Advising Woes

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This past week, I wanted to throw my computer at the wall at least eight times. It wasn’t due to my midterms or because of my Zoom classes. The culprit of my pent up aggression was the one, the only, Workday. 

As a first-year student, it has felt like a whirlwind of emails, questions, confusion and endless hours attempting to wrap my mind around how to register for courses. What do the green, blue, sage and gold calendars represent? Do I just get to pick my favorite color and run with it? What does “minimum combination” mean for fulfilling a general education (GE) requirement? Is my advising day with my academic advisor the same day as my registration day? Did it really need to be this confusing?

No. Granted, there were quite a few emails sent out the past couple of weeks that helped a lot. But navigating the program still proved difficult.

PLNU refers to general education classes as Foundational Explorations courses. Workday did not match up with the PLNU website’s list of Foundational Explorations requirements. When I tried to figure out the Social World requirement on Workday, it was as if I was learning a whole different language. This is what it looked like:

Now, here is what it looks like on the PLNU website:

Workday really did go out of its way to complicate and skew my understanding of this requirement. Do I need to complete all of the following or just one of the following? I now know, I just need one, thanks to PLNU’s Foundational Explorations website.

After I became fluent in Workday lingo, I finally made a beautiful schedule. When I returned to the main screen of Workday, I realized I didn’t know where to find the schedules I built! Even when I searched “schedule” in the search bar of Workday, it did not direct me to my schedules for the mini term and spring term. This is all I got: 

Eventually, I found it. It was in the drop-down section of Planning & Registration, duh.

I will admit that was a dumb mistake on my end, but the fact that it doesn’t come up in the search bar…that was frustrating. I have high expectations as a user of Google, who elegantly generates everything I could ever want to know. I expect the same here. Is that unrealistic?

After I finished my schedule, another thought crossed my mind. Are we going to attend in-person classes or still be online during the spring semester? Should I space my courses out to avoid a sprint across campus to my next class, or is five minutes between classes enough because we’ll meet over Zoom? It’s hard to plan for the future during a pandemic. 

Although there was a lot of confusion and frustration, in the end it was possible to plan a schedule and register for classes. But, it took a lot of time not only researching and planning for classes, but also figuring out how to use Workday itself. Now, I would call myself an expert when it comes to Workday. However, I would not have become so well-versed with this program had I not read every how-to guide and viewed every video tutorial.  

As college students, we like shortcuts to increase efficiency. I guess Workday hasn’t picked up on that. Good luck and happy registering.

Written By: Elaine Alfaro