Finally, Montclair State is saying goodbye to WESS, the current data management system. This change comes not a day too soon, as students have grown increasingly fed up with the outdated service.
Years ago, Montclair State introduced WESS as an online system that would give “students a convenient method of registering, accessing their schedules, grades and financial accounts,” according to the Montclair State website. However, WESS has been less than convenient for its everyday users.
Currently, according to the university, “WESS is generally available Monday [through] Friday 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday [and] Sunday noon to 6 p.m.,” but those times are very limiting to students who have classes or jobs at all hours of the day. Even during many of those hours, students can try to log in with little success due to maintenance. While some of this is regularly scheduled, much of the maintenance is done without students being notified.
These problems are not the only ones as, once students are logged in, their session often quickly times out, which requires them to sign in yet again. Going from tab to tab on the browser could cause WESS to time out and any information not submitted to have to be input again. This is clearly irritating students, especially when paying bills, which leaves many students wondering what their tuition is really going towards in the first place.
Unfortunately, situations like this would always be more present during registration week. The server would constantly fail to withstand the use of thousands of students, even though registration is a planned event that happens every, single semester.
The platform of WESS is also not very user-friendly. Many students have trouble navigating through extraneous tabs to get one small piece of information.
Luckily, students are finally kicking WESS to the corner as NEST makes its way into our lives. NEST will take the place of WESS, but do so much more. Montclair State’s new program will be “where Montclair State University students, faculty and staff will access self-service tools and software, such as course registration, making tuition and fee payments, checking financial aid information, filling out timecards and so much more,” according to Montclair State’s informational page about NEST for students.
NEST is said to be the end-all-be-all for the Montclair State community. It will house Montclair State email, Canvas, HawkSync and various other resources that students frequent, which will all be accessible with one login. This is a remarkable difference considering students had troubles just trying to log in to WESS.
NEST will roll out in small chunks, which will be helpful to students and faculty who, in the past, had a hard time using WESS. However, NEST will supposedly be more user-friendly.
These changes come as a big surprise to many students who were completely unaware of NEST’s existence. We are hopeful that NEST will be all that WESS was not.