Fall 2024 Registration Continuity Plan

Fall 2024 will be the first registration cycle in our new RamPortal student information system. We acknowledge that this registration cycle will look different than most –  we have a new system, a delayed start to registration, and a condensed registration window.

The Registration Continuity Plan ensures we proactively monitor the ways in which these differences may be impacting student registration, and respond quickly to any potential delays so as to not impact our registration rates.

The Plan monitors many factors around registration and proactively identifies pivots we would make to decrease barriers to registration and substantively impact registration rates. Our goal is to be proactive, addressing discrepancies so they don’t have a long-term impact on registration.  And to ensure the adjustments we make are predefined and understood throughout the WCU Community.

The following information outlines:

  1. Each item we are monitoring to identify potential delays.
  2. What data or activity would signify a potential delay, and what pivot we would make if we see delays.
  3. Most items we are monitoring include two pivot-points if the first approach does not mitigate the delays.

This website will be updated to reflect the current status for each item.

Data for monitoring and pivots:

Advising Holds for Undergraduate Students

Current Status for students eligible to start registering on 3/27 and 4/1, we have invoked plan B.  All other students are operating on Plan A.
Plan Pivot Point Approach
A: Approach at go-live

Advisor hold applied to all students, and faculty have access to remove the hold for their advisees.

Some departments have indicated an interest in proactively removing the NEN hold for their students- we will do outreach to see who would like to pursue this approach and execute it.

B: Looking at fall 23 behavior we see that 73% of advisor Holds are released prior to a student's registration start date. If we see this rate trend 3% pts or more below historical numbers (i.e. trending 70% or lower), we will pivot to plan B Remove the ADV hold the day before a student’s registration start date.
C: Before the end of spring 24 semester In alignment with standard practice, we will mass-remove the advising hold for all returning students towards the end of the spring term. This may be done earlier than normal to avoid any student confusion of having some students with registration holds and others without.

Financial Terms & Conditions Agreement

Current status - Currently executing plan A
Plan Pivot Point Approach
A: Approach at go-live Deploy the FTC as a pre-registration task to all students. FTC is embedded into RamPortal so that students cannot get to the course registration page without completing this agreement. 
B: If there becomes any problems with FTC functionality or if we see decreases in student engagement with FTC in advance of registration or overall registration rate decreases.    Remove the FTC as a pre-registration task and transition it to a task that students must complete prior to the start of the semester. This will allow us to limit the disruption to registration. 
C: Maintain FTC as a task necessary for completion prior to the start of the semester, instead of prior to registration.  If, due to registration rate challenges, we move to administratively building schedules on behalf of students. 

Other holds preventing registration

  • Holds that prevent registration are visible to students in RamPortal but may need to be resolved in a multitude of systems.
  • Offices are required to maintain holds in both myWCU and RamPortal.
  • B: If we see delays in releasing holds in myWCU of more than three hours, we will reach out to that office to request they streamline the process.
  • C: If the problem persists, we will ask that the hold be edited to not prevent registration.

Ease of Registration

Current Status - Currently executing plan A
Plan Pivot Point Approach
A: Approach at go-live. Proactive communication to students and advisors regarding Registration steps.
Training students, faculty, and staff can access at anytime.
Singular points of contact students, staff, and faculty can go for support. 
B: If we find indications that the early supports are either not serving students, or not meeting the full need for support.​  Scale student supports to include more supports where students are such as the dining hall, student events, tabling in Sykes, and other incentives for registration. 
C:    

Enrollment Overrides: Closed classes, prerequisites, co-requisites, etc.

At the start of the fall 24 registration cycle, department chairs and others will not have access to complete enrollment overrides. These overrides will need to be issued by the Registrar’s Office.

Current Status - Currently executing plan A
Plan Pivot Point Approach
A: Approach at go-live. Proactive work done to limit need for overrides. In-time process where faculty, staff, and students can request overrides. Overrides are processed by Registration Response Team. 
B: If number of override requests for any single course reaches 5.  Asking for Deans and chairs to work together to determine other strategies we can use to decrease utilization of overrides. ​ 
C: Rollout date TBD, anticipated by May Phase 2 RamPortal development creates a process by which department chairs and their designees are able to offer overrides themselves. 

Registration Rates

Current Status - Currently executing plan A
Plan Pivot Point Approach
A: Approach at go-live. Proactively champion registration via student communications (text, email, social media, posters, yard signs, etc.). Monitor enrollment and aim to be within 1.5% points of fall 23 equivalent point in term.;
B: If registration trends 2+% below equivalent point in time. Engage in additional outreach & campaigning to students, including a survey asking students to indicate what is impacting their registration. This will capture data on if the FTC, availability of meeting with their advisor, RamPortal accessibility, class availability or other factors are impacting students’ registration activity.
Remove the advising hold from students.
Offer incentives to students for registration- for example a drawing for free textbooks in the fall for students who have registration by a certain date.
C: If registration trends 3.5+% below equivalent point in term. Offer open access to student success coordinators to have the SSC build a schedule for the student. And continue to scale the approach in B including more significant student incentives.

Class Capacity, Seat Availability, Waitlist

Current Status - Currently executing plan A
Plan Pivot Point Approach
A: Approach at go-live. Encourage all courses to have a waitlist to help facilitate registration in closed classes.
Tool to monitor enrollment in classes available to chairs and deans.
Meet weekly with the deans to look at class capacities and not feedback we are hearing from students and SSCs
B: Once a course is within 3% of being filled Administratively apply waitlists to courses anticipated to fill to not delay access to classes. 
C:  Concerns around seat availability  Seat Availability concerns will also be addressed with the Deans during the weekly calls regarding course registration status;

System Health & Availability

  • System health and availability is exclusively managed by Ellucian in our managed cloud environment. If there are challenges with system speed or uptime, those items will be need to be managed with Ellucian. The WCU team is unable to intervene to address these challenges. Therefore, our strategies in this area include:
    • Proactive strategies to test availability.
    • Strategies to actively monitor availability to escalate challenges quickly
    • Partnership with Ellucian to communicate and mitigate system issues
    • Contingency planning in the event that there are challenges with system speed and/or availability. 
System Monitoring & Partnering with Ellucian
  • Ellucian and AES will hold daily SCRUM meetings via Zoom from 8:30am to 9am during the start of registration blocks to watch the system capacity and see in real time any challenges that may be presenting.
  • Working to have Ellucian consultants onsite to troubleshoot configuration issues that may be causing database challenges.
  • We have a key point of contact at Ellucian who will be our primary point of contact in the event of critical issues.
  • Ellucian has worked with WCU to auto-code all support tickets as tier 1 (critical production issues), which will ensure that issues get resourced for immediate resolution.
  • WCU will also have tools to monitor the system without Ellucian support/engagement.

Contingency Planning

  • Experience downtime: Experience is the portal students and faculty will use to access the registration functions. Experience has had intermittent down times (of 1 hr 19 minutes in most recent incidents) over the last several weeks. If Experience goes down during WCU’s registration period students and faculty would be unable to access RamPortal.
  • WCU is working on a plan on how we would redirect students and faculty to the Banner self-service pages in the event of an extended outage – more than 90 minutes during a peak registration time (8 am – 7 pm)
  • A redirect would be done via the myWCU RamPortal card. 

Alternative Course Selection Approach

As has been needed in the past, if registration rates trend below historical numbers as the spring semester concludes, the Academic Support and Advocacy Team is planning resources to help connect students with fall schedules during the summer.

Plan Pivot Point Approach
A: Approach at go-live: March 27th – April 2nd Students meet with their advisor/SSC in advance of registration to help with course selection.
B: April 2nd – April 26th Update Advising hold to no longer impact registration. No later than: April 26th
ASA will begin outreach to unenrolled students approximately a week after their registration start date to identify and resolve registration barriers.
C: April 2nd – April 26th  In ASA outreach to students we will employ a schedule request form where the SSC collects students course enrollment intentions and does the registration on behalf of the student

Pausing Student self-service registration

System availability would be the primary trigger for pausing self-service registration. This includes system downtime or speed of use. 

Current Status - Currently executing plan A
Plan Pivot Point Approach
A: Approach at go-live Student Self-Service Registration
B: If system speed/capacity become an issue. Turn off self-service registration but allow students to keep planning their class schedule. Then we go in and administratively register students in off-hours
C:   Adjust time ticket schedule to spread out registration start-dates, extending registration by one week to April 19th. ​ 
D:   Turn off web registration to disable registration & planning tools, go to administrative registration of students ​ 

Communication

  • Our goal is to have the contingency plan reviewed, approved, and socialized in advance of registration. We want to have a clear understanding of what we would pivot to and what data would inform that decision.
  • If data indicates a pivot is necessary, the Registration Team will execute that adjustment and send communications:
    • Student Communication would be: via email, text, and social media announcements. We’d also use the Alerts section in myWCU and the Announcements page in Experience.
    • Communications would also go to:
      • Deans, Department Chairs, Graduate Coordinators, Academic Department Contacts, All Faculty, SIS Implementation Team Members, Cabinet, SIS Advisory Board.
  • Registration contingency website to include a high-level overview of our plan  and indicate the pivots we have invoked

 

The Fall 24 Registration Continuity Plan was reviewed with and incorporates feedback from:

Council of Chairs
Committee for Advising Excellence Leadership
President’s Cabinet
Deans
Student Information System Modernization Project Advisory Team
Faculty Shared Governance Leadership