One Stop responds to common registration problems

Rebeca Piccardo/Staff Writer

Students enrolling for classes can face several obstacles: unanticipated holds, capped classes or server crashes.

“Registration week is hectic and the server crashes a lot,” said Jessica Butters, junior psychology major.

Butters said keeping fall registration open during summer may resolve enrollment frustrations.

One Stop Enrollment Services Coordinator Jennifer Halpern said enrollment is closed during summer to run statistics to evaluate what courses should be offered. These statistics can then be used to determine what courses students need for fall.

“It’s all about reporting and making sure that we are prepared for the fall semester so that we know what the students need in terms of classes,” said Halpern.

[one_third]Important Fall 2013 Dates:

Last day to register without incurring $100 late fee: Sunday, Aug. 25

Last day to add/drop classes without financial liability: Tuesday, Sept. 3

Last day to pay without incurring $100 late fee: Wednesday, Sept. 4

[/one_third]

Because enrollment closes while summer is in session, the registrar opens a multi-term registration in April and fall registration in August.

Another common issue: classes with prerequisites.

According to Stephanie Sepulveda, a junior journalism major, she had problems enrolling into classes with prerequisites.

“Even if you are taking those prerequisites, the server won’t let you enroll until the semester ends and grades come out,” said Sepulveda.

Halpern agreed that prerequisites have been an issue, but she explained that the office of the registrar does not have the authority to verify prerequisites and override the server. Academic departments can help resolve issues with prerequisites.

“I have seen, in my professional experience, that they have sent a communication, either to our office or to the transfer credit processing center, letting both offices know the student has met the requirement,” said Halpern.

Permission numbers, which makes students take longer to enroll and secure their spot in that class, also annoy students. However, the registrar does not issue the permission numbers, and they do not have the authority to override them.

“My understanding is that anybody in the academic department should have access to either provide the student with the information or even give them the permission number themselves,” said Halpern.

According to Francesca Rosario, a junior journalism major, an issue she had when registering for her fall 2013 classes was a hold on her account, which prevented her from enrolling into her classes until that issue was resolved.

“However, when I called, it was removed and taken care of within 15 minutes,” said Rosario.

Not every hold can be caught, however, which is when referral to academic units makes sense.

“We can see what holds are placed in the student’s account, and we can help refer them to the right department so that they can get that hold released,” said Halpern.

Patricia Amorim, a senior international relations major, was unable to register for her classes when her enrollment appointment opened due to a hold that did not get resolved on time.

“I couldn’t enroll on time because they didn’t remove the insurance hold, even though I paid it already,” said Amorim.

Students also brought up the issue of inconvenient enrollment dates and times, which are set by the registrar’s office technical support.

“I don’t know what goes into the thought of the enrollment dates and the times,” said Halpern.

According to Jessica Pascual, a sophomore criminal justice major, her registration times tend to open in the middle of the day while she is in class.

“It’s a struggle to try and enroll in my classes when my registration opens while at the same time trying to pay attention to the class I’m already sitting in,” said Pascual.

Although the subject of inconvenient enrollment times has not come up in meetings she has attended, Halpern said that it was a valid point and that the office of registrar will look into it.

In the weeks before the beginning of a new semester, the office of the registrar extends their hours from two days a week to five days a week to help solve the issues that come up during enrollment peak times.

“We always extend our hours before the semester starts, but fall is our biggest one,” said Halpern.

– rebeca.piccardo@fiusm.com

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