By Isabella Ferrante | Staff Writer

The Registrar’s Office experienced time-related problems during registration for the coming semester. (Marshall Lymburn/COLLEGIAN)

For many of us here at Saint Mary’s, we chose to attend this college because of the small class sizes, the ability to have a relationship with professors, and the promise of getting our degree within four years. I think Saint Mary’s does a great job of this for many reasons. However, I was extremely frustrated with Saint Mary’s registration process this past week.

At many other colleges, graduating in four years is nearly impossible. This is one of the aspects of Saint Mary’s that makes it so unique and is one of the reasons people continue to come to our school. I think Saint Mary’s gives students an ample amount of opportunities to graduate within the promised time limit. The school has structured the system so that almost every single student graduates on time. I have never heard of a student having a problem getting a class that they needed to graduate.

I believe the school keeps the students in mind when creating multiple time slots to choose from when picking classes; however, the registration time may not always be our first choice. I think one of the biggest ways the school helps make this happen is making sure every student has an advisor that is within their major. Every student is assigned a Student Engagement and Academic Success (SEAS) Coach to help them with their four year plan. The job of the academic advisors and SEAS coaches are to help students create their four year plan and help them get done with their degree on time. The combination of an academic advisor and a SEAS coach ensures that students receive assistance with their academic planning.

Many students do not have the space in their schedule to take all the required classes for their major or minor in four years. However, Saint Mary’s has several solutions to that predicament. For example, you can overload and take five classes instead of four during the semester. Another option is taking winter and summer classes. Saint Mary’s also accepts credits from doing online classes through other universities and community colleges. Although it might take some extra work, the school does give several avenues if you need more classes than your regular schedule permits.

Registration is a stressful time for every student. November is a busy month, and registration adds onto the everyday stressors of college life. It did not help that our Spring 2018 registration did not go smoothly. Many students were confused about their assigned registration time. This time around, the Office of the Registrar based all of their assignment times off of how many credits students have earned. In the past, each day of the week was assigned to a grade level, and then you were assigned your time based on the first initial of your last name. The old system was far from perfect, but the new system did not work well either. Many people were upset because there were juniors who were given a registration time that fell within the time slots of the Freshman class. This perplexed students, and it is hard to make sense of how the registrar was choosing the order.

When registration day came around, the registrar’s office noticed that there was a glitch in the system, allowing people to register before their assigned time. There was also another issue with the waitlist option not being available for some selected courses. With situations such as these, students found themselves stressed and hastily emailing their professors and administration about what to follow for next steps. Obviously, this was extremely frustrating for all students. Because registration is such a confusing and difficult time, these problems should not have happened in the first place. Hopefully, there will not be as many problems when the next time registration comes around, and the Registrar can better communicate with us their processes and procedures.

Overall, Saint Mary’s College is a great place to be. I am extremely grateful for all the academic opportunities the College offers to get our degree within in four years. We chose this school because of all the amazing aspects of it, but it is understandably frustrating when something as important as registration does not go very well.

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