gainesville and Oconee campuses. A soft-launch to test the system was held in December for a small group of students.

Detailed Schedule
The new Nighthawk Registration system will help students find
classes they need while allowing for personal schedules.

"Nighthawk Registration was so useful in helping me plan out my day by finding the classes I needed and organizing them in the most beneficial way," said Samantha Matthews, a junior and student worker in financial aid. "It also helped me add in breaks between classes for lunch or a quick gym workout, and it assisted me in creating time for my job. It even tells you if a class is full or how long the wait list is for a class. It definitely takes some stress out of a college student's life and makes it easier to work smarter."

According to Complete College America, only 11 out of 100 college students in Georgia graduate on time at a four-year college. Taking 15 hours each semester, which typically is five classes, helps students earn a degree on time and saves them money on tuition. For example, a student enrolled part-time in a bachelor's degree program at UNG who completes 15 hours per semester versus only three credit hours per semester would complete their degree much sooner and pay about 63 percent less while doing it. Similar savings hold true for students pursuing associate degrees.

Chadwick said that benefits from the new system will extend beyond helping students with their class schedules.

"The system will also support our Registrar's Office with real-time reporting on important registration info, such as which classes are being most often searched for, which will help us react to course demand," Chadwick said. "Advisors will be able to spend more time developing a relationship with their students and less time working on registration."

Terri Carroll, director of academic advising, said that advisors often guide students in choosing appropriate courses to enhance progression and graduation, but that registering for courses is not the best use of time for advisor/student meetings.

"Hopefully, students will use Nighthawk Registration on their own as a primary registration tool. If they do, it will help free up time traditionally spent searching classes individually in order to fit them into a schedule," Carroll said. "Advisor/student meetings are most beneficial when registration is not the focus. Discussions about graduating on time, work and family considerations, campus resources, major programs of study, career goals, and necessary coursework for future semesters are important for advisors to facilitate."

Other benefits include eliminating time-consuming schedule generation for special student populations such as incoming freshmen and athletes, a reduced load on UNG and student information systems during registration, and user-friendly features to help guide students through the registration process.

Compare Schedules
Nighthawk Registration allows students to compare
multiple schedule possibilities side-by-side.

Features of the new system include:

  • A simple interface allows students to receive pre-made, open schedules generated in two minutes
  • Help videos available for students and administrators
  • "Schedule preview" and "compare" features allow students to bring multiple schedules up side-by-side and compare options
  • Planner provides a "breaks" feature to allow students to block off times they are unable to take class, such as jobs, Corps of Cadets activities or athletics, and find schedules accommodating those breaks
Nighthawk Registration opened during Spring registration for new students and will be available for currently enrolled students in March for pre-registration, based on overall earned hours.

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