Disoriented Students Navigate Registration Woes

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Disoriented Students Navigate Registration Woes

TARYN OKAMOTO • THE SPECTATOR

TARYN OKAMOTO • THE SPECTATOR

TARYN OKAMOTO • THE SPECTATOR

TARYN OKAMOTO • THE SPECTATOR

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Registration week can be a hectic time for students—a timeline that begins with figuring out registration time to hopefully gaining admittance into preferred courses can be stressful. The dispersion of registration times is a factor in said stress, especially if the process in determining times is not known information. The manner in which registration times are assigned is a meticulous process that multiple academic offices at Seattle University, such as Disability Services, the Advising Center, and the Registrar’s Office are associated with.

The technical aspect of registration and registration times is a direct responsibility of the Office of the Registrar. Associate Registrar Kevin Wells works closely with the student information system. Within his role, Wells determines registration times by factoring in seniority status and student priority.

TARYN OKAMOTO • THE SPECTATOR
TARYN OKAMOTO • THE SPECTATOR

To elaborate on the subject of seniority and priority, Wells said that registration times are divided into two groups: priority group and all others. The two groups are then further divided based on year in school, from doctoral to first-year students, and each category is once more arranged by the number of credits students have completed.

Priority registration is given to students that have received approvals through Academic Affairs. Due to student privacy and confidentiality, a list of the characteristics that define who may receive early registration is not publicly posted. However, students registered with Disability Services may receive priority registration as one of the academic accommodations.

To receive any accommodations with Disability Services, students must fill out an online application that can be found on their Seattle U website. Once the online application is filled, a student will schedule an intake appointment with one of the staff at Disability Services to decide what accommodations a student may need.

“If a student has a disability-related reason for priority registration, that information is sent to the Registrar’s Office,” Kim Thompson said.

Thompson is the senior director of Disability Students. She relayed that although early registration is an accommodation Disability Services can assist students with, it is usually not an accommodation on its own. The need for early registration is always accompanied by other underlying issues and is decided on a case-by-case basis after the initial intake appointment.

Thompson encouraged students who believe they have a need for academic accommodations to visit them in Loyola 100 in the upper mall of the university.

Although priority and seniority are reasons that the registration times are spread apart, Wells said that another reason for that is due to system capabilities.

“There are a couple of reasons why we have to space times out. One is the system won’t allow for all seven thousand people to get in at the same time,” Wells said. “If we let too many people into the registration portal at the same time, the system would crash.”

Aside from the technical aspects of registration, students are sometimes faced with obstacles that mostly concern class choices and availability. A main issue with the dispersion of registration times is that even with the priority and seniority methods in place, students may not be able to register for classes they need to ensure planned academic progress.

Joelle Pretty, the director of the pre-major studies program, assists students in the academic and advising component of registration. In addition to working closely with pre-major students, she also oversees all of undergraduate advising at Seattle U. She specializes in student retention and persistence, and thus is aware of the hardships students may encounter during registration.

“We have had an action team this entire past year that’s looking at issues that are impacting students,” Pretty said. “One of the things we’ve been discussing is registration order.”

In order to create more resources for students during registration week, the Advising Center in Bellarmine Hall remains open for drop-in hours during that time for any students who need assistance. Most students who use the drop-in hours visit the center because they have been locked out of their preferred course or section.

“Almost all of us are doing just drop-ins the whole time during registration, so we can help students who are panicking,” Pretty said. “We definitely are aware that students go through that and so we make sure to have those drop-in hours available.”

The Advising Center remains open as a resource for students who are searching for help in their academic progress, including assistance with registration as they understand that students may find the registration process and timing to be frustrating.

Because of said frustration, the Office of the Registrar works closely with Academic Affairs and Advising Services to determine what is best for Seattle U students. In doing so, they have created a survey that aims to collect student thoughts on registration so they may use the information in the future. The survey link can be found on the Seattle U’s Office of the Registrar website.

Asma may be reached at
[email protected]