A Major Hit to Yearly Planning: In Defense of One-Time Preregistration

The student digest emails have been heavily advertising a survey about changing the process of class registration. As opposed to registering for classes on a yearly basis during Block 7, the administration is trying to decide if students should register for one semester of classes at a time. First semester classes would be planned in the end of the previous school year, and second semester classes would be chosen sometime during first semester. While I can see a few advantages in this alteration, ultimately, my vote would be no.

Cartoon by Lo Wall

Sophomore Melanie Mandell explained, “I like registration being one process because I am able to conceptualize my entire schedule. I’m a planner, and I want to know which classes I can check off my major’s checklist.” For a student who is declared in a major, planning your class schedule for an entire academic year at one time is incredibly useful. As each major contains various gateway classes and pre-requisites, it is necessary to take specific classes during certain blocks to complete the major in a timely manner. On top of that, for a student who is declared, as sophomore Beau Carlborg explained, “I think it would add more stress if I did not know my entire schedule. There are certain classes I need for my major, and if I came into school not knowing if I would be able to fulfill a specific credit second semester, I would be stressed.” He went on to use the psychology major as an example. Every psychology major must first take Research Design to take just about any advanced psychology class. If a student does not get into Research Design first semester, it would be incredibly stress-inducing to be unsure of which classes they could actually take in their second semester at CC. While the process of choosing only one semester of classes may feel easier initially, in long run, it would cause most students to feel added pressure.

Currently, the system of choosing classes is in favor of sophomores, juniors and seniors. First-year students choose their classes after the sophomores, juniors, and seniors have already registered for their classes. While it may seem unfair as a first-year to have fewer class options available as many are already at capacity, I think this system is intelligent. While many students may enter college with an idea of their major, it very often changes, whereas students who have already been at CC for over a year are more likely certain of their major. The students who are more certain of their future path at CC deserve to have greater accessibility to a larger number of courses in their field of study. Then, the following year, when the first-years have become sophomores they will likely be more sure of the path they would like to pursue at CC, and they can choose from the class schedule accordingly. Beyond that, many introductory courses already have a certain number of spots reserved for first-years so that these students don’t end up missing out on 100-level classes.

On the other hand, sophomore Annemarie Lewis said, “I think I would like a semester system of choosing classes. I took a lot of classes this [first] semester that I loved, and I now want to change most of my second semester classes. However, the classes I want to enroll in are already full.” While Lewis is in support of changing the system, it seems that her thoughts still align with the opposing thoughts. She is unsure of her major, so for students like her, a semester plan of choosing classes seems like a good idea.

Essentially, the system that is currently in place benefits more people than it harms. Junior Devin Holbrook said, “What’s the advantage [to changing the system]? Students can add or drop classes at any time.” Despite the benefits of the semester system aiding those unsure of their major, I believe most students have an idea of their future paths, and those students want to be able to plan their schedules to be certain they can fulfill certain requirements and pre-requisites. Also, as stated by Holbrook, if a class on a student’s transcript needs to be changed, it is incredibly easy to travel to the registrar and switch a few blocks. We should keep the system as is retains the benefits afforded to older students, with minimal negative effects on younger students, while still being able to accommodate some levels of flexibility in class schedule.

Caroline Williams

Caroline Williams

Caroline Williams

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