Saving Money, Paper, Time, Mason’s Catalog and Schedule Go Online

Posted: April 1, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Robin Herron

In an effort to save money and be more sustainable, Mason has decided to cease printing paper copies of its Schedule of Classes and the University Catalog. The change is effective immediately.

Schedule of Classes

The fall 2009 Schedule of Classes is now posted online for viewing, although the first registration date is not until April 13.

The 2009 Summer Term Schedule of Classes is also online and registration is ongoing.

Summer Term Director Cathy Evans notes that going to an online-only format has not affected enrollment, which is up 3 percent over the same time last year.

“Students are very good at adjusting to changes in technology,” she comments.

The online schedule has for years been more reliable for planning than the printed schedule, as the ease of updating allows class schedule and room changes, cancellations and additions to be posted quickly. The online version has also been available sooner than the printed copy.

Annual printing cost savings are expected to be about $18,000 for the fall and spring schedules; the summer schedule is an additional $12,000 per year savings.

The change is in line with what other Virginia schools and schools nationwide are practicing, reports University Registrar Susan Jones.

University Catalog

While the University Catalog has been available online for several years, recently purchased software will make the catalog easier to update each year and will make it available more quickly. The new software also has a better search capability.

Unlike the Schedule of Classes, which is subject to change, the catalog is officially updated just once a year. Once “published” online, the catalog for a given year will not be revised or updated in any way. Students who matriculate in a particular year can meet the course requirements for their degree as published in the catalog in that year, or any later year during their enrollment.

Maintaining an annual catalog also allows for the orderly approval and management of the university’s academic programs.

Costs saved by not printing the catalog are approximately $30,000.

The fall and spring semester Schedule of Classes and the University Catalog are now managed by the Office of the Registrar. The Summer Term Schedule of Classes is managed by the Office of Enrollment Planning and Administration.

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