North Texas Daily

IT analysts notice a decrease in no-shows to advising appointments

IT analysts notice a decrease in no-shows to advising appointments

IT analysts notice a decrease in no-shows to advising appointments
November 30
11:28 2018

Department advisers at UNT have seen a sudden increase in attendance rates for advising appointments with the addition of Appointment Manager — an online portal allowing current and new coming students to book advising appointments — an Information Technology spokesperson said.

UNT went live with Appointment Manager in May 2017, starting with the College of Visual Arts and Design as the pilot college, said Jennifer Lee, director of student success technology.

Since the pilot program launched, other departments and colleges offer Appointment Manager scheduling and the College of Engineering is expected to join the other colleges spring 2019, Lee said.

So far, Lee has heard from department advisers that there has been a decrease in no-shows to advising appointments due to Appointment Manager.

“Because of the email confirmation, the text reminders, I think [the advisers] are reporting an increase in students showing up for their appointments,” Lee said.

Senior IT program and analyst Maureen Saringer said one of the main reasons why the university decided to implement Appointment Manager is so the students can manage and book their appointments at any time.

“Maybe they think in the middle of the night, ‘Oh, I need to remember to make an appointment with my adviser,’ so they don’t have to wait until the office is open now,” Saringer said.

The online portal is convenient and is easily accessible to students, allowing students to book, cancel and reschedule appointments, Lee said.

If wanted, students can still book their advising appointments in-person at the advising office or by phone call, Application Support Analyst Irene Frank said. Students who go this route will still receive the same confirmation emails and text reminders if they had done it online through Appointment Manager.

“I think some students really like that personal connection with someone when they are making an appointment,” Frank said. “And for those students being able to talk to someone and work through that is good. Other students, they just want to do it themselves and whenever it is easy for them.”

Frank said the benefit of booking an appointment online is students get to play around with the different scheduling options. Students can view the adviser’s schedules up to a week’s time in advance (varies by department) and see open time slots.

“When it’s online, you get to play around with the schedule a little bit more,” Frank said. “Well what if I want to do it Thursday? What does that look like? Maybe you wouldn’t go through all of those different options if you were talking to a real person, but when you’re online you can do that easily.”

Psychology senior Chelsea Bonsu said she prefers the online option because it’s more efficient and it doesn’t coincide with her work schedule. Bonsu said she works most days of the week and doesn’t get out until 5 p.m., which is around the same time her advising office closes.

“Sometimes when you call it might be busy in the office, or they are dealing with other things,” Bonsu said. “I also work in an office so I know how it is.”

Senior academic adviser Nola Moudry said she likes the new Appointment Manager software because it makes it easier for the students to schedule appointments, and she attributes the increase in attendance to the software.

Data collected from the College of Education Student Advising Office from June 1 to Nov. 14, 2017, and for 2017 as a whole, show an 8.8 percent decrease in no-shows, Moudry said. Between the months June to Nov. 2017, there was a total of 12.8 percent of no-shows, [compared to] 4 percent in 2018 during the same time.

Though Moudry said Appointment Manager makes booking appointments online easier for students, she believes it does not make it any easier for advisers. She said the new technology isn’t easier, it’s just different.

“Rather than having the student’s information, reasons for the appointment, etc. on our calendars in Microsoft Outlook, we now have to go two, or more clicks into appointment manager to find the same information,” Moudry said.

Featured Image: Director of Student Success Technology, Dr. Jennifer Lee, discusses online advising appointment scheduling. Adriance Rhoades

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Jacqueline Guerrero

Jacqueline Guerrero

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