New class registration evokes mixed feelings
New enrollment system helps some, hurts others
September 6, 2007 1:14 PM
Accounting junior Alex Cutlip didn’t expect that her first week at SF State would be spent trying to crash courses as an effect of the new two-tier registration method.
“I can get two classes I need, but the school is forcing me to have to fight,” said Cutlip, a 28-year-old transfer student from City College of San Francisco. “I put enormous amounts of energy into it.”
According to Emily Luu, a worker in the Registrar’s Office, the two-tier registration program was created to give all SF State students an even opportunity to register for classes. Giving them two registration periods, students were able to register up to eight units between May 14 through May 24 while their second registration period during summer break allows them to register for the rest of their classes.
When students were allowed one registration period to add classes during the summer, sophomores had the last priority registration periods giving them little to no opportunity to add classes that they needed.
The Facilitating Task Force were appointed in 2006 to find new solutions for students to graduate faster at SF State. By creating the 8 unit early registration date as well as recommendations for graduation roadmaps and graduation planners, the Facilitating Task Force stated in their 2006 report that "by bringing up some of these obstacles to the attention of faculty, staff, and administrators, and to support their efforts to assist undergraduate students in achieving the goal of a baccalaureate degree."
According to a student survey published by the Facilitating Task Force, 29 percent of students were held back from graduating due to missing required courses in the General Education Segment II and 23 percent due to Segment III.
Physics lab instructor Anthony Aikens, 23, who recently graduated from Duke University, believes that what the students need isn’t a new registration method, but more classes and an open enrollment for everyone.
“It’s a situation where if you have this many students, you need more classes,” said Aikens.
Registrar's Office Specialist Jim Fitzpatrick said he felt that the two-tier program was helping freshmen and sophomores who “weren’t getting classes that they needed."
Freshman Nicole Blas, 18, said she feels the program benefits undergraduates and was a fair chance at graduating on time.
“It’s two three-unit classes and a lab course,” Blas said. “You’re at least getting some of your classes.”
“It was easy,” agreed Courtney Haile, 29, a graduate student in Ethnic Studies. “You get three classes you have to take before worrying about everything else.”
As a new student, Cutlip feels that the changes to registering for classes are adding more stress to students like her.
“I’m probably going to have to delay another semester,” said Cutlip. “It’s scary.”
Other students, like Summer Gephart, 20, a recreation and leisure studies student, agrees to the added stress.
“I thought it was annoying that I had to think about it during midsummer,” said Summer Gephart, 20, a recreation and leisure studies student. “I like to [just] get through it.”
Though students are getting the opportunity to add at least two courses that they need, many juniors and seniors are finding problems with the new method.
Senior Thomas Devine, 45, watched fellow graduating students suffer.
“Two of my classmates couldn’t add classes,” said Devine. “We seniors are focusing on our core classes, we need to graduate.”
Chris Miranda, 30, an instructional technologies graduate student, said that the two-tier registration program is detrimental to juniors and seniors.
“I don’t think it helps,” he said. “You still need to crash classes and change your courses. I’d totally be pissed.”
“Priority is good, but, it should be based on graduation requirements,” Devine said. “Graduating seniors should get their courses first.”
Cutlip feels that the solution shouldn’t end at changing registration or increasing classes to fit the needs of student population.
“It’s a whole CSU problem,” Cutlip said. “It may not be so bad if they changed things like requirements or prerequisites.”
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