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Academic Calendar goes digital

Students can use the digital Academic Calendar to view courses and degree plans, as well as deadlines, academic regulations, and policies.

Queen’s University is excited to announce the launch of its new digital Academic Calendar. The new calendar moves away from PDF files and provides an engaging, richly informative, and responsive student experience for course selection registration and degree planning. It also amalgamates into one place all of the calendars, previously published independently by the faculties and schools. Students use the calendar to view courses and degree plans, as well as deadlines, academic regulations, and policies.

“Courses are at the heart of every student’s academic experience,” says Jenn Stephenson, Associate Dean (Academic), Faculty of Arts and Science. “This is where the new digital calendar will have a huge impact. Students will easily be able to look at their plan requirements and click on a core course and be taken directly to the course description. Students will be able to work backwards from their graduation requirements to easily identify what pre-requisite courses they will need for each academic year. Mapping your academic journey will be easy and transparent.”

Associate Dean Stephenson adds the calendar will also enable students to follow their passions by allowing students to search focus areas such as sustainability or poverty, including key terms that align with the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Every course description that includes that word will pop up for the student to review.

“I am very excited about the potential of this new tool in allowing students to imagine their academic future and to forge their own paths,” Associate Dean Stephenson adds.

The project began in the Faculty of Arts and Science in Winter 2019 with the idea of helping students better understand their degree requirements, regulations, and course details. It quickly became apparent that a new tool would be required. After extensive consultations with other faculties and schools, the Office of the University Registrar and IT Services, Arts and Science found keen and willing partners, and, as the largest and most complex academic unit on campus, was tasked with leading the project on behalf of the University.

The new Academic Calendar supports the development of Queen’s digital infrastructure, and is a major milestone towards supporting the Faculty of Arts and Science’s Strategic Plan priorities of enriching the student experience and supporting our people.

“This is a key initiative outlined in the Faculty of Arts and Science Strategic Plan 2019-2024 that also demonstrates our collaborative spirit,” says Dean Barbara Crow. “We are excited the entire university has joined us on this journey to a more digital world that will enhance the experience of our students.”

Despite the challenges of working from home amidst a pandemic, Queen’s teams reached across silos to work together and unify around an enhanced student experience, explains Kevin O’Brien, Project Lead and Arts and Science’s Associate Director, Student Services (Registration, Admissions, and Service).

“Everyone’s collegiality and teamwork, despite the adversity of the pandemic and heavy workloads, is a testament to the Queen’s spirit and commitment to student success,” he says “The Faculty of Arts and Science took a leadership role in this project as a way to support our students and make their academic journey easier to navigate. Students are tech-savvy, and too busy to navigate multiple websites and documents to find out what they need for registration. I believe they should have an intuitive way to understand what’s expected of them when making decisions about their academic future. If it’s available on their smartphone – all the better.”

The launch is the first of a three-phase project. The second stage involves implementation of a web-based curriculum management solution.The third phase features the introduction of planning, advising and registration solutions, which will modernize class search and registration by providing students with tools and features to discover and plan their pathway to graduation.

Visit the new Academic Calendar at queensu.ca/academic-calendar.