Roadblocks to Registration

This year, some students were initially unable to create a full time schedule due to limited spaces in classes for the spring.

While the  College prides itself on having small classes, this can also create a competition among students for these limited number of seats. The uncertainty of registration is intensified for students struggling to get in the classes, or the class periods, they want. Because first-years are the last to register their class was hit the hardest by the limited number of classes; not only were many first-years denied the classes they wanted, but were unable to even create a schedule of 12 credits, the minimum amount to be considered a full time student.

“Freshmen plans aren’t being taken into consideration,” said Class of 2012 President Karina Mandell. “Many couldn’t get into their first four choices of classes or any of their choices at all.” Mandell received many complaints from freshmen unable to take lower level required classes and upper level classes. For example, first-year Jana Fronczek was unable to take any of the art classes she needs to complete her minor requirements, making her future schedule planning more difficult.

Registration problems affected older students as well. Students like sophomore Hannah Goszkowski was unable to find any classes that would help her advance in her major. “The upper level classes I need to be a history major are all filled. What is the point of being in school if I can’t take the classes I need?”

To solve this problem, registration was extended for 24 hours for each respective grade starting with first-years and more seats were added to select classes. This was similar to the add/drop slip process provided by the Registrar Office, but the extension was “quicker, more eco-friendly and saved paper used by the add/drop process,” according to Registrar Susan Bennett. A joint effort by Department Chairs and the Registrar Office was made to decide which classes needed spaces the most, including many required and core classes.

“Ninety-seven percent of underclassmen and 94 percent of seniors are now registered full time and many classes are still open,” said Bennett.

The Registrar Office works to meet the students’ academic needs, and often their preferences cannot be known until students begin the registration process. The addition of the Core Curriculum program has also created a greater variety of required classes to choose from, complicating the prediction of what classes students will take. The Registrar Office has now created a survey that will assess these preferences before registration begins to minimize the future additions to classes that need to be made.

For students still concerned with their schedules, Bennett advises them to email professors to be put on their wait lists. Mandell urges any first-years still having registration problems to email her at kdmandell@smcm.edu. Late registration will be open until Thursday, Dec. 12 at 5 p.m.

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