Class registration for the fall semester is just around the corner and the frustration surrounding the biannual event is already beginning to set in. While the week-long event comes with its usual set of problems, faculty and students are bracing for the worst.
For the first time, students will use Network Engagement and Student Transactions (NEST) to register for classes. At NEST’s launch, the new website was advertised as a solution to all the problems that have plagued the current system, WESS.
Montclair State University promised NEST would be a single login portal where students and faculty could access various services including, but not limited to, Canvas, Gmail, registration and financial services.
Yet, one month after the initial launch of NEST, many are struggling to understand the foreign website, while others are still completely unaware of its existence, which will clearly be a problem as registration begins on April 13.
With just two weeks until registration begins, it is important that both students and faculty have a firm understanding of how this new portal works, and at this time, we are all very far from that point.
When logging into NEST, it clearly has an updated look when compared with WESS, but a new appearance does not signify an improved interface. Currently, students can view their holds on NEST, but they are unable to handle them on NEST and must do so on WESS. To deal with advising holds, students will need to meet with their advisor and obtain a registration pin. Having students go back and forth between the two sites and memorize meaningless codes is only further complicating the registration process during this time of adjustment.
Once holds are out of the way, students can begin to search for classes. When searching for classes within a department, information is displayed in a manner that is very different from WESS and can even be overwhelming due to the large amount of information displayed at once.
Still, beyond looking at classes, it is unknown as to exactly how students will register on NEST. This leaves the spotlight on Montclair State.
NEST was promised to be a solution, but at this point, students are unsure as to what NEST is solving. During the upcoming high-stress week, NEST will leave a lasting impression in the minds of students and faculty — and while everyone hopes that the week will run more smoothly than ever, little evidence has proven that this will definitely be the case.
No one wants NEST to fail, but many on campus are wary of its ability to hold up during registration week. If NEST proves that it can withhold the fury of 20,000 students registering for classes, then we will believe all the hype we have heard about the platform.