The Triangle - The Independent Student Newspaper at Drexel University

Freshmen register first for courses

Starting with the 2012-2013 winter quarter, there will be a new order to the course registration time tickets at Drexel University. Continuing freshmen have been moved from the last time ticket to the second, allowing them to register before most of the undergraduate student body.

As usual, the first wave of registrants will include athletes, final-quarter graduate students, performing arts scholarship recipients, and ROTC and veteran students. The new registration order also has final-quarter undergraduate seniors and Pennoni Honors College students registering on the first day of registration. Instead of following seniority, freshmen will then register ahead of all remaining students. Administrators have been discussing the change in student registration order for the past few years, and they will finally take effect for the upcoming term.

“We have changed the schedule for course registration for winter term to better serve all students. Our goal is to facilitate degree progress and timely graduation,” John DiNardo, vice provost for academic affairs, said.

“[Students] wait until the final year to complete requirements which they should start fulfilling as incoming freshmen. Language learning should take place in sequence to ensure that knowledge is retained. Based upon vast experience, waiting until the final year [to take required classes] presents many complications and challenges for seniors,” Simone Schlichting-Artur, assistant department head of culture and communication, wrote in an email.

When the time ticket change first appeared on the registrar’s website, freshman were listed as being able to register for courses before graduating undergraduate seniors and members of the honors college. The website was updated Oct. 18, pushing those students ahead of freshmen.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a big deal for seniors because [freshmen] aren’t going to have the prerequisites that will affect the seniors. I feel bad for the sophomores, juniors, and pre-juniors who are trying to take electives and freshmen might take their place. But as seniors, I don’t think we would be as affected,” Olivia McDonnell, a senior business administration major, said.

Changes have been made to the overall registration process over the last several years, including wait-listing and reserve seating for classes, in addition to staggered registration times to avoid overloading the system and the extension of academic advising hours.

“After reviewing the registration process over the past few years, we believe that the changes we have made, including allowing freshmen to register in an earlier time ticket, will optimize the experience for all students,” DiNardo said.

Required courses are more set in plans of study than electives, which is why the registration process will be monitored closely. The courses that have the highest demand will open additional sections to fit students’ needs, a procedure that the Modern Languages program already has in place.

Extra academic advising hours in the commuter lounge, residence halls, colleges and schools have been incorporated into this new process to assist students having difficulty with course registration. The additional hours will ensure upperclassmen are not at a disadvantage with the new system.

“We are committed to the best interest of the students. We are always working at that,” DiNardo said.

After the aforementioned priority registration groups register Monday, Oct. 29, and freshmen register Oct. 30 and 31, the remainder of the new registration schedule is as follows: new and continuing matriculated graduate students Thursday, Nov. 1; new and continuing nonmatriculated graduate students Friday, Nov. 2; continuing seniors and nonmatriculated undergraduate students Monday, Nov. 5; juniors Wednesday, Nov. 7; pre-juniors Thursday, Nov. 8; sophomores Friday, Nov. 9; and students on co-op Monday, Nov. 26.

The decision was the result of collaboration between the offices of the Registrar; the Provost; Student Services; and Academic Advising, Retention and Diversity. The effectiveness of the new order will be accessed and reported back to the Drexel community. The Office of the Provost plans to release additional statements regarding the subject matter.