Glitches in Course Registration Explained

At the end of every semester, one of the most crucial endeavors for any studentis scheduling classes. Behind the mad dash to meet with advisors and implement the academic plans tailored for each student is the time when students can register. This process is handled by the Registrar’s office, Financial Aid, and the Business office which have been experiencing some difficulties.

Currently, Wilson College is in the process of converting the current  course credit system to semester hours.

Problems and issues have risen out of the conversion process currently being undergone at Wilson. Changing from course credits to semester hours not only better reflects the time students have invested, it makes the transfer process easier and brings Wilson in line with the same system used by most academic institutions. The tricky thing is that the conversion cannot happen overnight. The switch impacts not only the Registrar’s office, but also the Financial Aid and Business offices. With the fiscal year running from July through June, the academic year runs from Fall through the end of Summer. With multiple offices needing to utilize the same data in different time settings, courses have to be measured in both course credits and semester hours in order to ensure everything is calculated accurately.

 Simulations were done a week before Registration to ensure that everything worked properly. When one advisor was entering in live data it was shown that there was, indeed, a problem. The system through which advisors register students and where students schedule their classes cannot have two sections of the same class That is, the class cannot exist in both semester hours and course credits in the system or  it has an error pertaining to “variable credits.”

After becoming aware of the problem, Registrar Jean Hoover met with Deb Austin, Academic Dean of Advising, and Mary Beth Williams, Dean of Students to determine the best course of action. They determined it best to have students register for summer courses on paper. Further, in order to ensure the same level of fairness rules that stipulated that individual students could not bring in the forms of multiple people were established. .At 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, prior to midnight registrations, the Registrar’s office opened to receive the hard-copy registration forms. The conversion metric currently in place between course credits and semester hours will no longer be necessary after the Business Office concludes their calculations for the Fall semester and after Summer 2 has ended. On student transcripts, however, both the course credits, a conversion factor and semester hours with calculated GPA will be provided, as well as a conversion metric being implemented for students to check their unofficial transcripts in semester hours online.

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