Course Registration and Student Planning moved to Phinfo as WebAdvisor is phased out

Morgan Smith, Staff Writer

The Registrar’s Office launched the ‘Student Planning’ module in September, which was the final piece of the Phinfo system being implemented this fall.

Phinfo is the new online system replacing WebAdvisor. Information like financial aid packages and services like course planning and registration will all be housed in Phinfo. This new module allows students to view the progress they have made toward their degree and their current class schedule, and to plan out courses to take in future semesters.

According to the Associate Registrar Natasha Farrell, students will be able to search for specific course sections right from the planner, which is integrated with the course catalog. Once registration opens for the next semester, students will be able to register from the planning tool as well.

“WebAdvisor is a very outdated system, so much so that the parent company isn’t going to be updating it anymore,” said Farrell. “It’s time we got a shift over to the 21st Century.”

Farrell hopes that the new registration system addresses some of the feedback that the Student Government Association received from the survey it conducted last year. The Registrar’s Office is looking for student input and feedback regarding the new system.

Starting a few weeks after the launch of Student Planning, almost all services on WebAdvisor will be removed, and users will be redirected to Phinfo. The only service that will remain on WebAdvisor is the Student Access Module, a form students can use to grant their parents or guardians access to their academic records. The Registrar’s Office hopes to move that module into Phinfo by fall 2020.

Farrell also said that there are plans to release a Phinfo mobile app in fall 2020, but that date is not guaranteed.

Jason Gardiner, a junior who works as a tour guide and as a work-study for the Communications department, is quite impressed.

“It’s sleek; it’s a lot easier to use than WebAdvisor,” he said. “Looking at it, you see a lot of different icons that tell you what each module is. Before it was just text, and you had to figure out what each link was on your own.”

Peter Ciaralli, a senior Communications major, had a more mixed reaction.

“I do like that it feels easier to get to my course schedule, though I’m not a fan of the interface for this system,” he said. Ciaralli expressed some uncertainty about the planner feature, noting specifically that important information like the meeting times and location for a class is hidden under a dropdown menu on the class listing.

“I appreciate that it is there, but it still feels buried,” he explained.

The Registrar’s Office will hold training sessions on the Student Planning feature. Students and faculty will be notified of these sessions via email. Additionally, students are encouraged to stop by or email the Registrar’s Office ([email protected]) or the Student Success Center ([email protected]) if they have any questions.