CourseValet: The Future of YU Registration and Community

By: Rachel Gilinski  |  December 19, 2021

By Rachel Gilinski, Social Media Manager

“There is no secret that the YU course list is outdated and simply frustrating to get information out of,” said Oze Botach (YC ‘24), “and that’s sugar-coating the situation.”

“I was about to throw my computer at a wall looking at the YU course list,” he said. Botach, born and raised in Los Angeles but currently living in Las Vegas, is a sophomore at YC majoring in Computer Science. “Just conducting searches alone requires one to go back and forth just to conduct another search,” he added, referring to the standard course search system. He has “always been a huge nerd for anything computer-related, and even more so for simplifying daily tasks with code elegantly,” so when he found frustration in course registration, he decided to do something about the problem.

Using the programming language Python (with Flask, a micro web framework found within it), as well as coding languages HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for the site’s front end, Botach started working alone over this past summer to find a solution. Unfortunately, he had to pause for a while, overwhelmed by his course load, but now that he’s been actively working on the website, he was able to launch a beta version on December 8, 2021, just in time for Spring 2022 registration. All his hard work culminated in a smooth, streamlined site: Joining Botach in his “excitement to release this project,” acquaintances and professors alike reacted positively and eagerly. “We all believe is the future of YU course research,” said Botach.

This sentiment is echoed by fellow Computer Science students. “Oze Botach’s is one of the most important websites for a student at YU,” said Yaakov Baker (YC ‘24). “I highly recommend this website to my fellow students.” Another student, Eli Saperstein (SSSB ‘23), is certain “that this registration season has been the easiest, most relaxing, stress-free one yet… solely because of the incredible tools available to [him] from CourseValet.”

We’ve all heard the hype, but what exactly is CourseValet? And why is it so necessary?

“ is a community and course list made by a student for students,” said Botach. “We need a dynamic search on a modern site.” Divided by campus and semester, CourseValet shows all of Yeshiva University’s available courses. The platform allows students to easily add courses of their choice to their “Favorites” list, view professor ratings, and make forum posts completely free from any kind of censorship. The search function is easy to use, with more advanced search features available. Soon, within the next week or so, the platform will begin to “also show your schedule for you,” rendering Coursicle and other external schedule-planning websites obsolete. It also conveniently helps students avoid accumulating countless RateMyProfessor tabs by integrating these ratings directly into the website, right by the respective course information. Users can submit their own ratings for professors they’ve taken in the past, anonymously or otherwise, right in the same field as the other RateMyProfessor ratings. Furthermore, they can hold discussions and ask questions in the forum space, effectively replacing Yeshiva University: In the Know, Stern College: In the Know, and similar Facebook groups. CourseValet even has a page dedicated to prayer times, listing the Hebrew date and the prayer times for each of the three daily prayers at many of the minyanim available to Yeshiva University students.

This is a far cry from the tedious and frustrating system that Yeshiva University students formerly had to resign themselves to using. “As we all know, searching for courses through YU’s website is extremely difficult and inefficient,” said Baker. Saperstein offered his own testimony, saying that “YU’s own antiquated systems have caused me so many issues,” and that CourseValet is an “incredible tool.” He had “always had trouble using YU’s website for registration… a chore that led to many meetings with academic advising.” This time, he was able to plan his courses according to the requirements. “With a couple of clicks,” said Saperstein, “I had every class on a professional-looking calendar.” Baker is also thoroughly pleased with this new addition to the course-searching scene. “CourseValet is great,” he said, “because it has improved searching, RateMyProfessor scores, comments, a schedule builder, and more.”

With its streamlined features and smooth interface, there’s no doubt that CourseValet is the future of course registration here at Yeshiva University. “I believe will change how students at YU sign up for courses,” agreed Botach. He also believes that the forum will be a place where students can communicate, sharing notes and thoughts on courses. As he said in a forum post, all this is only “a small drop in the bucket” of what he has planned. He’s been actively updating the platform thus far, continually trouble-shooting for bugs and errors, and he hopes to continue improving it, with any new features guaranteed to streamline the process even further. He is open to receiving feedback or suggestions for further improvements at “CourseValet is an amazing site that will make your course search easier, connect you with other students, and more,” said Botach, “so join today.”

Photo Credit: Oze Botach