Course registration system to change for Fall 2012: The new system eliminates the use of a planning sheet and has class years register on the same day

Posted by Kojo Amarteyfio

After two year, the Office of the Registrar is rolling out a new student course registration system as part of a process that will affect the way students register for fall classes.

The College is changing to the Banner Student System, a registration system that offers new functionality, although it dispenses with other features that were available with the old system.

"We were forced to change systems because the old system was no longer supported by the old vendor," said David DeConno, interim registrar.

The most noticeable difference between the two systems is the disappearance of the planning sheet, as, according to DeConno, the new system doesn't offer the capacity for it. To compensate for this, he suggests students download and plan out their schedules on worksheets that are available on the College website.

Students should also check the catalog to make sure that they have fulfilled all prerequisites for the classes in which they want to enroll. DeConno will also send out e-mails about registration that should lay out the changes in more detail. A step-by-step guide is available online as well.

The second major alteration is in the allocation of registration time slots. Previously, students were assigned to registration groups within their class years with staggered registration times. To determine the groups, an initial start name was selected and the groups created by picking a set of students below the start name, which were arranged alphabetically. By changing the start name every semester, the Registrar's office hoped to allow every student the chance to eventually obtain a premium registration slot.

Beginning this fall, students in the same class year will register at the same time on the same day. Juniors will register on April 10, sophomores on April 12 and freshmen on April 17.

"The system may slow down a bit in the beginning but we're not expecting it to crash," said DeConno, in response to questions about how the system would be able to handle the great number of students registering at the same time.

Although the new system will not give one set of students priority over another, it does leave a group of students who were in line for a priority slot under the old system shortchanged.

"It had to start somewhere. And the system doesn't exactly allow us to arrange by start letter," said DeConno, explaining that the new process would be easier to manage.

The wait-list procedure also has adjusted accordingly. When space opens up in a course for which a student is wait-listed, the student will receive notification about the opening. The student then has 36 hours to register for the class, after which the opportunity passes on to the next wait-listed student.

Additionally, students no longer have to drop a class in order to meet credit limit requirements if they want to be wait-listed for another class.

In another modification, the enrollment cart has been removed, eliminating an extra layer in the registration process that had been a source of confusion to students who had items in the enrollment cart that they thought they had moved onto their schedules.

The new system has already been tested by a group of students, who were awarded premium time slots for their participation.

"It is fairly straight-forward. However, I do really miss having a planning sheet. I can write it all down and make sure my schedule works out fine on my own, but I miss the ability to store that information so I can just press submit when it's my registration time," said one of the beta-testers, who declined to have her name published.

During the registration period beginning on April 10, students with difficulties can e-mail, call the Registrar's office or visit the office itself. On registration day, the Registrar's office staff will be available in Harder 101 to provide technical support or to walk students through the new process. 

Healthful Hints: Sexual Misconduct: An informative response to the recent Safety Alert on campus

Letter: Classic Advice for a Bacchanal (Updated)