[Fresh] Registration Interview

Kelly Donio (kelly.donio@villanova.edu)
Tue, 13 Dec 2005 12:19:25 -0500

Interview with Ms. Catherine Connor, Associate Dean of Enrollment
Management and Registrar.

Fresh@News: On November 8-11 the class of 2007 registered for classes
for the spring semester. How does registration work and what are some of
the issues that come up?

Ms. Connor: For their fall semester, most first-year students had their
schedules made up for them by our office. Now the students will be
making up their own schedule for the first time. Obviously the choice of
what courses they will take, with which teachers and at what times, is
very important to them.

Fresh@News: How do students find out what courses they need to take?

Ms. Connor: At Villanova, we take very seriously the role of the
academic advisor. Each college has its own system of advisement, but all
of our first year students start the process by meeting with an advisor.
Students should make an appointment with their advisor early. The
advisor and the student determine what courses the student should take,
and then the advisor gives the student a registration PIN number. No
student can register without a registration PIN number. It is our way of
making sure that the student has been advised.

Fresh@News: Once they have the registration PIN number, how do they make
up their schedule?

Ms. Connor: We have a lottery system that works by assigning a
registration time based on credits earned. In the case of freshmen, most
of whom havenít earned any college credits yet, the lottery randomly
assigns a registration time to the freshmen. Once that time arrives, the
students go into the system through the World Wide Web and select the
classes they want to take. Each class has a maximum enrollment, so if
that maximum is reached the class becomes closed and students must
select some other class that is still open. If the student doesn't have
access to a computer, he or she can do the process on a computer in our
office, one of the computer labs or in the library.

Fresh@News: What are some of the concerns that come up?

Ms. Connor: Most of the classes we offer at Villanova are small in size.
Our average class size is about 23 students, and we offer very few large
lecture classes. While we pride ourselves on our small classes, it also
means that the classes with the most popular professors (and at the most
popular times) can close out quickly. As a result, students may find
that they can't enroll for the course or the teacher that they want, at
the time that they want. This will be especially true for
students who are given later times to register.

Fresh@News: What can they do if the classes they want are closed?

Ms. Connor: Students sometimes start with a dream schedule and then find
that it just won't work out. They should be prepared to be flexible,
especially about the times that they take courses. They may have to take
some classes at 8:30 AM or at 3:30 PM. If the students are having
scheduling problems, the advisor may be able to recommend a different
course, or if they have an especially strong case, they can sometimes
get permission from a department chair to sign up for a section that is
already closed. Students who can't get a course during the day can
sometimes find that the same course is available in the evening.
However, there are restrictions involving students taking certain
courses in the evening. Students should carefully view information about
the courses and restrictions on the Schedule of Classes on our NOVASIS
web site for the most current information. Many of the people who enroll
in evening courses are working people from the surrounding area, so many
students say that they enjoy the different perspectives that come up in
class discussion.

Fresh@News: Can students change their schedule after registration is over?

Ms. Connor: One of the best things about web-based registration is that
students can go into the system anytime after their assigned
registration time to change their schedule. If a student really wants a
particular course, he or she should use the web to check that course
periodically to see if a seat opens up. Some of the classes that are
closed in November will have empty seats by the time the semester
actually starts.

Fresh@News: What other services does your office perform?

Ms. Connor: We are responsible for maintaining the student database,
which includes scheduling and also transcripts. We are also the office
that produces the letters of verification that many parents need for
things like health insurance.

Fresh@News: How can a parent request a change of address?

Ms. Connor: A parent can request a change of address by writing to us,
sending us a fax (610-519-4033) or by e-mailing us through our web site
(Ask the Registrar).

Fresh@News: What advice do you have for parents?

Ms. Connor: It is probably a good idea for parents to have at least a
general familiarity with the various interactions students have with our
office, such as registration, receiving grades (which are also on the
web), and eventually preparing for graduation. Parents can check our
home page at http://www.registrar.villanova.edu/, where they will find a
calendar and other interesting information. Parents should also be aware
of the federal regulations that govern what kind of information
institutions can and cannot divulge. Generally speaking, our office is
not permitted to give out any information about individual student
grades or progress. For that information, parents should contact the
Office of the Dean of the student's college. If the student signed the
FERPA release form (which was included in the booklet the students
completed over the web during the summer) then the Dean may be able to
discuss with you how your student is doing. While we cannot discuss
individual students with parents, parents can always call us for advice
on our policies and procedures.

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