The registration process for spring 2016 semester is just around the corner. Most of the students start looking at the classes they are interested in a week before, others wait until the last minute, but something that not a lot students think about is what happens behind the scenes. How is the registration process planned and who is responsible for it?
Lisa Rizopoulus, Ph.D. and chair of the education department, explained that the courses offered any given semester have to do with the demand for them by students.
“We look at that and we see where in the schedule they need all those classes,” she said.
The sections offered each semester are based on that year’s student enrollment. In general, the classes offered stay the same from semester to semester, but what really changes is how many sections each department will provide for a class.
Rizopoulus said that “working with the student one-on-one during advising and planning ahead with them so they now in advance which courses are available,” is one of Manhattan College’s best features.
“We spend time trying to find out what the students are working on and what [they] need support in [because] it is our Lasallian mission to get to know our students,” she said.
At times, a class needs to be cancelled and replaced with a different course. Provost William Clyde said there are several reasons this may occur.
“The reason [behind the decision] of getting rid of a class or adding a new one is that there is no interest in it anymore, that it was a specialty of a faculty member that is not [in the school] anymore, or maybe [because] it was important to the field before and now is not,” Clyde said.
In other circumstances, independent studies might be offered to help fulfill different course requirements, although Rizopoulus does not encourage them because “there is nothing like being in a classroom with your peers,” she said.
The whole registration system is set up online in the college database with the Registrar’s office. Each department gives the Registrar detailed information about the classes after the registration process, such as “if one class is full and we need to add a new section, or if a chair tells us a class has five students but it will run anyways,” Carla Fraser, associate registrar, said.
Clyde said the process “is a combined work between the chairs of the departments, deans and the Registrar’s office. Degreeworks usually gives us a prediction to which classes will be necessary to offer each semester.”
For students who haven’t declared a major or are switching majors, predicting class demand can become more difficult.
“Undecided majors are a challenge because you have to try to guess which courses they would want to explore, [but] most of the time they tell their advisors where are they leaning towards,” Clyde said.
But the number of classes each school offers and the number of students they serve might appear to be the opposite of what MC students expect.
As it turns out, the School of Liberal Arts offers the most classes during the registration period. The School of Engineering has the most students, with a third of the student body. But because of liberal arts requirements, engineering students do enroll in courses outside of engineering classes.
Before beginning registration, however, Fraser recommends students to log in into SelfService to check their status, their class level and if they have any holds on their account because that will affect their registration process.