As November begins, with the current semester just weeks away from completion, students must once again become familiarized with their course evaluation, academic profile and continue to make plans for their futures.
Whether it is the last semester before graduation for seniors or just the second of many for freshmen, registration for spring will occur for everyone this week and next week after being postponed due to poor weather conditions.
The delayed registration schedule now has Seminary students registering on Tuesday, November 6 and College Graduate (GC), Non-Degree, Continuing Education, and Pre-College students on Wednesday, November 7. Seniors (87 or more credits) began registering today, Thursday, November 8, and juniors (54-86 credits) will tomorrow, Friday, November 9. Sophomores (24-53 credits) will register on Monday, November 12, and freshmen (0-23 credits) will register on Tuesday, November 13. Each registration session begins at 12:01 a.m. on the assigned days.
Registration and planning for upcoming semesters occurs each semester with the constant goal of “making the process as stress-free as possible,” according to Registrar Celine Brudnok. “Our goal is to get everyone comfortable and familiar with the registration process; ultimately, it is to get everyone registered,” she said.
The registration process is done using the SVC Portal to help ensures efficiency in the and, according to Brudnok, “has come a long way” since paper registration in 1997 when she became Registrar. “We didn’t have online registration for many years,” she explained. “Everything was brought into the office. We had to enter it, and we had to give students a copy.”
Brudnok commented on the role of technology in the registration process, saying “I think the fact that student’s have control of their registration and can access their information 24/7 at their fingertips is the biggest bonus with technology, providing more valuable information to students, including GPA and course requirements for not only core curriculum, but also majors, minors and concentrations.”
Freshman Shannon Tantlinger likes “that [the portal] shows the course options that are available, as well as the dates and times.”
Likewise, freshman Jessica Kissel likes “how the information is all online so students can see it.” She added, “I am grateful for technology; I couldn’t imagine doing this without online resources.”
“We have been encouraging students to utilize the Portal for registration, adding and dropping courses, doing a lot of things themselves,” said Brudnok, adding she is “very pleased with all of the resources the [Registrar’s office] can provide for the students and hopes they can utilize them as intended.”
Currently, course registration is divided by graduating class and begins at 12:01a.m. on the class’s specific day of registration, a system that has been in place for two years, when the Datatel became the database for registration.
According to Brudnok, the previous system, Jenzabar, which did not allow the capacity for all of one class to register at one time, began at 6 a.m. and had three timeslots open for students to register throughout the early morning before offices opened to decrease problematic traffic issues.
Junior Sarah Jara, who has registered using both systems, “doesn’t prefer one to the other.” She added, “I guess [the current system] is better because you don’t have to get up as early. Now it’s by class, before it was by credits, so it’s a little simpler to know when to register now.”
Similarly, junior Eric Shearer said, “If I were to compare it to the previous system, [the current system] is at a nice and convenient time. We can do it at midnight as opposed to 6 a.m.”
Brudnok explained that the current system “allows each class to register at a single time, with more capacities and capabilities to get everyone on.” Additionally, she said, “[The change] was really driven by the capabilities of the new system, and we wanted to take advantage of that as dividing classes up A-Z was complicated.”
With many upperclassmen accustomed to the new system and registration overall, some freshmen and transfer students share excitement and anxiety at the opportunity to register for classes themselves for the first time. In order to assist freshmen, the Registrar’s office presented information to all freshmen in conjunction with their first year seminar that “educated students on their transition to registration,” said Brudnok. “It is important for students to become familiar with this,” she added.
“I feel really prepared [for registration]. I met with my department head and advisor,” said Kissel. “I like to look at the classes and figure it out; it’s like a puzzle how everything fits together.”
Tantlinger too “feels pretty confident” after talking to her advisor, who helped out in suggesting and advising the courses she needed to take.
“The advisor is a really good resource for students,” said Brudnok. “They’re a one-to-one guide in helping make course selections they may not have thought about and ensuring they are on track to graduate.”
Sophomore transfer student Ashley Kovall feels quite comfortable, because SVC has the same system as her old school, which she “had no problem with.”
When registering, Brudnok wants all students to be prepared, which will hopefully ensure a successful, efficient registration. “It’s preparation, and I can’t say that enough—being prepared so that on your eligible day, you can go on that screen and see what you can get registered for. That’s the best advice we can give.”
She also encourages patience, saying, “There is going to be a lot of activity, so you have to be patient with the processing to happen.” Especially for freshmen and sophomores, Brudnok advises students to have alternate courses ready and a backup plan, as it is very unlikely to successfully register for all first-choice courses. Lastly, she recommends that all students communicate with their advisor. If changes are made, confirm with advisor so they are aware of what is happening.
Having already chosen their courses, met with their advisors and planned their schedules in advance, many students were proactive and ready for registration on the first day, originally set for Wednesday, October 31. However, due to the then-forecasted impending severe weather stemming from Hurricane Sandy, the Registrar’s office made the decision to delay all registrations because of likely power outages.
“We felt, in an effort to be proactive and fair to everyone, it would be to everyone’s advantage to postpone registration for a week. The other part of that is, if we lost power, there would be no way to communicate with anyone,” said Brudnok, who said the only impact of this delay would be a shorter waitlist period. “We think it was a positive decision, and it put everyone at ease.”
“I understand why they did it and it makes sense,” said Jara, “but I would have liked to get it over with because it’s so stressful to be prepared and have to wait.”
Brudnok advises students who feel unprepared for registration to visit the Registrar’s office for assistance before their designated times. “The reality is that there is no one here at 12:01 a.m. If you aren’t prepared and you have issues, you will have to wait until the office opens,” she cautioned.