Courses to be renumbered

Oakland University’s Office of the Registrar sent out an email notice on Monday, Oct. 3 informing students that course numbering will convert from three digits to four, effective fall semester 2017.

This modification will include all undergraduate and graduate courses, but all subject codes (i.e., WRT, BIO) for these courses will remain the same.

The decision to add a fourth digit was made on the basis that with only three digits worth of course numbering options, the university was steadily running out of numerical availability to add new courses.

“The primary impetus for the change is that we typically do not reuse former course numbers in order to ensure the accuracy of the information within our degree audit system,” University Registrar Steven Shablin said.

The university began planning this change in 2014 in anticipation of this inevitability.

Most of Michigan’s public institutions and even many community colleges have already transitioned into this four-digit system.

“It puts us more in line with our sister institutions,” Shablin said. “This project has been on our to-do list, and now with the need of the academic units, we thought this was the time to do this.”

Although it is not an original system, much work went into deciding how it would be integrated into OU. The Office of the Registrar collaborated with the academic departments, undergraduate education and graduate study in order to create a version of this system tailored to OU.

It was left up to the academic departments to determine which numeral would be added. For some courses, a simple zero will be applied to the end of the original course number, but for many, the number will change completely.

A full guide to the conversion for each course number can be found here.

As for courses that students have previously taken or are taking currently, the course numbers will remain the same three-digit numerals on students’ transcripts that they were at the time of their enrollment in the class.

In order to avoid confusion, the Office of the Registrar has created a communication plan, meeting with the academic advisers who will now offer information on the conversion as part of their advising sessions with students.

“As we get closer to full-year registration, which opens on March 17, we will do some additional communications to the university community,” Shablin said.

Aside from course renumbering, the Office of the Registrar has two other projects in the works. It is currently planning to meet with OU Student Congress President Zack Thomas to discuss a new method of registration, which may be implemented as a soft launch as early as next month.

It is also creating plans surrounding a new degree-auditing system called DegreeWorks that the university has recently purchased.

For more information and/or questions on course renumbering, contact your academic adviser.