My name is Elisabeth Jeyaraj and I am the chair of the Committee on Academic Issues (CAI). This year, the CAI has successfully addressed several academic issues expressed by the undergraduate students. In this article, I hope to give you a quick overview of all the projects that the committee has done or is currently working on.
One major initiative that the CAI completed is creating a useful academic information webpage on the WPI website. Previously, students had expressed that the WPI website was confusing, and that they had a hard time searching certain information they needed for academic purposes. To address this issue, CAI has created a small database that includes information about the HUA requirement, IQP, MQP, minors, and the social science requirement — with links to the actual WPI website for more detailed answers. The website enables students to access accurate academic information at great convenience.
Another successful part of our work is the collaboration with the Gordon Library. We worked closely with the library staff with regards to the extended library hours during finals week. We have also aided the library in its new website renovation project. The CAI regards the library as one of the most important factors in undergraduates’ academic life. We will continue working closely with the library to ensure that the operation hours and projects of the Gordon Library address the needs of the undergraduates.
Moreover, we paid special attention on improving the academic feedback system on campus. We worked with the Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division on making interviews for off-campus IQPs an educational tool by providing feedback from the interviews. We have been working on revising the course tracking sheet and ensuring that the students have the most updated version of the tracking sheet.
The CAI still has many innovative projects in progress. We are considering putting course descriptions on the bannerweb. We had several meetings with the WPI administration, and we think it could be helpful if the students can see course descriptions while they are registering for courses. We collaborated with the Registrar’s Office and Dean of Undergraduate Studies, and are trying to determine whether to make overload requests electronic for undergraduates. In addition, we are brainstorming ideas for an easier way to publicize the availability of computer labs.
The mission of SGA is to address the concerns of the undergraduate student body, and the CAI is working hard to do its academic part. Feel free to contact me and my committee members at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to be at your service.