Posted by Sarah Barry
The Office of the Registrar has worked to prepare solutions for issues with class registration that stem from the college's historically large student population this year.
Seniors began registering Wednesday, Nov. 3, and the other classes will follow in descending order.
"Within each class year our system allows us to choose a starting letter, it goes alphabetically from there. What we try to do is change that starting letter from semester to semester to make it as fair as possible," Associate Registrar David DeConno said.
During any given semester students will complain of consistently poor timeslots, but DeConno maintains that students are gradually moving toward earlier times if they have had the last timeslot before. "It's an inexact science, but we try to make it as fair as possible," DeConno said.
Additionally, due to the above average first-year and senior class sizes, the office has spent time preparing for potential problems.
"We did feel some pressures in certain areas and we worked very closely with the Dean of Faculty's office. Where possible we've increased cap sizes in small amounts that do not raise the teacher to student ratio. Our curriculum committee, long before this, put together guidelines for increased class sizes," DeConno said.
The cap for 200 level classes has increased from between 20 and 25 to 29, but the Registrar recognizes the issues with increasing class sizes across the board. "We know that it's just not effective to over-enroll a writing, lab or discussion based course," Deconno said.
To accommodate for this, the Registrar has created additional sections, particularly in the science department.
Even the Registrar's attempts to accommodate the increased number of students are not enough to ensure students' getting their first choice schedule. "In any given semester courses are going to fill up and there's going to be waitlist activity. I would go back to encouraging students to be flexible and have many alternative schedules ready to go," DeConno said.
Students are encouraged to add themselves to waitlists and approach the instructor of a course they are interested in.
The Registrar works with the Dean of Faculty's office and the department chairmen to fill gaps and create options for students. "Often if the chairman is aware of the demand for the course he or she may be able to work with the special programs office to make it available during the summer. The summer courses are really built upon demand and the availability of faculty," DeConno said.
The final step, DeConno says, is for students to double check that they've actually been enrolled in the courses they signed up for upon registering. "It's always best to log off and log back on right away and make sure everything's okay with your schedule. Always just double check; stay up for five more minutes and make sure your classes are on your schedule," DeConno said.
While the process may frustrate students, the Registrar is available to answer questions.
"There's a lot of collaboration that goes on behind the scene that students don't see. We try to accommodate students. It's not always going to be easy to register, but we're here to help in any way possible," DeConno said.