Section Scheduling at USC
The goal of the Registrar's Office is to assist academic departments create and maintain their list of course offerings each term. To meet the goal, the Registrar’s Office has launched this website, which is a collection of information, instructions, and tools that departments can utilize to build the schedule of classes.
The development of the university's Schedule of Classes (www.usc.edu/soc) is a joint effort that involves academic departments, the Registrar's Office, and University Publications. Each academic department must determine which courses to offer in its schedule of classes for fall, spring, and summer. The schedule of classes coordinator, more commonly known as the Scheduling Coordinator, in a department must also enter the course data in the university's Student Information System (SIS). The Registrar's Office establishes the deadlines for the production of the Schedule of Classes, collects the schedule data from all departments, reports the schedule data to the appropriate school dean, and assigns classrooms, if necessary. University Publications hosts the schedule data as well as other important information for students, such as the Registration Calendar, on the www.usc.edu/soc website.
The Schedule of Classes Development Timeline:
Scheduling Coordinators, the Registrar’s Office, and University Publications must meet several deadlines in order to produce the university’s Schedule of Classes in time for students to plan their class schedules. The timeline for the development of the Schedule of Classes begins several months ahead of the first day of classes for each term. For a list of these dates for the current and upcoming scheduling terms, please refer to the table below.
|Event||Spring 2015||Summer 2015||Fall 2015|
|Begin section input||6/9/2014||10/3/2014||10/13/2014|
|Section input restricted by Registrar's Office||8/1/2014||11/26/2014||1/2/2015|
|Begin free-form email requests to Frank Chang and Fern Iwata
|Deadline to submit Courses of Interest Form||8/13/2014||Not Offered||1/7/2015|
|Textbook orders due at Bookstore||8/25/2014||1/2/2015
|Frank Chang emails Excel-based schedules to scheduling coordinators||9/22/2014||2/6/2015||2/23/2015|
|Registrar sends copies of schedules to deans for review / approval. Last day to send free-form email requests||9/24/2014||2/11/2015||2/25/2015|
|Coordinators submit Kuali eDoc to add, change, or delete sections||9/25/2014||2/12/2015||2/26/2015|
|School coordinator must e-mail Hourly Summary Sheets to Doug Shook (email@example.com)||10/1/2014||Not Required
|Schedule of Classes released||10/6/2014||2/20/2015||3/9/2015|
There are three distinct periods in the schedule production timeline.
- 1st period - departments can add, change, and delete any section using RNR.U.SCHEDULE.
- 2nd period - departments lose the ability to add, change, and delete in RNR.U.SCHEDULE (except for departments that own the classroom space involved in the addition, change or deletion). During the second period, departments may request additions, changes and deletions of sections by emailing the request to Frank Chang (firstname.lastname@example.org) and cc'ing Fern Iwata (email@example.com).
- 3rd period - takes place after the school’s dean has reviewed and approved the Schedule of Classes. Departments make requests using the Kuali section scheduling eDoc.
The timeline below shows each of the three periods:
Creating a Department’s Schedule of Classes:
Scheduling Coordinators should hold schedule planning meetings with department chairs before the schedule production timeline begins. Coordinators should use the previous year’s Schedule of Classes (www.usc.edu/soc) to determine which existing courses the department will offer. Coordinators should also consult with department chairs whether faculty wish to offer any Special Topics courses (499s and 599s) and whether any courses have been approved by the Curriculum Office. With this information at hand, scheduling coordinators can enter section data in RNR.U.SCHEDULE.
Since courses offered in fall and spring schedule of classes remain constant, the registrar’s office conducts a ‘roll-over’ from the previous year’s schedule to make the data entry process easier for academic units. In other words, coordinators do not have to create their schedule from scratch in the fall and spring. Coordinators must create each section for the summer schedule. As the dates chart indicates, coordinators have at least six weeks to input section data in SIS before the registrar’s office restricts the access (except for departments that own the classroom space involved in the section addition, change or deletion).
Most courses at USC are offered within the university’s calendar, as specified on the Academic Calendar. Courses that follow the academic calendar dates, are taught at USC facilities and do not carry higher or lower tuition fees should be scheduled in session 001. If a course will deviate from these parameters, it should be scheduled in a ‘Special Session.’ Please visit the Special Session Request Guidelines for more information on special sessions. Once you have read the guidelines please save a copy of the Special Session Request Form.
I am a new Scheduling Coordinator. How can I get help?
- Each USC department has a Scheduling Coordinator. Please view the list of Scheduling Coordinators at USC to find near-by help.
- For SIS-access-related questions, coordinators can contact Student Information System User Coordination Group (SIS UCG) at (213) 740-5337.
- For questions regarding data entered in SIS and the Schedule of Classes, coordinators can contact Frank Chang (firstname.lastname@example.org) at (213) 740-5306.
- For questions regarding classrooms, coordinators can visit the Classroom Scheduling website.
How can I find out what my department offered in semesters past?
The Schedule of Classes (www.usc.edu/soc) contains course information for the current and for the last two terms. There is also an archive for course offerings up to spring 2007.
How can I find out what sections have been scheduled for my department for the next term?
In SIS, enter RNR.R.SECT.SUMM to request the report. This report will only print in a SIS printer. The report will be delivered to your office within 1 business day of your request. If you need the report immediately, please contact Frank Chang (email@example.com).
How do I know when I can add, change, or cancel sections myself and when I need to contact the Registrar’s Office?
If you are a scheduling coordinator in The College, you have access to your sections only during the data entry period (see the Timeline chart for exact dates).
If you do not work in The College, your department is locked out of RNR.U.SCHEDULE for sections that have a Classroom Scheduling-owned room assigned. If you need to add, change, or cancel a section for an on-line course or for a course that meets in a facility that your department owns, you can do so on SIS.
Where can I find session dates?
The best place to find session dates is in SIS using SIS.D.SESS. The Schedule of Classes offers a comprehensive listing of session dates in summer only.
Do I have to offer a lab or a discussion with a class?
You can find out the ‘parts’ that must be offered with a course on page 2 of RNR.D.CATALOG. Under the InstMode column, you will see the modes that you must schedule for your courses.
Students are contacting us saying that they cannot register for a course. What should I do?
Check page 2 of RNR.D.CATALOG. Make sure that you scheduled the modes listed under the InstMode column. If the InstMode column reflects a mode that your department does not intend to offer, please contact to Curriculum Office at (213) 740-1162.
My department chair wants to establish a new course. What are the steps required?
Information regarding course and program proposals can be found at the Curriculum Department website.
What is a Special Topics course?
When departments wish to introduce a new or emerging aspect of a field or to take advantage of the expertise of a new or visiting faculty member, a Special Topics course can be offered. The course numbers 499 and 599 are reserved to designate undergraduate and graduate levels, respectively.
How can I schedule a Special Topics course?
- During the 1st period, departments can enter 499 and 599 courses in RNR.U.SCHEDULE. Departments must submit a syllabus for 499 and 599 courses to the Curriculum Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) for approval.
- During the 2nd period, departments can send a free-form email to Frank Chang (email@example.com) and cc Fern Iwata (firstname.lastname@example.org). The course syllabus must accompany this email.
- During the 3rd period, departments in USC College must submit an eDoc with the course syllabus attached.
The sample syllabus template can be viewed as Attachment 13 in the Curriculum Handbook.
How can I give myself access to GRS?
Enter your name in the Overseer field on page 5 of RNR.U.SCHEDULE for every section you wish to view.
How do I set up GRS access for an instructor or TA?
GRS access is created by Scheduling Coordinators on pages 4 and 5 of RNR.U.SCHEDULE by entering the individual’s name in the appropriate field (please refer to the description of the GRS roles in the next question). For instructors or TAs with common names (e.g., John Smith), you should also request that the individual provide to you his/her USC ID number to avoid confusion. It takes nearly 4 hours for GRS to allow entry to a user after his/her name has been entered in SIS.
What are the different access levels in GRS?
- Instructor – highest level of access. Can view roster, enter grades in GRS, and submit grades to SIS.
- TA – has viewing rights in GRS but cannot enter grades in GRS.
- Grader – has viewing and grade entry rights in GRS, but cannot submit grades to SIS.
- Overseer – has viewing rights in GRS.
- Approver – can view grades entered for a section. The approver is a second layer of review for grades. Enter a name in the Approver field only if directed to do so by your department chair or director.
Where can I find GRS instructions to give to instructors in my department?
Midterm and Final Exam instructions are available on the Grades Department website.
How do I set up Blackboard access?
Blackboard access is created on page 4 of RNR.U.SCHEDULE.
What other avenues may I try if no room is available through the Registrar's Office in scheduling classes or events?
The Venue Guide located on the home page for the USC Office of Protocol & University Events allows you to view details on alternate spaces on campus.
How do I list a course on the Courses of Interest page of the Schedule of Classes?
You must submit the Courses of Interest Request Form to the Registrar's Office according to the dates specified in the events table above.
Did not find what you were looking for here?
Contact Frank Chang (email@example.com).
Links for Scheduling Coordinators:
Archive of Schedule of Classes - available from spring 2007 - present.
Grading and Roster System (GRS)
Instructions for GRS
Instructions for Syllabus Upload and Faculty Bio Upload
SIS Keystrokes and Functions
SIS User Coordination
Special Session Guidelines
Special Session Request Form