Editorial: Registration process should be simplified for students

Spring registration is in full swing. Many students knew what courses they wanted to take as soon as registration opened on OASIS. Others still have not registered and will put it off, hoping for an opening in a full class. The problem for some, though, may not be just procrastination.

Understanding specific graduation requirements can be difficult, especially for transfer students. To see what classes one needs to graduate, one must login to facts.org to view a Student Academic Support System (SASS) report, which details what course requirements students have fulfilled toward their major. Then, students must consult the course catalog on OASIS, and compare what’s required to what’s available.

But this system is flawed because it’s not tailored to some special programs. In some instances, SASS reports erroneously tell students certain requirements haven’t been fulfilled. Honors students, for example, have general education requirements unrecognized by SASS reports, which could cause some students to enroll in unnecessary courses, delaying graduation and causing additional financial strain.

Though one could argue that students should see an adviser before signing up for classes, advisers are not always readily available, and students have a right to clear, accurate, immediate information about their degree.

USF ought to clarify the registration process through an easily interpretable registration system. A system that clearly outlines requirements based on subject of study and courses taken would decrease the burden on both students and advisers. Sure, SASS reports indicate degree requirements, but they present them in a way that is incompatible with the OASIS registration system, which makes for a confusing academic outline that leaves some students registering for classes they do not need and omitting classes that are required.

Though the TAPS degree audit system gives a semester-by-semester breakdown of the courses a student should take, it does not appear to take into account double majors or recommended — but not required — courses.

Other institutions have already implemented more efficient programs. Santa Fe Community College students can register for classes while viewing a checklist of requirements not yet met. There is no need to look up a course reference number or see an adviser.

Though the implementation of such a system might require a massive overhaul, the amount of labor and frustration saved by students, advisers and financial aid employees justifies a revamp.