Measures taken to maintain number of courses offered

Amanda Muldoon

Registration brought up several questions for students, including faculty hiring, class standings, holding spots and technological advances.

The number of sections offered for each class in Spring 2010 is roughly the same as last spring and based on previous enrollment, according to Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Craig Wheeland, because some departments have hired adjunct faculty and some current faculty members have taught extra courses.

The hiring freeze implemented in March 2009 is no longer in place, according to Wheeland.

“About a week ago, Father Peter authorized programs to submit requests to hire faculty,” he said. “Some of the vacant positions in Arts and Sciences, which had the largest number of vacant positions, are being filled this year, starting in communications and political science.”

It is common for students to find their desired courses filled by the time they are allowed to register.

“Usually the sophomores are the ones that are most challenged by that because they register later in the process. Seniors tend to get the courses they want, and that’s sort of a fairness across the years.”

An increase in the number of incoming students with AP credit is responsible for a larger freshmen population with sophomore status.

This intensifies the difficulty they have in registering for upper-level classes.

Since they have met many of the core requirements, these students appear to be at a disadvantage, because they are still given the same registration time as all other freshmen, while many upper-level classes have already filled up.

“Originally we had done that [given freshmen sophomore registration times], but there were concerns that some students did not have any AP courses at their high schools,” said Cathy Connor, associate dean of Enrollment Management. “In trying to be as fair as possible, we thought that everybody coming in should do a lottery system.”

“We are always glad to meet and discuss to make sure that any process that we have is fair and it gives the students what they need in order to graduate on time,” Connor added.

Another issue that has come up is students who hold class spots for other students.

In response, administrators have run audits on students to see if they are trying to register for courses that they have already taken.

Students found to be holding seats are subject to registration penalties.They could be removed from the class, be required to register for future classes in person or the student could be sent to Judicial Review for an integrity violation, according to Connor.

Although students are still finding problems with course registration, the process has come a long way.

Students no longer need to register in person and are given more convenient registration times in the evening so there is no need to leave class to register.

“Recent changes in the way information is presented in the master schedule shows a big improvement,” Wheeland said. “To have courses that are cross-listed is important visually for students to know that courses in different departments all count towards their major.”

“Overall I thought the process was easy,” said freshman Laura Lim. “I thought the master schedule made it very easy to plan out my schedule ahead of time by searching for courses, teachers, class capacity and course times. The only problem I had was not getting into two classes at the times I had wanted. I also had some trouble submitting my schedule because the system was slow around that time.”

“We’re talking about trying to link information about textbooks and syllabi at the time of registration, but this will take some time to do,” Wheeland said.