Scheduling Toolkit

The Scheduling Toolkit is designed to gather relevant information and resources for Department Chairs to help build the schedule of classes. 

DATA GATHERING

Department chairs gather all relevant information needed to develop a draft of the class schedule.

Question for Department Chair Resource for Department Chair

When should I start gathering data?

Data should begin to be collected no later than eight weeks prior to schedule build deadlines.  

What data should I gather?

Several resources, in addition to what is referenced below, are available from Institutional Effectiveness, Enrollment Planning Resources, Scheduling Resources, and Astra Schedule to support this process.

What is my department’s instructional budget and FTES target?

Consult with your Dean/Associate Dean.

DATA GATHERING: WHICH COURSES SHOULD BE OFFERED?

Question for Department Chair Resource for Department Chair

What courses have been designated for the current term?

Refer to degree roadmaps for guidance in determining which courses need to be offered: AL, BE, CCOE, ECST, RXHHS, NSS

What courses were offered in previous terms?

Refer to dashboard and use the Year to Year Course Enrollment Comparison report, which allows you to compare course level enrollment data by term (i.e. spring 2020 vs. spring 2019).

Are there any courses that should be offered in sequence?

Identify and properly sequence courses that are prerequisites for other courses, or that are multi-course sequences to keep students on-track for completion of course sequence.

Are there any courses that are only offered in certain terms?

Run the Typically Offered Courses query through GET (LA_SC_CM_TYPICALLY OFFERED_CTL) which indicates when courses are offered.

Will special topic courses be offered?

A special topic cannot be applied to a course section until it has been approved through Curriculog. Refer to Curriculum Resources for information regarding curriculum review for special topics. Consult with the Associate Dean for any college deadline.

Have new courses and course modifications been proposed and approved through Curriculog, including the Tech Implementation step? If a course has a pending modification, sections of that course should not be scheduled until the course has been approved. Refer to Curriculum Resources for information regarding course proposals and modifications.

 

DATA GATHERING: HOW MANY SECTIONS OF EACH COURSE SHOULD BE OFFERED?

Question for Department Chair Resource for Department Chair

What are the projected admission numbers?

Refer to the IE Admission Tracking Tool, which can be filtered by major.

Run Active Students Query through GET (LA_SR_ACTIVE_STDNT_INFO) which indicates the number of students activated for a particular term.

How do I determine how many Major (core and elective) and GE courses need to be offered?

Determine needed capacity in Major and GE courses by accessing the Daily Major Report listed under Daily Major files by term.

Example: BUS Major

Did I factor in courses with high DFW rates?

Refer to dashboard to identify courses with high DFW rates. To access please click on Dashboard with ID Login

Example: DFWs

What were waitlists like for the previous terms?

Refer to Course Enrollment Detail by term, which allows you to filter by FTES, Enrollment Total, and Wait List

 

DATA GATHERING: HOW MANY CLASSES WILL EACH FACULTY MEMBER BE TEACHING?

Question for Department Chair Resource for Department Chair

How do I assign faculty to courses?

For TT/T faculty: Verify if any faculty are on reduced loads because of sabbaticals/DIPs, granted reassigned/assigned time (including course release for new tenure track faculty), or teaching in another college.

For lecturer faculty: Refer to the CFA Collective Bargaining Agreement, Order of Assignment, and the Faculty Affairs CFA/CSU CBA handout. Department Chairs should contact the Dean's Office to view the Entitlement Report, which indicates the type of contract for each lecturer (semester, year, 3 years, unconditional) and what their entitlements are in terms of number of units.

Have you collected data on faculty preferences and/or availability for class times and appropriateness of course assignments (i.e. which faculty are qualified to teach which classes)?

Department Chairs are encouraged to maintain a spreadsheet that includes all faculty members in the department, indicating appropriateness of class assignments, as well as availability of class times. 

Example: Faculty Preferences

If faculty need ADA accommodations, has the proper paperwork been submitted to HR?

Refer to Notification of Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for more information

 

DATA GATHERING: WILL ANY COURSES BE SCHEDULED OUTSIDE THE STANDARD TIME MODULE? (I.E. OFF-GRID)?

Question for Department Chair Resource for Department Chair

Are there compelling pedagogical reasons why courses need to scheduled off-grid?

Course sections scheduled outside of standard time modules (i.e. off-grid) require prior approval to do so.

For more information, refer to 'Off-Grid Course Resources' located on the Refer to Enrollment Planning Resources webpage under General Planning.

Have previously submitted requests for off-grid scheduling been approved?

Run and review the Semester Meeting Pattern Usage Query (LA_SC_ON_GRID) on GET. 

 

PLANNING: DRAFT SCHEDULE FOR BUILD DEADLINE

Department chairs develop a draft schedule of classes that includes all of the information department schedulers need to build the schedule in GET.

Question for Department Chair Resource for Department Chair

When does a draft schedule of classes need to be completed?

Refer to Schedule Production Timelines for build deadline. Provide draft schedule to department scheduler at least a week before the deadline (confer with your department scheduler regarding the amount of time needed for building the schedule).

What information needs to be included in the draft schedule?

For each course in the draft schedule of classes include course prefix and number, units, instruction mode, instructor (including WTUs), enrollment cap, and whether department or instructor consent is required.

What meeting patterns can I use to schedule course sections?

Course sections should be scheduled adhering to the standard time modules. See Semester Daily Time Modules for more information.

Will any course sections be combined (previously understood as cross-listed courses)?

Two or more sections that are taught as a single class (i.e. with the same instructor(s) and at the same day, time, and location) must be scheduled as combined sections. Be sure to coordinate with allied departments on space and conflicts.

Combined sections require associate dean approval and must be coordinated with University Scheduling during schedule production prior to optimization.

Do students in the major have to take courses offered in another department? Consult and coordinate with other departments regarding potential time conflicts.
Do any courses being offered require use of Active Learning classrooms? Contact the Center for Effective Teaching and Learning to coordinate use of Active Learning classrooms (also known as Flexible Learning Classroom Spaces).  Please contact Beverly Bondad-Brown if you are interested in teaching in a FLeC-space.
Do any of the courses being offered need to be linked (e.g. students in MATH 2120-01 must also enroll in MATH 2121-01, supplemental instruction courses)?

Make sure to note this for your department scheduler.

Did I check for time conflicts between prerequisite, co-requisite, elective or equivalent courses?

Consider developing a grid that includes all courses students are likely to need to avoid scheduling overlaps. 

Do any courses being offered require instructor or department consent (i.e. supervision, field activity courses, internships, etc.)? Make sure to note this for your department scheduler.

Have I distributed course offerings throughout the day and week?

Distributing course sections throughout the day and week (i.e. outside of prime-time hours) may increase the probability of receiving an ideal room assignment, helps eliminate bottlenecks, and provides students access to courses at a variety of times. 

Refer to the Astra Schedule 'Meeting Patterns in Use' report and filter by subject. Review your sections to determine if you have distributed them across standard time modules.

 

SCHEDULE PRODUCTION

During this phase, the department scheduler inputs the schedule into GET, rooms are assigned through optimization, and final error checking occurs. Refer to the Schedule Production Timeline under Scheduling Resources for specific term.
 

BUILD: Department scheduler inputs the schedule into GET

Have all of my sections been built in GET correctly?

The department scheduler can export the Schedule of Classes report from GET (LA_SC_SEC_ALL_B_SESS_FID) to review and check for any errors.  

OPTIMIZATION: Rooms are assigned during this period

What if some of my sections do not receive room assignments via optimization?

Sections that do not receive room assignments via optimization are most often the result of impacted space during prime time (i.e. too much demand for the same rooms at the same time.)

 

Refer to 'Available Rooms' and 'Scheduling Grid' tools located in Astra Schedule under Calendars to identify alternate times when sections may be offered and additional rooms available.

FINAL REVIEW: The schedule of classes, including all section details such as meeting patterns, room assignments, variable units, instructor assignments, etc. should be finalized during schedule production before the schedule of classes is published.

How can I make adjustments to the schedule of classes?

During the first phase of Final Review, College schedulers start auditing all sections. See Final Review Checklist for requirements. Solicit corrections from department schedulers as needed.

Once the schedule of classes is published, all requests to add, cancel, or change sections require associate dean approval and must be submitted to University Scheduling by the college scheduler via the Schedule Maintenance form.

Do any of my sections have outstanding data corrections that need to be resolved?

Refer to the GET Schedule of Classes Build Guide and other guides on the Scheduling Resources webpage for requirements.
After the schedule of classes has been published, also refer to the weekly files provided by University Scheduling for sections that still have outstanding data quality issues.

Do any of my sections still need room assignments?

Refer to optimization results provided by University Scheduling, and/or the Astra Schedule Section List and filter for Meeting Status = Unassigned, to identify sections that may still require room assignments. If there is no room assigned, students will not be able to enroll in that section.

Have I over-or-under-scheduled any course sections in comparison to their assigned room capacities?

Refer to the Astra Schedule ‘Overbooked Sections for Selected Term’ report to identify sections with enrollment totals that exceed the capacities of their assigned rooms. Refer to Room Assignments guidelines for enrollment and room capacity requirements.

 

Refer to the Astra Schedule ‘Low Seat Fill Sections for Selected Term’ report to review what percentage of the assigned room capacity is being used by the section’s enrollment.

Are faculty assignments listed in the schedule of classes?

Faculty assignments should be listed in the schedule of classes since those classes tend to fill up faster than those with no faculty listed. Note that it is critical for instructor assignments to be made as early and as accurately as possible as they are criteria used by Astra Schedule during the optimization process.  Faculty assignments will help the optimization process efficiently assign rooms to sections that are taught back-to-back.

 

POST PRODUCTION (AFTER REGISTRATION BEGINS)

Question for Department Chair Resource for Department Chair

When should I cancel sections with low enrollment?

Associate Deans, in close consultation with Department Chairs, should closely review low enrollment courses and cancel them at least 21 days before the onset of the term. Refer to Cancellations guidelines for more information.

 

Example: Late Cancellation Analysis

When should I consider adding new sections of courses?

Monitor student enrollment by checking the Daily Enrollment Reports and review waitlists.

Consult with your Associate Dean and/or Director of Student Success and Advising