Registrar Explains Advantages of Online Registration System
By Brianda Reyes '14, Managing News Editor
Starting with this registration cycle, students will be able to sign up for classes online. Due to the shift to online registration, students will now be able to meet with their advisors and register for classes on separate weeks, unlike previous years when both had to be done in one week.

Starting Monday, students will meet with their advisors to discuss their classes for the Fall 2011 semester. Advisors will approve each student’s classes by submitting an online form, which will allow students to officially register for classes the following week.

“Students should go prepared with the courses they are interested in when they meet with their advisors,” said Registrar Kathleen Goff.

According to Goff, students should use the online Course Scheduler to choose the classes that they want to take before meeting with their advisor. Students must copy and paste their course selections to ACDATA under Preferred Courses so that, when the students meet with their advisor, the advisor can access this list and review the courses with the student.

Registration for classes on ACDATA will be possible from April 4 to April 8. The registration process will be different from previous years because different classes will have different sign-up periods.

“The classes are broken up to control the load of the system,” Goff said.

The exact schedule of the registration period has not been decided, but it will be announced via e-mail on Friday.

Although the registration process will be done online, other forms will continue to be process in paper. Students that wish to sign up for a course that requires the professor’s signature must still get a form filled out by that professor and take it to the Registrar’s Office during the registration period.

Similarly, Five-College courses will be dealt with as they were dealt with in past years. Students will need to put a Five-College “placeholder” during advising week, and then add the course during registration week.

According to Goff, one of the benefits to the online registration is that students studying abroad will now be able to register for courses with less difficulty. Previously, students studying abroad had to decide their schedule through a long series of e-mails.

Another change that students will notice when registering for classes is the new three-digit course-numbering system. College courses will be listed with three digits as opposed to the two -digit system used before. Although this may confuse students, Goff explains that the Course Scheduler would also show the two digit system in order to ease the transition.

Students will now be able to choose the co-requisites of classes separately. Co-requisites include labs and discussion times, which were previously listed under the lecture class itself. Separate registration for each will allow for fewer time conflicts.

Goff explained that the discussion to transition to online registration has been held for some years now. The Committee on Education Policy was charged with looking into ways to make this transition possible. The committee worked with students and faculty on a taskforce to create this process.

“It’s a highly relevant process, as students coming to Amherst College have an expectation of online opportunities,” Goff said. “I think that the more technological savvy the students become, the more expectations they have when they come here.”

Goff encourages the students to prepare for the transition by visiting the Registrar’s website and looking through the help provided for them there. The entire list of tools provided for the students, including the Course Scheduler is tentatively scheduled to be up by Friday. The Registrar’s Office will be open until 8 p.m. during the registration period to help students with any problems.

Issue 19, Submitted 2011-03-23 03:59:45