Students Log on to New System

By Courtney Wicker
Elm Staff Writer

In student’s e-mail among all the other mass e-mails pertaining to clubs and campus updates, mostly left unread should be one from the Office of the Registrar. This e-mail is actually one students should open and take the time to read through; it contains all the information students need to know for the new online course registration process.
“We’re arranging the dates and times by classes. It’s very important that the students check their emails so they can be aware of their day and time,” Dean Patrice DiQuinzio said. Oct. 22 marks the first day for online course registration begins.

The original process for registration for classes was very simple. Students met with their faculty advisors and planned out their schedules. Advisors began to feel as if the meetings with students were bit fulfilling enough.

“The advisors had been complaining that their interactions with the students weren’t as personable as they wanted,” DiQuinzio said. “Advisors want to take the time to talk about more long term goals for the students.”

The advising team hopes, with the new online system in place, that it will be able to talk with students about career goals and internships, and better advise students on courses that will move them closer toward their graduation goals.

At other institutions, like Howard Community College, in Howard County, MD, the online course registration acts as an alternative method to registering for classes. That is not the idea behind Washington College’s new online process. It will not be acting as a replacement or another option; rather it is a more efficient addition to the process already in place. “Students must meet with their advisors before they can go online. The advisors will give students an electronic approval and then they can go online and form their schedules themselves,” DiQuinzio said.

The registrar’s office has thought of everything in preparing the students for the new process. In the e-mail sent out, as of Oct. 4, there are detailed steps included that should leave no questions. “No matter what, there will be someone available to help the students with any problems or questions that may arise. They can speak with their faculty advisors, someone in the registrar office, and even people from OIT will be available to assist students. But we don’t anticipate any technical problems,” DiQuinzio said.

The main steps of the process are fairly simple. DiQuinzio highlighted the basics of the process: “Students will get an e-mail with the date and time of when they can register online, based on their class. They’ll need to then meet with their faculty advisor the week before that time. After they get the approval from their faculty advisor they are to log into WebAdvisor during the scheduled days and register for their courses.”

The student body will have to practice more responsibility in handling its academic careers. “The students will have to be more intuitive in creating their schedules. They’ll need to come well prepared to these meetings and have an idea already of what they’ll want to take in the spring,” DiQuinzio said.

DiQuinzio and the faculty advisors hope that the meetings will be able to be focused on more in-depth conversation. “We want the meetings less about the timing of classes and more about what students plan to do after college, more long-term based goals; like if they’re meeting their requirements and their own personal goals”, said Diquinzio.

“It will behoove the students to go online and select possible classes they’d want to take for the spring and come up with some questions for their faculty advisors,” she said. DiQuinzio also suggests that, “students should bring a notebook with them so they can jot down some notes on the courses they plan to take. So when they go to make their schedule online they’ll be able to refer to their notes and remember what they’re taking and why.”

Students expressed how excited they were about the new process. “I think it’ll save time, and make better use of the time with my advisor. It’ll be less trouble being able to change classes and add or drop them on my own,” said freshman Seung-Jung Nahm. The new system will afford students with the luxury of being able to change their schedule by their own means instead of having to make an appointment with their faculty advisor.

“Students need to read any emails they receive from the registrar’s office in the upcoming weeks, because in their e-mails they’ll be receiving exact dates,” said DiQuinzio. “Seniors, juniors, and sophomores will be allowed online first, then the system will shut down and the freshmen class will be allowed online after they’ve met with their advisors,” DiQuinzio said. Separating the classes is a move DiQuinzio and the office feel will help first year students, “since they’ll be newer to the process of registering for classes all together than the upperclassman,” she said.

Some students may experience trouble with registering if they have a restriction on their records. Students who may have a restriction will not be able to register for classes even after their faculty advisor has approved them until they address the matter. “Students can check ahead of time by logging into WebAdvisor and going into ‘Registration Status’ and find out if they have any sort of pending issue they need to clear before they can register for classes,” said DiQuinzio.

The new online system for registering for classes is something the Office of Registrar plans to keep in place as a permanent change. DiQuinzio is excited for the change and hopes everything runs smoothly starting Oct. 22 when the first online day begins for seniors. “Students need to check any e-mails they get in the upcoming weeks from myself or the Registrar’s Office, and I hope this improves the quality of the meetings and really allows for better interactions between students and advisors,” said DiQuinzio.

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