Registration restructured for spring semester

For some students, registering for classes is a worry and a burden that has spilled over into time that should be spent preparing final projects and studying for final exams.

Recognizing this, USF decided to structure its registration times differently, staggering student registration appointments so they all take place before Thanksgiving. However, students will still be able to alter their schedules until the end of the first week of spring classes.

“We wanted to have it so that … when students go home at Thanksgiving, (they) can say, ‘Hey mom, dad, I’ve got these courses registered for,'” said Leellen Brigman, associate vice president for Enrollment Planning and Management.

To enable students to register before Thanksgiving, the registration window – the amount of time that students’ registration appointments are spread out over – is now 10 days instead of 20. The first appointments begin Monday, and there will be none on Veterans Day or Nov. 22, the day before Thanksgiving, according to an e-mail from Brigman.

“It’s really starting at the same point. It’s just that the days – instead of being spread over 20 days, it’s compressed to 10 days,” University Registrar Angela DeBose said. “The reason for that was to allow students to focus on final exams. Even though we would have completed (the registration windows) by then, it’ll give them more time to just really focus on final exams and not have to concentrate on registration for the next term.”

The decision to compress the registration time period to 10 days was made primarily by looking at the methods of other universities, not from an overwhelming amount of displeasure with the past registration method.

“There was just a thought that that would be a good step in looking at how some other institutions do it,” DeBose said. “There weren’t any concerns that I’m aware of from students, or from advisers. I can’t say there weren’t any, it’s just that none that I’m aware of.”

Since the period of class registration is condensed, classes will tend to fill up faster.

“You generally have more time for students to create or build their schedule, and students in higher classifications like senior standing and junior have been afforded a longer time to build a schedule and get their classes and not have to worry about competing with others for those classes,” DeBose said. “With a more compressed window, students will have to get it done in a shorter span of time, and if they don’t, then there is the possibility that the courses they desire will close out sooner.”

Students should “register on or at their scheduled appointment time rather than delay” to ensure they will get into the classes they want, DeBose said.

Using OASIS outside of its peak usage times should also help students register more efficiently, Brigman said.

“We don’t want to bring (OASIS) to a screeching halt,” Brigman said. “The system can handle 1,100 concurrent users at any given time. If students want to go on and have minimal to no problems in maneuvering through the registration windows, it’s best to do it outside of 9 (a.m.) to 4 (p.m.).”

Some students believe that the gap time in between different standings being able to register should remain, but that the change will be beneficial overall.

“I think there should be more time between seniors and other groups,” senior music major Katie Frick said. “I think it’s better this way in the long run.”

Others, especially underclassmen, are glad their registration times will take place before Thanksgiving.

“That works for me, that’s a lot better for me,” freshman athletic training major Corey Staniscia said. “Especially (for) chemistry classes – those are hard to get into.”

Although more students may now be registering within a smaller period of time, Brigman said it will allow students to enjoy their holiday without worry.

“We don’t want you sitting on pins and needles all through Thanksgiving,” Brigman said. “You can get it done, go home and have a good holiday, come back and be focused on final exams, final papers, getting the semester closed off and not worrying about registration.”