Optimizing course schedule and space utilization

at Catawba Valley Community College

The challenge

Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) faced two main scheduling issues:


  • Classes listed in their suggested sequence for programs conflicted with each other
  • The majority of classes were offered within a compact 3–4 hour daily period

As a result, there was a delay in students’ program completion. Furthermore, students had to take classes not associated with their declared major to create a full schedule.

The objectives

The College needed to address its course scheduling and space allocation challenges. They needed to find a solution to create a conflict-free semester schedule that would allow students to take the maximum number of courses based on each program’s sequence of suggested courses. They also needed to increase facility utilization and efficiency, while focusing on students’ needs rather than instructor preference.


The commitment

It was agreed that the administration of CVCC would take the lead on implementing the new scheduling approach, and that the primary objective of this initiative was to create a positive change for students. Existing processes had to be redefined to ensure a smooth transition and efficient results. A new schedule change request process would be established, whereby the Dean’s approval would be required, and valid justification for the requested changes clearly documented. Everyone agreed that once defined, these new processes would be communicated to the College faculty staff prior to the kick-off of the implementation planning.


Solution

The solution: Infosilem Timetabler™

With the implementation of the INFOSILEM TIMETABLER™ scheduling solution, the College proceeded with the transition and changed the existing scheduling responsibilities, creating a more centralized scheduling process. Departments no longer create actual class meeting days and times for classes. INFOSILEM TIMETABLER DCU™, the web interface of the Infosilem timetabling system, fostered a collaborative environment between the Registrar’s Office and the academic departments, making it possible to easily generate a non-biased, student-focused schedule, increasing facility utilization and scheduling efficiency.

Result and Accuracy

Thanks to their collaborative efforts with the Infosilem team, the CVCC has achieved centralized scheduling and established better practices. Increased efficiency and important cost savings were observed. For example, it was noted that:


  • Fewer class sections needed to be offered;
  • There was a definite increase in class enrollments;
  • Schedule development and class set-up in the student system were expedited;
  • The College’s total overall enrollment is now steady;
  • Availability of facilities for class additions when needed has increased;
  • The number of class offerings throughout the day is consistent;
  • Advising Center staff spend less time assisting students to create a schedule;
  • Students are happy with schedules that allow on-time completion;
  • Data reporting on increased efficiency in scheduling is now an easy task.

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