Thoughts on Registration

Registration for spring semester classes begins the week of October 31st (see the Academic Services calendar). Students have a wide range of resources to help them plan their classes: at minimum, they must meet with their lower division (i.e., pre-major) adviser by October 28th to get their registration PIN, but they can also confer with faculty or other adult mentors on campus, the Office of Academic Advising, and (to a lesser extent) their 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, as they know our system in detail.

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 on the Registration website can also help students keep track of required coursework.

And if your students have not asked you for your course registration advice, don’t offer any. 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. It also absolves you of any responsibility if you recommend X class to them, and they later discover they do not like that class 🙂

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


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