Due to the COVID-19 virus and the closure of campus for the remainder of the academic school year, registration for summer and fall 2020 courses was pushed back and communications for it moved online. Students either have, are currently in the process of or will be registering for these courses during this time; with junior-standing students starting registration yesterday and sophomore-standing students starting registration on April 23, then following with first-year-standing students the week after.
Along with this, revisions were made to the Universal College Policies for block six which gave students the option to more easily request to be graded on a Pass/D/F grading scale for all classes being taken during this block. Students were to request with advisor and professor permission by April 3.
According to Boeve, with campus closure pushing back registration, the registration office has seen little negative effects aside from the schedule shifting back into May and early summer for incoming students to register for classes. Students are also currently behind registering in general due to decreased means of communication and not being on campus, but three classes of students have yet to fully register.
“Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of historical data on this…but there seems to be a very slight uptick in the number of students who have not registered and we just don’t know their intentions. Without faculty, advisors and Student Engagement seeing them face to face during the day, we are probably not getting as good a read on what their situations are,” Boeve said.
Since shifting the schedule, more time has been allotted between class registrations than in previous periods in order to accommodate any extra time needed during the registration process.
“We also moved to a Thursday only registration format….We used to run registration Tuesday-Thursday, Tuesday-Thursday. Right now, the week between has seemed to be seen as favorable for advisors because it gives them more time to meet with their next batch of advisees, and assess what courses are open,” Boeve said.
According to Boeve, 71 Pass/D/F grades will be issued this block since students were given the option and the policy being revised; compared to the 20 total Pass/Fail grades issued in blocks four and five combined. With grading, other aspects of registration have also shifted due to classes being online during this block.
“We obviously have more taking Pass/D/F. A few increased their loads just because they realized they would have more time on their hands…but there were more who recognized that one course might be best for them…for a variety of reasons, and opted for that. One thing that should have been apparent to us, but we (registration office) didn’t recognize right away, is that, for the most part, there are no time conflicts…so if you had two classes you really wanted to take, and they were scheduled at the same time, that obstacle was largely removed,” Boeve said.
Other services requested through the registration office have also moved to primarily online communication, including requesting transcripts, learning about degree progress and graduation preparation, as well as academic planning and advising changes.
Other challenges have also been seen in professors counting class attendance which dictates if students need to be removed from courses, with students now being removed for non-participation rather than not “attending” the online course. According to Boeve, the registration office also expects to see a higher amount of class withdraws this block and other class registration changes relating to students having a full-time student status.