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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Registrar ‘very pleased’ with spring term prep

<rleton students registered for spring classes during the last week and a half.  The process of registration was smooth sailing, according to Roger Lasley ‘72, Carleton’s registrar.

Registration “went really well,” he said. “We have a lot of students needing to register and they seem to have distributed themselves well across the courses.  It’s all looking good to me.  I got fewer emails, and so did my staff, about registration-related problems than I remember in recent times.”

Registration, as always, proceeded by seniority.  Seniors kicked things off by choosing courses on Feb. 21, with the rest of the classes staggered over the next eight days.

Lasley was surprised that only about 50 students remain unregistered, fewer than normal at this point.

“We’ve got about 50 students that haven’t registered for one reason or another.  I was very pleased that there are only 50 people [left].” 

Among those students, most are neither off campus nor particularly lazy. 

“Usually there’s a registration hold on their records for financial purposes,” Lasley said. “And some of them just don’t feel compelled to register because maybe they’re doing a combination of Comps and independent studies, and Comps isn’t going to close and independent studies you don’t register for online.”

The largest course for spring term will be Matt Rand and Daniel Hernandez’s Energy Flow in Biologic Systems (Bio 126) with 100 students.  This quantity ranks as only a tad smaller than the roughly 120 students in Carleton’s largest course ever, a Classics course taught by former Classics professor David Porter.

Sadly, not enough students registered for four or five classes, causing their cancellation.  According to Lasley, roughly that number of classes is eliminated each term for the same reason.  One course on the brink of dissipation was changed from a 300-level class to 200-level in order to allow more underclassmen to join.

The registrar’s office faced only a couple minor blips during the registration period. 

“We did have… the connection between The Hub and the database drop twice for reasons that we cannot explain.  ITS is looking into it,” Lasley said. “The first time it dropped was just for five minutes and the second time it dropped, which was on a different day, was only for ten minutes, and both of those were within a priority time slot.” 

These short crashes fade in comparison to times in years past when the system has entirely failed mid-registration, and remaining priority registration times were subsequently pushed back.

The office continues to deal with its usual student complaints. 

“If you get bounced back to the menu when you’re trying to do something, you’ve got to clear your cookies,” Lasley noted. 

Often students complain of seeing open spots in a course but are unable to register.  They are frequently looking at the classes on ENROLL, which is only updated hourly, instead of The Hub.

The most common complaint involves a scenario in which many Carleton students have once found themselves.  A student sees that a course has an open spot and attempts to register but is instead forced to waitlist.  Ann May, Transcript Coordinator and Senior Administrative Assistant to the Registrar, clarified, “Somebody dropped.  Once the waitlist begins to form, everyone is waitlisted.  So those [open] spots are guaranteed for the waitlisters.  And it is a very confusing issue.”

Besides constant updating of The Hub from ITS, Carleton’s registration process has barely changed since it became electronic in 2002.  This term there were slightly more hard-coded prerequisites, so for many courses, primarily the sciences, students were unable to register online without having taken the prerequisites.  This is a change from years past, when prerequisites were only enforced by students’ honor.

The registrar’s office staff spent the week leading up to registration checking that the newly coded prerequisites were functioning properly.

 The registration period has also been extended, said Lasley. 

“We allow students to make registration changes or register initially any time through the Friday before classes begin.  They have a longer time now to clear up some issues.” 

“We kind of thought [the change] would make students get kind of lackadaisical and not do their registration, but that wasn’t the case this term,” May added. “Hopefully it’ll decrease some of the drop/add activity.”

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