Section: News

New class registration procedures met with complications

To account for different time zones and Wi-Fi access of students at home, this year’s class registration will be conducted differently than in previous years.

While class registration has been traditionally handled online through the Personal Access Pages, this semester students will have to fill out a form with their class choices and alternates to submit to the Office of the Registrar. In an email sent to all current juniors, sophomores and first years, the Office wrote, “we will gather your course registration requests using an online fillable form. The Registrar’s Office will then enter your requests for you in rounds.” After all classes are entered, students will be able to make changes through their Personal Access Pages. 

This change did not come without complications, though. To access and fill out the PDF file with class choices, students need to have Adobe Acrobat on their computer. This was only realized after rising seniors had attempted to register for their classes, so it caused many hiccups with rising senior registration. The problem, however, was easily resolved once the registrar instructed students to download the free version of Acrobat, Adobe Acrobat DC, or use Apple Preview or Google Chrome to fill out the form.

Further complications arose from the layout and instructions on the form. The form contained 10 numbered rows, each with a left-hand side column for “priority” classes and a column on the right for “alternate” classes. Some students were unaware of whether or not getting into a class would result in the student being registered in the next class on their priority list, or being registered in the corresponding class put into the “alternate” column. In addition, the form told students to “List permission required courses last,” which led to some confusion among students over where to put such classes in the priority order. 

Unlike the initial expanded Pass/Fail policy implemented after the switch to remote learning, these forms required students to get an alternate PIN and consult with their advisors, giving students only eight days to secure their alternate PINs from their professors. If a student did not include their alternate PIN on their registration sheet, they would not be signed up for their preferred classes.

For rising seniors, the course list had to be submitted to the Office of the Registrar by 4:30 p.m. on April 16. As a result of the confusion, the office sent out an additional email to juniors on April 20, noting that “while entering schedules we encountered many error messages that prevented us from completing some of your course choices.” The list of error messages included “reserved seats, prerequisite errors, class restrictions, time conflicts, closed courses and permission of instructor required.” To amend some of the mistakes, the current juniors were given from 4:30 p.m. on April 20 to midnight on April 21 (although the initial email told them they only had until midnight on April 20) to go into their Personal Access Pages and round out their schedules.

It remains unclear how well registration of rising juniors and sophomores will go over the coming weeks, but the Registrar encourages students to consult their advisors in order to ensure they are able to enroll in the classes they put on their forms.

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