Course Offering Instructions
To request access to the Course Offering Process, e-mail David Lingenfelter (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the Registrar's office.
The course offering process consists of a series of data entry screens, reports, Web pages, and batch procedures. The process is designed to put maximum control directly in the academic department and college offices. In all cases, the Registrar's office is available to assist, or if requested, perform the scheduling functions on behalf of the academic department. The course offering process is designed to maximize the availability of courses, sections, and seats to students. A reduction of courses, sections, or seats is carefully controlled to guard against the loss of scheduling opportunities for students. The course offering process is a continuous process that provides maximum flexibility to satisfy student registration patterns. The timetable for the course offering process is published in the Activity Calendars on the Web. The process of building the semester course offering begins approximately 5 months before the start of the semester registration calendar. The basic order of events is:
- Registrar's office uses previous (like) semester course offering to establish current semester course offering. Departments review and update the semester course offering.
- Classroom assignments (general purpose, special use, and department controlled) are made to all offered courses.
- Registrar's office publishes the Schedule of Courses and student registration begins.
- Departments monitor their course offering during student registration making adjustments as needed.
The fundamental assumption inherent in starting the semester course offering is that the course offering at the end of the previous (like) semester is the best start of the new semester course offering. In support of this assumption, the previous course offering is "rolled forward" to become the new course offering.
Academic departments are notified by the Registrar's office as this event occurs. Starting at this time and continuing until the Schedule of Courses is made available publicly, departments may view the planned course offering using the Course Offering Search*.
All previously offered courses/sections are automatically created for the new semester except:
- Canceled courses
- Courses with enrollment = zero*
- Honors courses (suffix value = H, T, M, Z) not approved for the new semester
- Courses for which the delivery code was not R.
- One-semester titled courses (defined as X94 - X98 with a suffix).
- Courses that are not valid on the Senate file for the new semester.
- Courses/sections that already exist for the new semester.
Previous part-semester course offerings are created with corresponding part-semester dates for the target semester.
After the previous semester courses are "rolled forward," adjustments to the offering may be necessary due to curricular changes, faculty changes, and changes in general education course offerings. Each department course planner must review their course offering to balance departmental resources with course enrollment needs of students. After reviewing the course offering, designated department and college staff may update their course offering on ISIS screen ARUAC. The following changes are possible:
- Increase/decrease the enrollment limit of a course/section (enrollment in common lectures are the sum total of the base section and all other common sections).
- Cancel a course/section.
- Add a new course/section.
- If adding an Honor's course, use the Honors Course Input Page Permanent or the Honors Course Input Page - Temporary.
- If adding a special topics course, the One-Semester Title Courses form must be submitted.
- Renumber sections.
- Change course/section credits (within the approved range).
- Change information in the "Additional Information" field. This is a free text
field of 18 characters used to convey special information about a section.
Important note - All sections must have the exact same message or the system will not work properly.
- Change course characteristics.
- Change course begin and end dates.
Departments may choose to use the following additional ISIS screens:
- ARUAI to update instructor information.
- ARURX to review existing course controls. Departments requesting a course control must submit the Course Control form.
As the previous course offering is "rolled forward" to create the new course offering, the following criteria applies to the assigned classroom(s):
- All previously assigned departmentally controlled classrooms are automatically scheduled.
- All previously assigned general purpose classrooms will be automatically assigned unless:
- The classroom is unavailable for the target semester due to renovation or construction.
- Classroom seating capacity has been reduced.
- The type of seating has changed.
- Classroom has been reclassified.
- Previous semester course enrollment was below the room utilization ratio of 50%.
- Course does not satisfy the technology requirement in order to be scheduled back into the room.
- Course is ineligible for scheduling into the room because it does not meet the college/department priority scheduling requirement.
- Cross-listed courses and concurrent courses are treated separately as related to scheduling of classrooms.
As described in point two above, some courses will not be assigned classrooms as part of the process that "rolls forward" the previous course offering. Additionally, some classroom assignments that were made automatically, may need to be changed.
- Department course planners use the Course Offering Search to view offered courses without assigned classrooms.
- ISIS screen ARUAR is used to schedule all classrooms. Courses may be immediately scheduled into department controlled rooms.
- General purpose classrooms are scheduled according to the following priority:
- priority classrooms
- technology classrooms
- standard sequence courses
- non-standard sequence courses
- instructional support events
- weekend events
- evening events
- daytime events (scheduling begins one week after the start of the semester)
For general purpose classroom scheduling dates refer to the Activity Calendars.
- Course/sections requiring technology classrooms for the entire semester may be scheduled using ISIS screen ARUAR. If a technology classroom is required for a limited number of class meeting periods, use ISIS screen ARUAE after instructional support event scheduling has started.
For additional information on general purpose classrooms, see Instructional Facilities.
In an effort to provide maximum scheduling opportunities for students and to maximize utilization of the classrooms and other learning facilities, each academic department should distribute the department's course offering according to the following criteria:
- Mon/Wed/Fri sequences should not exceed 70% of the total department offerings.
- Tues/Thurs sequences should not exceed 45% of the total department offerings.
- Any one meeting sequence should not exceed 15% of the total department offerings.
- Early morning and late afternoon classes should have a combined value of at least 20% of the total department offerings. For spring and fall semesters, those meeting periods are: 0800-0850a, 0800-0915a, 0415-0530p, and 0440-0530p.
- Departments are encouraged to schedule evening sections whenever possible.
The Penn State academic calendar consists of three academic cycles each year - fall, spring, and summer. Each offered course must be designated as either a fall, spring or summer course and must begin and end within the regular semester date range.
Requests for exceptions are reviewed by ACUE and are approved only in rare cases.
The Schedule of Courses is published on the Web. It is requested that all course-offering changes be recorded before the Schedule of Courses is published and before students begin to register. Changes made after the registration cycle starts invariably impact the student registration process.
Departments may refer to the specific course offering timetable published in the Activity Calendars to learn when the Schedule of Courses will be published. After the publication date, the following changes are restricted and require submission of the applicable electronic form to the Registrar's office:
- Decreasing a course limit. Submit the Course/Section Decrease/Drop form.
- Dropping a course. Submit the Course/Section Decrease/Drop form.
- Changing credits for a course. Submit the Course Change - Other form.
Departments should continually monitor their course offerings as student registration proceeds. Where possible, section sizes should be increased and additional sections added to meet student demand. In addition, under-enrolled sections should be dropped. The following information sources are available to department staff:
- Course Consumption Report* (updated every 24 hours) - Details course section and enrollment statistics for current or future courses. Can be searched by college or department levels.
- ARIRC - This is a real-time enrollment summary screen for all sections of a course. This ISIS screen details current enrollment, number of requests, and the number of seats remaining.
- eLion Faculty Class lists - Faculty may receive real-time electronic class lists for their assigned courses. Printed copies of the class list are also available using ISIS screen ARICC.
- Unassigned Student Report* lists all students "not assigned" to a course.
- Under-enrolled Course Search* (updated every 24 hours) - Lists course sections that meet the C-3 Under-enrolled Sections policy. Can be searched by campus, college, department and course levels.