March 17, 2018

New Class Registration Tool Developed to Assist Students

Laura Chadbourne ’20/The Cowl

By Brian Garvey ’20

News Staff


Registering for classes at Providence College is no walk in the park. The stress that comes from the prospect of not getting into the right classes will affect even the most reasonable of students. Now, Enrollment Services is trying to make student’s lives easier through three different objectives; DWC pre-registration, automated waitlists for business majors, and a revamped class selection.

The first initiative, DWC pre-registration, is meant to give students have more control over their schedule. Originally, only Sophomores registering for Colloquium could pre-register in this manner. Assistant Dean Gene DeBernardo, one of the driving forces behind these new changes, said, “we got a lot of feedback from student congress that students want to take ownership of the schedule. It will allow you to work with the courses that you need to work with and build your schedule according”.

The second initiative is mainly meant for business majors, as the waitlists will only be applied to majors specifically in the business school. Students who are unable to get into high-demand classes will be able to put themselves on waitlists for these classes.

If a spot opens up, then the highest student on the waitlist will have the seat reserved for 24 hours, during which time they will have to register for the class. If they miss their chance, or another spot opens up, the next highest student will have the seat reserved.

Peter Palumbo, the director of academic services, said, “It helps students think big picture, as some students feel like they don’t have an option once they get closed out of a class.” The waitlist allows students to gain more control and take ownership of their schedules, instead of just saying “now what?” According to Palumbo, it allows students to have more options, instead of feeling forced to register for a class they don’t want or need.

This first semester of registration will be a test run for the waitlists, and if it performs the way it is expected to it will be applied to all classes for registration in the fall. Tom McMahon ’20 said, “I like the idea of the new waitlist, because it was a huge hassle to put myself on a waitlist last year. Now that it’s easier, it takes away from some of the stress of registering which is awesome.”

The third and largest initiative is the schedule planner. This new system is a complete renovation of the old system, and it allows students to plan out their entire schedule with ease. By putting all the classes they want to take into the new system, it will automatically generate every schedule combination that is currently available. Carolyn Tangney ‘20 said, “I think it’s cool how you can choose all your classes at once, because last year it was very annoying and time consuming to have to restart my search after every course selection.”

Furthermore, students can select a course for a specific time, which will whittle down the number of available schedules to the ones with the course at that specific time. Students can also lock in blocks of time that courses cannot be in, if for example they have a job or a sports practice. Once you get the right schedule, students will put it in their “registration cart,” which will take them to CyberFriar, and click “register.”

Palumbo emphasized, “Students need to know they aren’t in the classes until they register. It’s almost like putting it in an Amazon shopping cart. You can build multiple schedules, but you need to send one to your ‘registration cart’ and then register through the cart.”

Through the hard work of Assistant Dean Gene DeBernardo, Palumbo, and many others, students will find that they have many more resources available and greater control over their classes. While many of the stressful parts of registration—7 a.m. wakeups, slow internet, and competitiveness—will still be apart of registration, these new initiatives will ease the stress for students at Providence College.

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