Incoming Boston College freshmen have the world in front of them when they start their undergraduate journey. Gasson Hall is, and always will be, breathtaking. Eagle’s Nest is ready to cater all their lunch needs. Upperclassmen are ecstatic to have new students join their organizations. All they have to do before they move into their first BC dorm is register for courses through University Internal Services (UIS). Seems easy enough. However, it looks like the most intimidating, outdated form of technology. In some ways, it is.
UIS started in the 1970s and supposedly made its way to BC around 20 years later. Ever since then, students have been selecting courses on the interface that asks them to manually put in the codes, as if they are computer science students, in order to add or drop classes. There are no fancy features, no pages to dive into, nothing. This spring, the university decided that it is finally time for a change. Gone are the days of UIS. Now, it is time for EagleApps.
According to an email that was sent to the student body from University Registrar Mary French and Director of Student Information Services Jennifer Mack, “EagleApps will provide a modern user interface with richer content and an upgraded user experience.”
EagleApps has three modules that students should get accustomed to before they plan for their 2021 summer and fall sessions. Before course registration opens, students are expected to be familiar with the Course Search, Course Planning, and Registration modules.
Due to the system shift and the need to prolong summer registration for a few days, the release of course information for the fall semester was postponed. Additionally, instead of registering for upcoming classes towards the end of the spring semester as undergraduates typically would, they are now registering in the summer. These changes have left students with mixed reactions.
Jen Lozano, LSEHD ‘23, thinks that course descriptions should have been released much earlier. She appreciates the time to read about different classes and reach out to professors before she leaves campus for the summer. This process seems more rushed and it can bring additional pressure to students who are planning to study abroad next spring because their fall courses need to be meticulously planned.
Lozano also believes that registration should happen when all the students are on campus. That way, they can ask faculty and staff for help if unexpected issues emerge. As burnout continues to place a burden on students, Lozano questions how effective the system change will be when students will have to teach themselves to operate EagleApps at home.
“Less students are in a ‘school mode’ over the summer, especially this year I think. This is just going to make it harder to have a smooth registration,” Lozano said.
Peter Huynh, MCAS ‘22, embraces this change from another perspective. He thinks that looking at new classes while enrolled in current courses can bring extra stress to an already unconventional semester. With this in mind, it is not a bad idea for students to finish their current semester before devoting time and energy into planning their future academic path.
As a rising senior who has been used to using UIS, Huynh has found it to be practical in its design even though it was not the most modern user interface. On the other hand, he understands why a change has to be made.
“I have heard how UIS doesn't work for students sometimes, even if they are doing everything correctly. If that's true, then I think fixing those issues should be prioritized, and if the new EagleApps program was created with that in mind, then I do think EagleApps will be an upgrade from UIS,” Huynh reflected.
Academic advising season is in session, and students have a lot on their plates. They are striving to end their current semester on a strong note, attempting to figure out what courses they are not only interested in, but also need in order to graduate, and learning the new user interface before they have to use it at home where the Office of Student Services is not within reach.
EagleApps course information and schedule for the Fall 2021 term opened on April 26. Fall registration opens first for the undergraduate class of 2022 on May 27.