This week will unveil a trial of electronic registration. The process begins innocently enough with May Term. Just one class, and a requirement to meet with your adviser before you can even begin the process.
Many schools have already moved to electronic registration with varying degrees of success. It will be interesting to see how the process pans out at Simpson. If the process is well received, Simpson could turn student-oriented registration into a regular process, meaning entire semesters-worth of classes could be plotted by students.
As a school that prides itself on professor-student ratios and open door policies, we have to admit the transformation is a tad bittersweet. At larger universities, often proponents of online registration, the process–no matter how well plotted out-can be quite confusing, with students battling each other for spots in classes through computer screens.
Compound this with a need to make sure that you don’t double-book your schedule, take classes you don’t have the requirements for or miss key courses in your major, and you have the possibility of a logistical nightmare on your hands.
Also, registration is also a good opportunity for students to connect with their adviser, who they may not have much contact with otherwise. It’s a good opportunity (albeit forced contact) for advisors to check in with students, see how their college careers are progressing and make suggestions for their future. Sure, electronic registration, as of now, has a requirement that each student meet with their adviser beforehand. Still, it’s easy to see how this face time could decrease as computer-aided registration independence increases.
Registration surely isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. Some students may fully embrace the new electronic process, while others may prefer the traditional method, and appreciate the assistance their advisers can give them. Either way, we appreciate the fact that the Registrar is embracing technology. Who knows, maybe the process will force students to take a little bit more responsibility for their schedules.