Some Thoughts on Upcoming Registration

Registration for spring semester 2014 classes will begin the first week of November, so students who have not yet declared a major (aka first-years and sophomores) are beginning to be contacted by their academic advisers to set up one-on-one meetings about class selection.  The Office of Academic Advising sent an email to academic advisers with some information about the advising period:

“The Fall Advising Period is from Oct. 21 – Nov. 1.  Registration starts the week of November 4, and will proceed in two rounds.  In the first round (Nov. 4 – Nov. 10, midnight) students can register for up to 8 hours.  In the second round (Nov. 11 on), students can complete registration up to 17 hours.  Each student can register at any time after his/her assigned time and up to the closing time for each round.  Registration times are set based on completed hours and apply to both rounds of registration, so most sophomores will be begin registration on Wednesday of each week and most first-year students on Thursday, although some will have earlier start times. “

If you are parents or family members of an undeclared student (i.e., first years and sophomores), here is some information about how your student might wish to prepare for his/her advising session.  (NOTE: The registration process is a little different for students who have declared a major – those academic paths are certainly more clear cut, and depending on the department, some people get registered via their department’s administrative assistant.)

Students are responsible for knowing the requirements and keeping track of which they have completed/which remain to be taken.  Our students are required to complete Basic and Divisional requirements.  There is a Course Completion Checklist students can use to see which courses count for which Basic and Divisional requirements, or students can also go into WIN and select Virtual Campus and Degree Evaluation to see what they have already taken and which requirements are not yet met.

So this might be the first step in their planning – what have I taken already? what do I still need to take? am I considering a major with prerequisites, and if so have I completed what I need to?

The second step might be to figure out which courses are being offered in the spring and of those, which ones interest the student the most?

To do this, students need to see which courses are being offered in the spring (not all classes are taught every semester).  Students can see the list of courses being taught in the spring by going into WIN, then choosing Info Central, then Forms and Documents Library, then Registrar, then Spring 2014 Class Schedule.PDF.  That PDF shows all the classes being taught in the spring.

Once the student knows which classes in a given department of interest are being taught, he/she can read the descriptions of classes being offered in the spring in the Undergraduate Bulletin, to see if the subject matter is of particular interest.  Sometimes reading the descriptions helps ignite a student’s desire for that class, or helps him see that the material covered is not something he would enjoy as much as a different class.

Finally, a student needs to consider multiple classes and options for the spring semester.  Depending on the student’s registration time (and the perceived popularity of the classes/professors the student wishes to take), he/she may need several different options.  For each of the classes I was trying to take (or time slots in my schedule I was trying to fill), I normally had 3-5 potential classes that could be slotted in there.

If your student can do all those things, and have some good sound reasoning about why he/she wants to take a particular class, the one-on-one meeting with the academic adviser will typically run very smoothly.

Remember, too, that the Office of Academic Advising is here as a resource.  Your students can make an appointment with one of the professional academic counselors there as a dry run before the meeting with the academic adviser.  Sometimes it helps to have multiple thinking partners in the process of considering courses.

And a VERY VERY important note for students: check your account to make sure there are no financial holds on their account.  Students will not be allowed to register for classes if there is any outstanding balance, and since registration takes place after normal business hours (at the request of students several years ago), there is no cashier to give that unpaid parking ticket fee to at 8 pm while you are supposed to be registering.  So students (or authorized parents), check DEAC for any balances now, and check again the day or two before your student registers.  Just in case.

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Finally, a very unrelated note, but since we have a lot of Daily Deac subscribers who get this emailed to you daily around the end of the day, I wanted to add a reminder about a campus event tomorrow.  There is a campuswide picnic starting at 11 am on the Mag (aka Manchester) Quad, and students can see a program in the giant tent at 12 noon and again at 1:30.  Please, please, urge them to attend.  This is a special opportunity and a big celebration, and I hope they take advantage of it!

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