Class registration, a time that is notorious for stress and frustration, has officially begun for the spring semester.
Many students struggle each semester to register for classes that they need, both for their majors and to fulfill upper and lower division general education requirements, which has been an ongoing issue at Sonoma State.
“It was confusing at first and I was unsure of what classes to take,” said junior Jespir Ragbotra. “However, I did need help from my advisor on finding classes for my major.”
Over the past few years, Admissions and Records has tried their best to make this process easier and less stressful for students.
“An improvement we have made is that registration does not close, it will stay open until classes begin so that when students go in with their appointment time, they have full access to get classes,” said Associate Vice Provost Elaine Sundberg. “Students are able to go into the system at anytime to add or drop classes and not have a day when registration ends.”
Students plan a week in advance to get the perfect schedule, but students still struggle to actually enroll. Students are assigned registration appointments based on class standing, and the later in the week the appointment is, the less classes there are to choose from.
“All of the outcomes have ended up being positive, but the actual process of registration has always been extremely stressful. I’ve always had late times,” said junior Johnna Feneck. “Both semesters freshman year I had Friday classes in the late afternoon, it seemed hopeless.”
Admissions and Records have made improvements these past few years that are recognizable and helpful for them as well, such as providing better registration times, the shopping cart for adding classes, and priority registration for majors.
“In the fall we really did pay attention to student demand,” said Sundberg. “One of the things that is working really well now is the waitlist. The waitlist tells us which class is in demand and we open up more of that class when needed.”
During previous registrations, students had to enroll in their classes one by one and would not be guaranteed a spot.
“I remember during freshman year we had to enroll in each class separately! I literally felt like I was in a race,” said Feneck. “There was a huge possibility that open seats would be filled by the time you got to enroll in to that specific class too.”
Students have been seeing positive changes to the registration process as well.
“One change I’ve noticed is that we can make class shopping charts which is so nice! It saves a lot of time during the process,” said Feneck. “Now that we have the carts, the actual registration process could take 5 seconds if done right. It’s really nice.”
The shopping cart for registration allows students to gather all their desired classes at once. This allows students to have a better chance of attaining the courses needed. There is also a waitlist swap function, which automatically drops unneeded classes for students’ desired classes if they are enrolled from the waitlist.
Although registration for this semester has a 16-unit cap, students who are graduating can petition for extra units.
“If you are taking 15 units a semester, with a 16 unit cap, most of our degrees are at 120 units, which means students are still able to graduate in 4 years,” said Sundberg. “They may not have much opportunity to explore different areas, but students are able to get that degree.”