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[Fresh] Fresh@News: Course Registration

Our interview is with Ms. Pam Braxton, Registrar at Villanova, who will help us understand the ins and outs of your student’s course selection and registration process for Spring semester.


Fresh@News: In a few weeks, the Class of 2018 will be registering for classes for the spring semester. How does registration work and what are some of the issues that come up?
Ms. Braxton: Since our first year students have their fall schedules created by the Registrar’s Office, this November will be the first time they will have the opportunity to register themselves and create their schedule as they prepare for the spring 2015 semester.  Obviously the choice of what courses they will take, with which teachers and at what times, is very important to them. Detailed registration information was recently emailed to our new students explaining the registration process, including instructions about viewing their registration appointment, advisor and advisement information and checking their account for hold information that may affect the ability to register. Registration takes place through myNOVA, which is Villanova’s web-based portal.

Fresh@News: How do students find out what courses they need to take?
Ms. Braxton: At Villanova we take very seriously the role of the academic advisor. Each College at Villanova has its own system of advisement, but all of our first year students start the process by meeting with an assigned advisor.  Students should contact their advisor early; the advisor and the student determine what courses the student should take, and a registration PIN is issued by the advisor. This PIN will allow the student access to the registration form in their myNOVA account at or after the students assigned registration time.  Registration cannot take place without this PIN, which ensures that the student has been advised.

Fresh@News: Once they have the registration PIN number, how do they make up their schedule?
Ms. Braxton: First year students are assigned a registration appointment by a random lottery; they may enter the registration form in their myNOVA account at or after their appointment time, by entering the registration PIN assigned by their academic advisor, and begin registering. Students can register for courses approved by their advisor for which they meet the course restrictions. Also, each class has a maximum enrollment, so if that maximum is reached the class then becomes closed and students must select another section of that class, or another approved class that is still open. Although students cannot enter the registration form before their assigned time, they may view the master schedule of courses at any time by going to the Search for Classes link found under the Student tab in their account.  Course availability, restrictions, faculty, pre-and co-requisites can all be viewed here, and this information is helpful in the planning stages of registration. 

Fresh@News: What are some of the concerns that come up?
Ms. Braxton: 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 classes 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.

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

Fresh@News: Can students change their schedule after registration is over?
Ms. Braxton: One of the best things about web-based registration is that students can go into the system any time after their assigned registration time to adjust their schedule if necessary. If a student really wants a particular course, he or she should check myNOVA periodically to see if a seat opens up in that class. 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. Braxton: 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), and eventually preparing for graduation. Parents can check our home page where they will find the academic 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 provides a method for students to create an account for their parents or guardians called Parent Proxy. First year students were emailed information in September detailing the steps to take to make an account. The student manages the creation of a proxy, and the pages the proxy may view. This academic and administrative information is identical to what the student sees in their myNOVA account. More detailed information regarding proxy account creation can be found here.


If a parent does not have a parent proxy account they 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 Freshmen Checklist completed by the students 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. We are happy to help navigate the process!




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