[Fresh] Spring Semester Courses

John Immerwahr (john.immerwahr@villanova.edu)
Sat, 21 Oct 2006 16:27:14 -0400

Interview with Ms. Catherine Connor, Associate Dean of Enrollment
Management and Registrar.

Fresh@News: In a few weeks, the class of 2010 will be registering for
classes for the spring semester. How does registration work and what
are some of the issues that come up?

Ms. Connor: For their fall semester, most first-year students had their
schedules made up for them by our office. Now the students will be
making up their own schedule for the first time. Obviously the choice
of what courses they will take, with which teachers and at what times,
is very important to them.

Fresh@News: How do students find out what courses they need to take?

Ms. Connor: At Villanova, we take very seriously the role of the
academic advisor. Each college has its own system of advisement, but
all of our first year students start the process by meeting with an
advisor. Students should make an appointment with their advisor
early. The advisor and the student determine what courses the student
should take, and then the advisor gives the student a registration PIN
number. No student can register without a registration PIN number. It
is our way of making sure that the student has been advised.

Fresh@News: Once they have the registration PIN number, how do they
make up their schedule?

Ms. Connor: For upper level students, we have a lottery system that
works by assigning a registration time based on credits earned. In the
case of freshmen, the lottery randomly assigns a registration time to
the freshmen. Once that time arrives, the students go into the system
through the World Wide Web and select the classes they want to take.
Each class has a maximum enrollment, so if that maximum is reached the
class becomes closed and students must select some other class that is
still open.

Fresh@News: What are some of the concerns that come up?

Ms. Connor: Most of the classes we offer at Villanova are small in
size. Our average class size is about 23 students, and we offer very
few large lecture classes. While we pride ourselves on our small
classes, it also means that the classes with the most popular
professors (and at the most popular times) can close out quickly. As a
result, students may find that they can't enroll for the course or the
teacher that they want, at the time that they want. This will be
especially true for
students who are given later times to register.

Fresh@News: What can they do if the classes they want are closed?

Ms. Connor: Students sometimes start with a dream schedule and then
find that it just won't work out. They should be prepared to be
flexible, especially about the times that they take courses. They may
have to take some classes at 8:30 AM or at 3:30 PM. If the students
are having scheduling problems, the advisor may be able to recommend a
different course, or if they have an especially strong case, they can
sometimes get permission from a department chair to sign up for a
section that is already closed. Students who can't get a course during
the day can sometimes find that the same course is available in the
evening. However, there are restrictions involving students taking
certain courses in the evening. Students should carefully view
information about the courses and restrictions on the Schedule of
Classes on our NOVASIS web site for the most current information. Many
of the people who enroll in evening courses are working people from the
surrounding area, so many stud
ents say that they enjoy the different perspectives that come up in
class discussion.

Fresh@News: Can students change their schedule after registration is
over?

Ms. Connor: One of the best things about web-based registration is that
students can go into the system anytime after their assigned
registration time to change their schedule. If a student really wants
a particular course, he or she should use the web to check that course
periodically to see if a seat opens up. Some of the classes that are
closed in November will have empty seats by the time the semester
actually starts.

Fresh@News: What other services does your office perform?

Ms. Connor: We are responsible for maintaining the student database,
which includes scheduling and also transcripts. We are also the office
that produces the letters of verification that many parents need for
things like health insurance.

Fresh@News: How can a parent request a change of address?

Ms. Connor: A parent can request a change of address by writing to us,
sending us a fax (610-519-4033) or by e-mailing us through our web
site.

Fresh@News: What advice do you have for parents?

Ms. Connor: It is probably a good idea for parents to have at least a
general familiarity with the various interactions students have with
our office, such as registration, receiving grades (which are also on
the web), and eventually preparing for graduation. Parents can check
our home page at http://www.registrar.villanova.edu/, where they will
find a calendar and other interesting information. Parents should
also be aware of the federal regulations that govern what kind of
information institutions can and cannot divulge. Generally speaking,
our office is not permitted to give out any information about
individual student grades or progress. For that information, parents
should contact the Office of the Dean of the student's college. If the
student signed the FERPA release form (which was included in the
booklet the students completed over the web during the summer) then the
Dean may be able to discuss with you how your student is doing. While
we cannot discuss individ
ual students with parents, parents can always call us for advice on our
policies and procedures.

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