Students and advisors share their thoughts on the registration process
By Jacob Foote
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, NEW YORK – As the horizon of the semester approaches, students across campus are bustling to organize their course schedules for the Fall. Between the time used for studying, completing assignments and maintaining a social life, students meet with their advisors to discuss how they will conduct their academic lives in the upcoming semester.
Many students and faculty claim to have a positive experience with the current registration process, which has become more familiar and navigable with time.
Dr. Todd Schoepflin, Associate Professor of Sociology, liked the fact that the records department posted the registration schedule well in advance. While finding students to be empowered, he felt his guidance as an advisor was a good safeguard. “If a student doesn’t know how to find that information I can easily direct them to it, and all on one site you know when your date to register is, and obviously at the same records site you have the full list of classes, which I find is also clearly presented,” he said.
“I like that there’s the course offerings,” said junior Megan Glowinski. “You can see everything, and don’t have to question whether it’s offered or not.”
“What I like about it is that it’s kinda like the hunger games, but with the honors program you get that step ahead,” said sophomore Alan Peunic. He appreciated being able to register earlier than some of his peers, helping reduce the stress surrounding registration.
Dr. Schoepflin also found that students had many outlets for advice when it came to their schedules, ranging from their advisors and academic assistance to their classmates.
“From a faculty perspective, I like that students have to come in to faculty to be unlocked,” said Dr. Jamie Pimlott, an Associate Professor of Political Science. In her eyes, one of the values and benefits of Niagara University is the mentorship promoted by the faculty-student relationship
“That’s a resource that not all universities give, that students should be encouraged to take advantage of,” said Dr. Alexander Bertland, Associate Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department. He also supported the process of registration itself, finding the staggered schedule the different classes to be effective. “It’s somewhat inconvenient that the registration times are at night, but at the same time I think it’s fair,” he said.
However, some students do not seem to agree.
Sophomore Jordan Verost, while glad she could avoid conflicts with registration at night, did not like that it took place at 11 pm. “I wish it was a little earlier than that,” she said.
“It should be in the morning,” said senior Jon Gelinas.
Glowinski wished the servers had a greater bandwidth so that it could support more people during course registration. In her experience, it takes a while to load.
Students are not alone when it comes to a desire for change.
“From a faculty perspective, I think there could be a much better conduit for information about what courses are available,” said Dr. Bertland. For example, he found Epistemology – a course being offered in the fall – to be a great option for anyone studying psychology or education. “But I don’t have a way of easily communicating to the students or the advisors or the faculty in general which 300-level course is helpful for what type of major. So I wish there would be a better way for departments to communicate what courses would be valuable for which students,” he said.
With registration approaching, students and faculty alike shared advice for what was to come.
“I would say that the most important part is looking over what’s going to be offered and coming to your advisor earlier rather than later to talk about what you need and what you would like to take,” said Dr. Pimlott.
Similarly, Verost said “Plan your schedule ahead and always have backups, because they fill up quickly.”
“Express register online and save the classes that you want,” said Gawinski.
“Be in charge of your schedule,” said Dr. Schoepflin, advocating a mixture of independence and reliance on one’s advisor. “So definitely, as much as I would say on the one hand be in control, don’t go to your advisor for everything, I would also say in the next breath periodically check in with your advisor to make sure you’re on track,” he said.
“Students should take courses they like and I think students lose sight of that. I think students get so worked up, and rightfully so, about what they need to do to graduate and what the requirements are,” said Dr. Bertland. “You want to spend some time learning stuff that you just want to know.”