Making Registration Smoother

Rylee Neville, Staff Reporter

Last week, Whitman students were able to add classes to their schedule for Fall 2019. The process of pre-registration came with stress and frustration from students. These feelings are met with an effort from the Registrar’s office to make registration go smoother.

Sophomore Ellie Hough is a sociology major, and also wants to complete the requirements for pre-med.  Registration is difficult for students like Hough because many of the courses needed for her major/pre-med conflict.

I am always frustrated by registration, especially this year. I am trying to make sure I can fit in all of the requirements but I am not sure if I will be able to,” Hough said.

Pre-registration usually happens a couple weeks before finals. For Fall 2019, pre-registration began on Friday, Apr. 19th.

“I think this time of year is already really busy for everyone so thinking about future classes can add more stress, especially if it does not go smoothly,” Hough said.

Hough’s uncertainty about her course load is common among Whitman students. However, Whitman can provide resources for students who are having trouble.

“Whitman is a small school and that often means to most people that there are many resources for the number of students we have. While I agree with this, I think that there should be more coordination between the departments and classes offered at different times than just the morning,” Hough said.

The registrar’s office welcomes student feedback, and is willing to make changes. Registrar Stacey Giusti notes how this year may seem more intimidating than past years due to the departmental changes and structural changes to pre-registration for Fall 2019.

“There has been quite a few faculty changes in registration in response to external reviews, so because the Spanish department doesn’t deal with just Spain, they were told that Hispanic Studies would better describe their discipline. Rhetoric, writing and public discourse was a combination of rhetoric and composition. Those two departments worked together to make it a more relevant department to the students,” Giusti said.

The registrar’s office wants to ensure that the student’s best interests are at hand with these changes to registration. Mike Reese, Curriculum and Registration Analyst, came up with the idea to improve the registration process by dividing graduation class into more sections to ensure more movement and predictability with registration times.

“Previously, we divided each graduating class into two groups, top half and bottom half, and then we split up the times based on the registration period, and we rotated it for the next semester. We decided that we would split the two groups for each graduation class into four groups. This would enable each group to rotate to a better time a little bit more often than dividing it only by two,” Reese said.

During registration time, there is a live chat option where students can call the registrar’s office and they can help through the computer.

We put the live chat on the registration page so that when students are on the page they don’t have to get off and email us and wait for the email to come back. Right then they can contact us. We work in the evenings during registration times so their questions will be answered. We certainly try to watch our mail and phones as well. Anyway we can help we will help,” Giusti said.

Both Giusti and Reese want to make registration as easy as possible for students. They are aware of the stress that comes with it for students.

“I hope that this is not a life altering experience, because really this is not life altering. Use the live chat, we are here to help, whatever you need, you just need to let us know and we would be happy to help the best we can,” Giusti said.

Reese also reminds us that pre-registration means whatever is decided upon is not finalized until next fall. Whatever students sign up for now may be changed at a later date.

“Students always need to remember that after the graduation classes have their designated registration time, then it is open registration, clear to the end of the semester, so any class and any student can tweak their schedule still,” Reese said.

The registrar’s office would love to receive feedback on registration, including potential changes. According to Guisti, big changes to the registration process come from students themselves.

“Students can throw out any ideas or problems they are having at us, and a lot of times we can solve that from our end, but until we know about it we can’t do anything. So you are educating us on any issues that are going on with registration. We appreciate it, and there’s no judgement on anybody, there are no dumb questions,” Giusti said.