November means registration for spring classes! We’ll provide much more information and tips in November’s Parent e-newsletter. But before that, I thought I’d overview three of the most common (and easily avoided!) mistakes Bellarmine students make during registration.
- The biggest, and potentially most costly, mistake is not preparing for registration before the date of one’s “ticket time” (the pre-set time, determined by the registrar, that a student can begin registering). Some freshmen just completely miss the emails and announcements in Freshman Focus reminding them about the steps for registration. The process consists of filling out a pre-registration worksheet, meeting with one’s designated advisor (therefore receiving registration clearance), and, finally registering online at the “ticket time.” All the information students need, including the Registration Worksheet and the Course Catalog, is now posted on the Registrar’s website. All first-year students’ advisors are their Freshman Focus instructor. New advisors from the student’s major will be assigned in the Spring. Ask your student if he/she has met with his/her advisor yet and determined a plan for registration.
- “Professor shopping” is when naïve students take as unquestioned fact the suggestions from their peers (or websites) about which professors to take. Although well-meaning, “experienced” students warnings about professors are often misguided or flat-out wrong. For instance, what does it mean to be a “hard” professor? Several big tests? An in-depth research essay? Homework every class? What is “hard” for one student might be a forte of another. Or, does “hard” mean high expectations? Some students might like to “get by,” but others prefer professors who challenge. Finally, most likely the student giving the advice hasn’t had all the available professors for a certain class; thus, he/she is unable to weigh the options fairly. Advice from “experienced” students (or siblings) should be listened to patiently but pushed for more details (“what was the teaching style like?”). Moreover, students with questions or concerns about certain professors can speak to their advisor about it during advising. If your student seems to be “professor shopping,” remind him/her to consider more than just one student’s recommendation as the basis for taking one class over another.
- Lastly, there are those students who encounter various “technical difficulties.” Erica Osborne, an advisor here, estimates that 9 times out of 10 when a student runs into her in tears because “the system won’t let me register!,” it is because the student didn’t change the term from Fall to Spring in the registration form on MyBellarmine (step #3). Before panicking, students should recheck the registration directions to make sure they’ve entered all their information correctly.
Registration—determining what one’s schedule will be like for a full semester and taking another giant step toward one’s degree—can be a stressful time, but it can be a little less stressful if these mistakes are remedied sooner rather than later.