Introduction

University College of the North (UCN) discovered very quickly that CELCAT Timetabler was able to handle their disparate needs in a way that had taxed their previous vendor. CELCAT Timetabler, with its inherent flexibility, has not only coped with all the complexities of the UCN course offering, but resolved many other scheduling issues.

Background

UCN is situated on two main campuses; one in the Pas and the other at Thompson. It also has 12 regional centres, nine of which are in First Nations communities.

The university offers over 40 degree, diploma and certificate programs in the Faculties of Arts and Science, Trades and Technology, Health, Education, Business and as part of community-based contract training and apprenticeship training.

UCN’s Council of Elders provides guidance through the sharing of traditional knowledge, beliefs and values, including Aboriginal Centres at its two main campuses. The Mamawechetotan Centre in The Pas and lniniwi kiskinwamakewin Centre in Thompson offer programs that promote cross-cultural awareness.

UCN deliver both three and four year programs while the college section delivers Certificate courses over one year or less and Diploma’s over two years. They also provide contract training that spans two contiguous weeks or a single week within a month.

The Challenges

As colleges become more streamlined and responsive to market demands in delivering a quality education product, it’s clear these will influence the institution’s demands and expectations of timetabling software vendors.

UCN scheduler Doris Shand said, “UCN would have to change the way it did business and enter everything into our Jenzabar system and/or instead have the college side merge some of their courses into one so as to span the entire term. We simply could not handle courses that commenced and finished in-between the start and end dates of a term.” The introduction of CELCAT Timetabler not only solved this issue, but many more besides.

Timetabler, with its inherent flexibility, has been able to handle all of the complexities of the UCN course offerings including the tracking of both recurring events on academic schedules and non-recurring events. Along with other optional applications, it can be used for curriculum modelling, faculty load tracking and attendance monitoring.