WESS has been the enemy of Montclair State students and faculty for quite some time. However, just last spring, Montclair State announced the release of NEST (Network Engagement and Student Transactions). This announcement led students and faculty to believe that NEST would be the hero they had wished for.
Now, months later, all students have experienced NEST, as they were required to register for classes and pay their fall tuition using the new system. While students do not associate NEST with the evils of WESS, they are not giving it overwhelmingly positive reviews. The students do not seem to love or hate NEST.
Currently, NEST has a similar framework to WESS, but at first glance, NEST has a much more appealing look. The clean appearance is much brighter and even boasts red hawk colors. While NEST has more colors, it has less tabs. By having fewer tabs to click on, navigating the website is a breeze for students and faculty. Now, students can spend their time in a more productive manner, rather than spending what seemed like hours searching through the various dropdown menus on WESS.
NEST has become what seems like the simplification of WESS, yet does not seem much better. All relevant information regarding financial aid can be found on the financial aid page. This makes it easier to find what one is looking for as the options are extremely limited.
The newest feature in NEST, DegreeWorks, is easily becoming a favorite among juniors and seniors trying to plan out the remainder of their time at Montclair State. According to the university website, “DegreeWorks provides a comprehensive set of web-based academic advising, degree audit and transfer articulation tools to help students and their advisors negotiate curriculum requirements.”
While DegreeWorks sounds like a great tool, many advisers have been told to check both DegreeWorks on NEST as well as the Analysis of Academic Progress on WESS, as DegreeWorks is not always correct. This may become a large problem as students look to DegreeWorks to ensure they have all the classes they need to graduate, only to find out DegreeWorks was incorrect in the first place.
DegreeWorks has the potential to be the best part of NEST. It is easy to read and understand and clearly lays out which courses students have already taken, as well as the courses they still need to complete. When it works correctly, it will likely be a success.
Students and faculty are still waiting for something better than WESS, and with some minor improvements, NEST could be just that. NEST has the potential to be better at catering to the needs of the current populace of Montclair State. Hopefully, some improvements will make it a NEST Rocky would approve of.