By LIZ HAAS
A partial online add-drop period debuted this semester allowing all undergraduate students to make changes to their schedules online using their Registration Access Code (RAC) numbers to change their schedules instead of filling out the traditional paper forms for the first six days of the semester.
“We’ve caught up,” said Assistant Registrar Wendy Rappa.
“We better meet the expectations of our current students who are very techno-savy,” she said.
In previous years, sophomore, juniors and seniors were able to use their RAC number to add and drop available courses throughout the summer, but beginning the first day of classes they had to fill out a paper add-drop form, which involved getting both the professors of the classes and their advisors’ signatures. This year, all undergraduates were able to use their RAC numbers to change their schedule online until Sept. 8, the second Tuesday of the semester. Undergraduates can add classes until Sept. 18 and drop them until Oct. 12 using the original paper method.
The process for adding closed, restricted and permission only classes remained the same, requiring a permission slip or override form.
“It is going very, very well,” Rappa said. “We expected there would be more confusion, but students are comfortable with how online systems work.”
Rappa said the majority of feedback so far has been positive. Students wishing to add a fifth class—undergraduates can only sign up for 18 credits before the semester begins—are now able to access their added courses on blackboard more quickly since they don’t have to set up a meeting to get their advisor’s signature before they can enroll.
“It was easy just going online, not grabbing the sheet and getting it signed,” said senior Michael Joyce, who used the extended online add-drop period.
Joyce said he understood the reasoning behind getting an advisor’s approval for class changes, but he says that he always thought students in good academic standing shouldn’t have to do so.
Rappa said she doesn’t miss the chaos of previous add-drop periods, with lines of students in the registrar’s office after every class.
“Hopefully we won’t see lines ever again,” she said.
The faculty senate voted for an online add-drop period two years ago, but the issue was tabled last year due to concerns about how freshman might alter their schedules. The senate will gather feedback from faculty, departments and advisors after the full add-drop period ends to decide whether to continue the online period.