In a recent study done by the Quaker Campus, many students talked about their experience with the registrar (and registration as a whole). And the consensus is clear – the issues with this organization are causing more problems than solving them. So in response to this, the College Registrar Julie Khella, M.A., sent out an email to the Whittier College community on September 20, talking about the new registration process in order to help alleviate some of the issues that may arise.
The students of Whittier College are hurting when it comes to the online class registration process. One student Fifth+ year Math and Physics major states that they “joke about jumping off the [Science and Learning Center] SLC” due to their struggles with registration. They continue on saying how they thought they were going to “graduate on time until the business office told [them] [they] [were] missing a class [they] didn’t know [they] needed because DegreeWorks suck[s].” Another student shares the sentiments about the difficulty of the registration process. A fourth-year Digital Art and Graphic Design student emphasizes the complications that come each semester by saying how they feel that they “have to fight the school to get simple amenities. To get anything done here you have to jump through a lot of hoops and even if you personally contact someone and they say they’ve handled it, at Whittier, chances are you’ll have to jump through those hoops again because your request never actually went through. It’s messy, and it’s stressful. I know of at least 10-20 students that have shed tears or had panic attacks during registration. The online systems Whittier uses can be confusing, and sometimes the websites just break.” A third-year English major feels the same way. They continue this sentiment by talking about the new changes to registration, and what they can mean for students. They state “There have been changes to the major which is stressful especially as there may be more forms to fill out over but I haven’t exactly had anything emailed to me about it which seems a bit unorganized and feels chaotic. The changes to the timeline for registration have also changed as well which feels stressful.”
In response to the difficulties that students have discussed in regards to the registration process, a new schedule has been created for spring semester 2023. Over the course of multiple weeks “running from late September until the end of October”, students depending on how many credits that they currently have, will meet with their advisor, and then register. The email sent by Registrar Julie Khella, M.A., states that “During registration, each class standing will have six (6) days (Monday-Sunday) to register for classes.” The new schedule for next semester is that Senior Advising will happen from Sept. 26-30, and Senior Registration will happen from October 3rd to the 9th; Junior Advising will happen Oct. 3-7 and Junior Registration will occur from October 10th to the 16th; Sophomore Advising will happen October 10-14 and Sophomore Registration will happen from October 17th to the 23rd; First-year Continuing advising will happen from Oct. 17-21 and Continuing Freshman Registration will occur from October 24th to the 30th; and that any students “who missed their open window or needs to make changes to their schedule” will be able to on October 31st for 24 hours. The email continues by stating that “Registration will close on November 1st for continuing students, to allow new students to register for classes. Open registration will open again from December 1st to January 18th.”
The heads of many departments at Whittier understand that there is a struggle when it comes to registering for classes. Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty sal johnston says that this new schedule “is designed to provide more time for advising and structured time for students in every class level to register for the courses they need.
In reference to the Academic Calendar, he says that “advising for seniors begins next week, followed by a week-long registration period. This model is followed by juniors, sophomores, and first-year students. There is a bit of overlap, but the goal is to allow advisors sufficient time to meet with all their advisees.” He continues by saying that now with the four weeks of advising instead of two, he “hope[s] students take advantage of this schedule to meet with their advisors early and take care of everything they need to do to prepare for the spring semester.”
The Dean of Academic Success and Associate Dean of Faculty Professor Gil Gonzalez shares similar sentiments. He said that, in regards to first-year student registration, “CAAS traditionally works with all incoming first year and transfer students over the summer to help them register for classes. We took a different approach to first year student registration this year, asking each student to fill out a questionnaire regarding their academic interests and plans as part of the New Student Checklist. Our goal was to utilize the information students submitted to create an individualized schedule for each student that made the best use of the classes available in the fall.” He continues by stating that, “One of the challenges involved students who registered later in the summer, as many courses had already filled up and were closed. Since we prioritized placement of students into as many liberal arts education program requirements as possible, we asked students to connect with their First Year Faculty Mentor or CAAS during Orientation to make any schedule adjustments.”
Registration can be a stressful time for all. If you have any questions in regards to the process, you can contact the Office of the Registrar by calling them 562.907.4241, or emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured Image: Sage Amdahl / Quaker Campus