Welcome to Fresh@News, Villanova's e-mail newsletter for parents and friends of the Class of 2013. Over the year we will be sending you occasional postings about activities at Villanova University that relate the Freshman Class. Instructions on how to subscribe or unsubscribe from this service are given at the end of this posting.
Spring Already?! This week, our topic is Spring Course Registration and Fresh@News has interviewed Ms. Catherine Connor, Associate Dean of Enrollment Management and Registrar.
Fresh@News: In a few weeks, the Class of 2013 will be registering for classes for the spring semester. How does registration work and what are some of the issues that come up?
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. Engineering students
have a prescribed schedule that will be made for them as was done for the fall,
but they will be able to make some course adjustments on their own if
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 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 although we do offer a 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 that is part of their curriculum that they are eligible to take. 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 students 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 advice do you have for parents?
Ms. Connor: It is probably a good idea for parents to have a general familiarity with the various interactions students have with our office, such as registration, receiving grades (which are also on MyNOVA or NOVASIS), 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. The University developed a “parent” view of NOVASIS that can allow parents to see their child’s academic/administrative information with the student’s consent. New students were asked to inform us of parent information this summer, and since that time, e-mails have been sent to parents of students who have agreed to allow their parents to access their information. If a parent does not have a NOVASIS parent account the parent can contact the Dean of the student's college to discuss any academic concerns. If the student electronically signed the FERPA release form (which was included in the on-line booklet the students completed during the summer) then the dean may be able to discuss with you how your student is doing. While the Registrar’s Office cannot discuss academic details of student records with parents, parents can always call us for advice on our policies and procedures.
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