Registering for classes can be problematic, especially when classes are dropped or when two required classes are offered at the same time.
Scheduling issues such as these can delay students’ graduation by forcing them to take unnecessary credits in order to remain full-time students.
Behavioral Science student Benjamin Heward encountered these problems when he tried to register for anthropology courses spring semester. He believes the university is not offering enough required courses for students who have an emphasis in anthropology, making it difficult to obtain a bachelor’s degree at what he considers an acceptable rate.
The mantra “15 to finish”, coined by the retention department, means enrolling in at least 15 credit hours per semester. The 15-to-finish method was designed to help students graduate with a bachelor’s degree within four years. However, students like Heward have discovered there’s more to registration than simply counting credits.
“There are several of us who are affected by problems like double-scheduling and a limited number of classes. We realize that there may be not enough students registered for some classes to carry, but we still need our degrees,” Heward said.
Heward and other students majoring in anthropology have experienced setbacks in their pursuit of degrees, which he claims is mostly due to the difficulty in registering.
The main problems occur when two required classes are scheduled at the same time of day or when classes are dropped altogether. But what students don’t understand is what causes these registration problems, and what they can do to avoid them.
“There’s a lot going on behind the scenes that students aren’t aware of. In this instance, we lost a faculty member and several adjuncts who taught several anthropology courses,” Joylin Namie, associate professor of Anthropology, said. “We tried to accommodate this year’s courses for every student, but time and space restrictions during scheduling courses can cause conflicting time schedules to happen.”
Scheduling classes can cause just as many problems as registering for classes, especially when professors leave the university. Due to the limited classroom space, classrooms are dropped whenever a professor leaves, resulting in several courses that have no professor and no classroom. The faculty member in charge of scheduling then has to find a new professor and a new classroom before the semester begins, or the class is dropped.
“Benjamin raises important issues. The immediate concern is with a required archeology class that was scheduled at the same time as my Anthropology of the Andes class,” Behavioral Science professor David Knowlton said. “As the former program coordinator, I know the faculty in our program has tried to avoid these kinds of scheduling conflicts. Since we are a small department and face budgetary difficulties, like all departments, we are not able to offer key classes every semester.”
Since scheduling can be difficult for both students and faculty, Namie recommends students regularly visit their advisor before registering for classes. Many students believe registering through Wolverine Track is sufficient, but advisors will know firsthand when problems arise. Advisors can also plan around prerequisite classes to avoid being prevented from taking an upper-level class.
Roadblocks are bound to happen during registration, so students are encouraged to regularly visit with their advisors to avoid issues like conflicting time schedules. Visit with an advisor before the registration deadline to make sure your schedule not only works for the current semester, but future semesters as well.