Thoughts on Registration

Registration for spring semester classes begins the week of November 1st. Students will select their full schedule at once (this is a change from previous years, when they did it in two rounds spanning two weeks).

Students have a wide range of resources to help them plan their classes: their lower division (i.e., pre-major) adviser, faculty or other adult mentors on campus, the Office of Academic Advising, and (to a lesser extent) their informal network of Wake friends.

As an adviser, my best professional advice is that things tend to work best for students if they use any of the above networks for advice, and not their parents or family members. This is not meant as a slight to any first-year families. But the reality is that official advisers on campus are going to be able to provide the best advice to students about classes.

If your students come to you asking course registration advice, I’d encourage you to flip the script and redirect with questions: What has your adviser said about your course selections? Where on campus have you tried to talk about your course planning? Are there faculty/departments who could be helpful? Where might you go to find more information? You should know that in addition to having an assigned academic adviser, students can avail themselves of help from the professional academic counselors in the Office of Academic Advising. The Academic Bulletin will help them understand requirements for majors and minors, and the Course Completion Checklists can also help students keep track of their required coursework.

And if your students have not asked you for your course registration advice, don’t offer it. It is important for them to find their own path – and learn along the way – and they will do that best when the class selections they make are their own.


— by Betsy Chapman, Ph.D. (’92, MA ’94)


To contact the Office of Family Engagement, please visit our contact page.

If Your Student Has a Problem

One of the best ways parents/families can help their students is to let them handle their business as independently as possible. Use the Stop, Drop, and Roll method when your student contacts you with a problem, a decision to make, etc.

Orientation 2021 presentations