Coursicle launches at ASU to help students navigate course registration
Alexis Egeland, The State Press
Almost every ASU student has undergone the emotional rollercoaster that is course registration — from waking up at the crack of dawn to battle it out with 70,000 of their peers to get every necessary class to experiencing the gut-wrenching feeling after realizing one of those necessary classes is full.
Coursicle co-founder Joe Puccio said the idea came to him when he struggled to register for his first semester of classes at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill during the summer of 2012.
"When I was an incoming freshman in college I spent like seven hours planning my schedule," he said. "When it actually came time to register, I only got into one of the five classes I needed to take."
Puccio said he was overwhelmed and had to check back on the class registration site multiple times a day to see if any seats had opened up in the classes he needed to take.
He said he knew that if he was struggling with this issue others were as well, and he started working to create a solution, which he envisioned as a program that would text him when seats opened up for classes he was interested in.
This led to the creation of Coursicle, a service that helps students with all aspects of student registration. The program consists of a website and a mobile app that serve as complementary units, Puccio said.
The website uses a programming script that pulls all of the course data from a school's registration site and organizes it into a more user-friendly format.
"On the site, students can make mock class schedules before registration so they know what kind of classes they might be able to register for when the time comes," he said.
While the app is different because it doesn't offer the course search and schedule planner that the website has, it allows students to set up notifications for specific classes.
Coursicle started at UNC but Tara Aida, Puccio's friend and Coursicle's co-founder, recommended trying to extend the company's reach to other universities as well. The site has a request form for students who want to bring the program to their school.
"It ran at UNC for like three years, and then we started getting requests from students at other colleges," Puccio said. "We grew really quickly, especially with the addition of notification services, and we're now at over 700 colleges."
Kevin Hong, a finance junior, requested that Coursicle extend to ASU after he struggled to help a friend with her registration.
He said he was looking for a program that would allow him to track seats in a class when he stumbled upon Coursicle.
"My friend was trying to get into Accounting 340," he said. "We got the app, signed up and everything, and were trying to find ASU and we were just like, 'Oh sick, they don’t have it.'”
He said he figured he must have been doing something wrong, so he reached out to Puccio and found out the company hadn't come to ASU yet because the University's course registration program is set up differently. But Puccio took initiative and worked to create a script that could work for ASU students.
Hong said he thinks Coursicle is a good idea, but he's nervous about the implications of more people finding out that it exists.
"My concern is, ASU has so many people that if everyone found out about it, I don’t know if it would work as well," he said. "If a thousand other people signed up for notifications for the same class I did, what are the odds I'll get the open seat?"
Dina Lienhard, a health sciences senior, said she had never heard of Coursicle but thinks it will be beneficial for students.
Lienhard said it sounds like the program will make searching for electives easier as well.
"The (ASU) website is weirdly set up so if you look up the exact name (of the class) you can find it, but if you’re looking for an elective you have to scroll through like 20 pages before you find anything," she said.
She thinks it will be most helpful for students like her who need to visually map out their schedules as they register.
"That’s the way I always did mine – I always had a Google calendar pulled up and as soon as I selected a class, I’d add it to the calendar," she said. "If the site can eliminate that extra step, I think that’d be really nice."
This piece was originally published on statepress.com.