Over 4,000 York undergraduate students get an early surprise

York’s Registrar’s Office released undergraduate grades for more than 4,000 winter-term and full-year courses on Friday, May 20 – almost a full week earlier than in the spring of 2004. “An earlier grades release is good for everyone, most importantly our students,” said Joanne Duklas, York’s acting registrar. “Earlier access to final grades means students can confirm their graduation status or plan their fall-term course selection earlier. It also allows for earlier resolution to student-initiated processes like scholarship applications and faculty transfer requests.”

Understandably, students are very anxious to know the results of all their hard work. When grades were released to the Registrar’s Office Web site at noon on that day, visits to the Web site jumped by an additional 1,000 students in the span of only 10 minutes. By the end of the day, the visits totalled over 80,000 – a vivid demonstration of the interest in this information as well as the power of the online services offered by the Registrar’s Office.

“The amount of hard work and coordination associated with the annual task was no less than last year,” said Duklas. “In fact, taking five full days out of the schedule, in some ways, made it even more challenging. But, the fact that the Registrar’s Office, with the strong support of the faculties, was able to meet this challenge epitomizes the Division of Students’ client-focused mandate.”

An earlier grades release this year hints at more important improvements to come. York’s Registrar’s Office is working closely with the faculties and Computing & Network Services towards a not-so-distant day when professors can submit their grades directly online. And, this past winter, the Registrar’s Office cooperated on an incremental grades release pilot project with the Schulich School of Business. Some MBA courses are offered in a compressed format and may only take weeks to complete. Within the pilot project, grades were released incrementally upon the conclusion of each course instead of collectively at the end of the entire winter term. For the first time, some students received official grades in February and March rather than having to wait until late May.

“We are always looking for new ways to enhance service to our students,” said Don Murdoch, associate registrar. “When students are able to make well-informed decisions about their studies, the entire University community benefits by their satisfaction and ultimately by their success.”