By Devon Everett / Staff Writer
By Devon Everett / Staff Writer
College can be difficult, but it’s not nearly as difficult as the registration process for some students.
A handful of students may have priority registration, but for a majority of students getting the classes you need to graduate seems more like a game of Russian Roulette.
Several classes, especially low-tier classes, tend to fill up quickly.
This creates problems for students who may need to take these classes to keep themselves on track for graduation.
Registration is a troublesome process for most students.
It begins with them finding out their registration date. At this point, they start wondering if they will get their classes.
Then they finally get to register. Usually at this point, their first picks of classes are already taken, so they scramble in hopes that they will get the classes they want or need and not have to take unnecessary classes.
Students always wonder if all of their classes will be available when they attempt to register as a full-time student.
Some students decide to take classes not on their education plan just to receive full-time financial aid; the problem here is that these students take slots in a class from students that actually need it.
This usually leaves students waitlisting for classes.
And waitlisting for classes is a nightmare.
Different instructors have different methods of selecting students from their waitlists, so the students never really know if they’ll get into these classes.
This process makes students cross their fingers and sweat in anxiety before the semester even begins, much like a skydiver with a failing parachute.
Registration starts nearly six weeks before classes do, however, only a small percentage of students get to register that early. At this point, several of the major-specific classes are nearly full or waitlisted, turning the simple act of registration into a lottery.
Priority registration is available only to a limited number of students.
Most students aren’t even eligible for the Extended Opportunity Programs and Services, Disabled Students’ Programs and Services, and Veterans Services. These are the only programs that have ways to attain priority registration.
Everyone else has to go about registration the old-fashioned way.
Generally, the longer you attend, the higher you get pushed up the registration list. Sylvia Thomas, chairwoman of the Riverside Community College District’s Order of Registration Task Force reported to The Press-Enterprise that RCCD is making changes to enable new students to gain priority registration.
This will, in turn, push higher-unit students farther down the conga line.
Is it fair for new students to get priority registration when returning students aren’t getting any sort of priority?
Please, RCCD, don’t play games with us. Most students don’t want to be at RCC for more than two years working on their associates’ degree.
There should be another way to earn priority registration. A merit-based priority registration system could work, so that the better your grades are, the higher priority you could gain.
The drawback here would be that if someone wasn’t the strongest scholastically, he or she would get penalized and potentially lose priority.
Another idea is a fixed-schedule plan. Counselors could make a rigid plan of the classes students need to take and have them take those classes at set intervals.
While this would take some of the freedom out of going to college, administrators will know which classes they need to provide.
Or, we could all pull straws out of a hat.
Then again, most students are tired of games.
So, is there a solution to this problem? It’s hard to say, but there may be a solution out there somewhere and perhaps hope.
Finding a solution to this issue may be a challenge, but then again, college can be too.