As Montclair State changes enterprise software for university management, students need to adapt to the new program NEST (Network Engagement and Student/Staff Transaction) before registration opens on April 13 to pick their course for the fall semester properly.
The university is also replacing the software SIS PLUS, which was previously used to manage student accounts, with Banner.
Cindy Meneghin, Director of Student Communications for Student Development and Campus Life, said that all Banner products will be housed under NEST, which will let students manage their academic and business life with a single sign-on as much as possible. Class registration, academic audits, financial information, time cards, advising and more will be available for students on NEST.
The switch to NEST has been designed in a roll-out process, with new capabilities being introduced in stages as WESS gradually becomes obsolete.
In the past few months, students have been able to look at and update personal information, see financial aid information and pay housing deposits under the program. Recently, a course catalogue as well as the fall 2016 schedule of classes have been added for registration, which was the next phase in the conversion from WESS to NEST.
“NEST provides students wonderful resources to, with the help of their advisors, explore options and map out their paths toward academic success,” said Michelle Campagna, Executive Director of the Center for Advising and Student Transitions (CAST). “The academic advisors in CAST are excited about the enhancements offered through Banner and look forward to using them with their students.”
The student body is experiencing mixed emotions about switching to NEST, however. Freshman Emily Klesitz said that the transition to NEST right now is an issue because registration is already stressful and she just started to understand WESS. Klesitz said she is “giving it a chance, because once you get over it being different, it’s really not that bad.”
“I was looking at courses on NEST yesterday and found it relatively simple to use,” said sophomore Justin Lombardo. “I just don’t have faith because the way they have been introducing the program has been shaky. Only having some things available in certain places causes me to have to look for things in two places. The signs around campus aren’t helping. They just seem like a waste of paper.”
Faculty understand that it might be difficult for students to adjust during the stressful registration time. Leslie Sutton-Smith, University Registrar, said, “We are very excited about the roll out of registration through NEST. We know that sometimes change is complicated, so we are working hard to have a very robust support structure in place for the next several weeks. We are confident students will like the new system, and we want students to come see us with any questions or problems they may have.”
The University is providing many ways to get registration help. Resident Assistants will be providing step-by-step guides for registration to residents, and Rocky will be all over campus giving out guides. Emails from Red Hawk News and the registrar will be distributing information about registration frequently. “Ask Me” booths will be available for any concerns, and there will also be places students can receive hands-on training for NEST before and during the registration process. For more information on how to get help visit the “Registration Help” page on the university’s website.