*Note: a version of this article appeared in the 3/3 issue of The Lamron. This version is meant to clarify any ambiguity in the 3/3 version.
The planned changes in the course registration process will be effective by the end of March, said Associate Dean of the College Savi Iyer. The most significant of the changes will be a limitation on the initial window during which students can add and drop courses.
The new procedure allows students with higher accumulations of credit hours to register before students with fewer credit hours, but places a two-day limit on the registration period. Registrar Del Brown said that this new feature will give departments information regarding "exactly how many available seats are left" sooner and in a more organized fashion so that the departments "will be able to evaluate how [each] is doing with enrollments." Departments will be able to use this information to make adjustments to course offerings or reconfigure the number of seats allowed for each course section.
The former registration system allowed students to continuously add and drop courses throughout a registration window that lasted as long as three weeks for students with high credit hour accumulations. The number of available seats in each course section changed throughout the registration window, and some students were able to "reserve" spots in classes they had no intention of taking in order to allow a friend with fewer credits to get into popular or upper-level courses.
The new system has been designed to reduce problems associated with the fluctuating availability of seats, class restrictions and confusion regarding when individuals are able to register. Although the new system continues to use credit-hours as a basis for giving some students registration preference over others, it clarifies the categorization criteria.
Top priority will be given to seniors who have registered to graduate in the semester for which registration is being conducted. Because students may transfer up to 30 credits from Advanced Placement courses taken during high school, take additional classes during recesses and pursue rigorous course loads while at Geneseo, some students can achieve extraordinarily high credit hour accumulations that do not correspond directly to their closeness to graduation.
Though top preference will go to graduating seniors, "class standing" for all other students will be determined based on credit hours and not cohort class. Registration dates will proceed in descending order and students who have earned less than 29 credits will register last.
The student and faculty advisory group that discussed changes to the registration process also decided to reduce the groups of registrants. In the past, some students with identical credit hour accumulations have been assigned different registration dates.
"[The college] has done some testing over the past three months to make sure that the system could handle a [larger] number of students," Brown said. "In the past, there were about 12 groups for registration and we wanted to bring that number down to five."
The new system will preserve the open add/drop period after all students have had a chance to register during their assigned window. This open period will accommodate students who need another chance to sign up for additional classes or make changes to their schedules.
Because students will have a reduced registration window going forward, the college is stressing the importance of meeting with faculty advisors as soon as possible.