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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Activities & Organizations

Coursicle app to reduce class registration stresses

The Coursicle app was designed to relieve stress of registering for college courses. | Screen shot from Coursicle app

Students being unable to enroll in a class that they want or need is something that happens at universities around the nation. The new Coursicle app was designed to help alleviate difficulties related to registering for classes.

Co-founders of Coursicle Joe Puccio and Tara Aida are familiar with the difficulty of class enrollment and scheduling. After spending hours planning his class schedule his freshman year at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Puccio only got into one of the five classes he needed to take.

To solve this problem, Puccio wrote a program that sent him a text message when a class he needed to take had an available spot. He later opened this program to other students at his college and then to other universities across the nation. Now, the program is available at 750 colleges and universities including the University of Houston.

“(We) decided the best solution was to build out a mobile app to replace the text message system,” co-founder Tara Aida said in regards to the expansion of the program to become an app. “It took a couple of months of hard work and a lot of self-teaching, but the app has allowed us to scale to the size we are today.”

Coursicle consists of two primary components: a schedule planner and a notification service.

Unlike the typical university course search, the Coursicle schedule planner allows students to view a customized set of results based on factors such as time, title and section. Students can then plug this information into a schedule map, which allows them to view potential conflicts in their selections, Puccio said.

The notification service allows students to receive a text message when a class they need or want to enroll in has an open seat, removing the stress of having to constantly check on course availability, Puccio said.

“The impetus and the personal motivation behind Coursicle is reducing a lot of the stress behind registration because registration is pretty much one of the most stressful experiences students go through,” Puccio said. “We just want to do everything we can to reduce the stress of students.”

Even though the semester has ended, the stress over whether or not they’ll get into a class continues to trouble students, including biology sophomore Victoria Mousa.

“The waiting lists are basically non-existent,” Mousa said. “Once a class fills up, it fills up and if you try to get in the class, you have to check and hope that the green box shows up one day.”

Coursicle takes the guesswork out of this random checking and allows students to know about an open seat in a specific class as soon as it becomes available.

Puccio says that in business there are two kinds of products, a Band-Aid or vitamin and a painkiller. “A Band-Aid or a vitamin helps people do better at what they’re already doing. A painkiller helps solve a problem that people have,” Puccio said “We are interested in being the second one, the one where people are having a problem.”

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