UPDATED: March 26, 2014, at 2:44 a.m.
In an effort to promote educational exploration and better organize online advising resources for students, the Advising Programs Office plans to replace its current website with a new, “twenty-first century” platform for the 2014-'15 academic year.
The APO hopes to make the website more user-friendly by aggregating all the essential advising information into one site and increasing its visibility, according to Director of Advising Programs Glenn R. Magid.
“For the most part, [the Advising website] is just a store of links,” Magid said. “There is very little content on the site other than what points you to other sites. It may be difficult for a new user coming to the site, unless they already know what they are looking for.”
Discussions about launching a new website have been circulating throughout the office for a number of years, Magid said. But it was only last summer, after the APO discontinued their “48 Book”—a printed guide on concentrations for freshmen and first-semester sophomores—that the office began planning to create a new site. Their first initiative was to migrate all the information from the 48 Book to a web page.
According to Magid, the site, which will use the Harvard-based platform OpenScholar, is currently a “skeleton” structure with little content. To fill in the missing information, the APO has asked Harvard staff such as those from the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships to assist or control the creation of content for the site.
Additionally, the APO has commissioned a student advisory board to offer feedback about advising programs at Harvard. According to Adam N. Ratajczak ’15, a member of the board, the committee has recently focused on providing student perspective on the creation of this new website.
“There is currently a ton of information [on the site], but an overload of information, which renders it almost useless,” Ratajczak said.
H. Claire Edelson ’15, another member of the board, said that she hopes the new website will encourage students to take full advantage of Harvard’s academic and advising resources.