To combat the biannual chaos caused by registration, administration has been working with individual departments to help students get into their desired classes. As a result, the registration office and faculty senate have decided to implement demand-based scheduling.
“These changes should decrease the number of registration action forms that need to be filled out because courses are closed,” Registrar Lara Medley said. “The idea is, with demand scheduling, we look at the number of students that are ready for that course and make sure that the number of seats in the course is [sufficient].”
Demand-based scheduling allows administration more flexibility when creating classes based off of student demand. However, this comes at the expense of the teaching faculty.
“The primary concerns of the faculty are related to staffing and workload issues in terms of offering the same courses multiple semesters, and how we manage that,” Provost Tom Boyd said. “They are afraid this will have a negative impact on their workload.”
Registration aims to increase four year graduation rates and offer courses when students truly need them.
“We find students are unable to finish in the four years that they would like to finish. They’re staying an extra semester because they couldn’t get into a course,” Medley explained. “We recognize another semester is another semester of full tuition cost. We don’t want students to do that.”
Medley continues to work with individual departments to increase the extent that demand based scheduling can be implemented. Unfortunately, registration will never be perfect, and with registration around the corner; the registration office will not be completely done with the transition to demand-based scheduling, even though the process has been in the works for months.
“The process began back in November and we’ve be working on it ever since. The reality is that we haven’t just implemented it, but that we’ve been working on it for quite a bit,” Medley said.
For this registration period, the initial changes will impact lower division classes in order to help incoming freshman.
Students can help make the registration process easier. The newly refined Geode has an Annual Course Planning Tool, that allows the registration office to coordinate with departments earlier to understand the needs of students.
“Students [using Geode] will help us the most. We can ensure that the number of courses, and seats, can cover the needs that are being communicated with us,” Medley said.