Workday is a Registration Nightmare

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It’s officially the time of year for registration, that lovely process where students scramble to fit their F.E’s, major classes, electives and try to stay on track for graduation. As a senior graduating in the spring, I’m grateful this is my last time having to register for classes because Workday has been guaranteed to give me a very special headache twice a year since Point Loma Nazarene University switched over to the platform in my sophomore year.

As an open major my first year, I have vague memories of my advisor working the Point Loma website, signing me up for F.E (formerly G.E) courses. I see beige and green, and thin slots filled with Old Testament, Intro to Communication, Ethics and Diverse Voices. The old program might have been fine; I don’t know, having not registered myself on it. The first time I registered on my own as a newly minted literature major, I was presented with the white, blue and green of Workday.

I’m not trying to rag on Workday because it’s an easy target, having no voice or face (which would most assuredly make everything worse). I’m grateful that PLNU is trying new programs and softwares to make student life easier. The rollout of online mental health resources and the TimelyCare app makes working with the Wellness Center much more streamlined, and I think that’s great.

The problem is Workday just isn’t… working.

The process of registering for classes is confusing, and it’s only my many semesters of figuring it out that kept me from tearing my hair out this go round. Creating a “saved schedule” is one thing, but when you go to “find course sections” there’s a million different calendars! I’m an undergraduate, but what makes me a “green” calendar versus “gold?” Why are there two different catalogs of classes, and why is one composed of all classes at PLNU regardless if they’re offered that semester or not? That year or not?

I was sitting across from a friend last week, and he almost quit trying out of frustration. Together, we finally figured out how to edit his saved schedule, actually find the classes he needed, request a course override, realize that two of his chosen classes weren’t offered in the spring and email those professors to try and work something out. 

It shouldn’t be that hard. I’m a planner, the kind of student who knows what they’re going to take and when, and has that path to graduation all mapped out. Workday, come midterm season, still manages to snarl up my plans and make everything way harder than it needs to be.

Workday takes too much effort to learn considering most students use it for registering for classes and paying tuition. Which leads me to ask, why are sea lion dollars and printing money located not in Workday, but in an entirely different website? Seriously, what’s the point? But that has nothing to do with registration, so I digress.

I don’t mean to insult anyone, or critique those who advocated for the implementation of Workday unnecessarily. Rather, I am gathering my own frustrations and the frustrations of my peers to state that Workday simply isn’t working. It isn’t user friendly, and takes a lot of time and trial and error to figure out how to find a class, make a tuition payment, set up direct deposit or figure out how to add more printing money.

I will say that the Records Office provides resources on how to navigate Workday, with videos and step by step instructions on registration. However, even with these resources (which I greatly appreciate) Workday is still difficult to deal with. I remember going back and forth between tabs as a fully online sophomore not knowing what I was doing.

I will be graduating soon, and I won’t have to register with Workday again. Whatever changes may come down the road won’t affect me. However, I write this piece as a way to communicate my experience and state that for me, as well as others, Workday is a hassle and not a help.

Below is a link to the video resources the Records Office provides, in order to try and help students navigate this program:


See the Office of Records explanation of the switch to Workday here.