Aggie Registration allows Self-Enrollment

Joel Frambes
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@JoelPolel2

For the first time, Cameron students will be able to enroll themselves for the upcoming summer and fall semesters with the institution of Aggie Registration by the Office of Academic Affairs.

On March 22, seniors and graduate students will be the first Aggies able to self-register for upcoming semesters. Enrollment will open for juniors on March 23, sophomores on March 24 and freshmen on March 25.

However, any students receiving advisement from the Academic Advising Center, such as some sophomores, most freshmen and all transfer students, will not be able to use Aggie Registration.

Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Ronna Vanderslice said these students will remain with the advising center to receive the most complete consultation Cameron can offer.

“There’s a lot of value in advisement,” she said, “so we don’t want to take that completely away, but we want to make sure you know what classes that you need and that you have an opportunity to visit about how your classes are going with someone.

“Our advising center is still going to continue to work with all the freshman, and I don’t know how long it will be before we change that.”

Before students enroll themselves in classes, they must have an appointment with their adviser to discuss their graduation plan.

For those who can use the new self-registration, Vanderslice said advising appointments still will be crucial to the enrollment process but will be relatively shorter than freshman advising sessions.

“Once you’re a junior or senior, the advising doesn’t take as long,” she said, “because if you’re pretty sure what you want to do, you already know what classes you need.”

These students and their advisers will both sign a form stating that they held an advising session and include what they discussed. They will then exchange a PIN number that the student must enter in order to register.

The PIN is only good for a single semester, so students trying to enroll in both the upcoming summer and fall semesters will receive two separate PINs. These unique numbers will allow students to not only register but also go back and change classes as needed.

Vanderslice said the PIN number is the key factor in the students’ enrollment autonomy.

“You could go ahead and process your own enrollment on that day without needing to go back and see your adviser. Additionally, if you needed to make a switch to your schedule,” Vanderslice said, “that’s very easy for you to do because you’ll have your PIN number which will allow you to make that change.”

Overall, Vanderslice said the power shift to students allows advisers to focus more on their students needs and makes advising a more personalized process.

“When I was advising, my whole day would kind of be booked,” she said. “I only allowed 15-20 minutes for each of my appointments. I felt rushed all of the time.

“I think this will be good in that you start now and you’ve got weeks now to meet with your advisees as an adviser, spend whatever time that you need with them, get their registration ready to process, and then they’ll leave and have their schedule.”

Aggie Registration has been actively tested for as long as Degree Works, so it’s release will be highly anticipated, and it will be all systems go March 22.

Vanderslice said the site underwent a lot of testing to make sure it was ready for the rush to enroll in classes the day they open.

“Seniors and juniors, they’re really much more limited in what classes they can take,” she said, “so we are expecting that they’re going to probably all try to enroll at the same time.”

Because there might be more of a dash for those select few spots, Vanderslice said special considerations are being made for students who get locked out of a full class before they have the opportunity to self-register.

“We’ve always had a rule that we’ve always practiced that if you need a class to graduate that we’re not going to hold you up from that class,” Vanderslice said, “so if it ends up that you don’t get in a class, we would expect you to go back to your adviser and let us work with you on getting in.”

Despite the ability for students to construct their own schedules, Vanderslice emphasized advisers still provide the most important role in guiding students toward graduation.

“We need to understand there are two different processes: advising is one process and registration is a different [process],” she said.

“We talk about all these things for your future planning to make sure you’re in the right program.”

Vanderslice said the role of the adviser will remain a staple in the success of Cameron Aggies as they make decisions even bigger than which classes to take next semester.

“I don’t see the most important part of that [student-adviser] interaction as entering classes you want to take,” she said. “I’m great with students doing that, but I do see value, tremendous value, in you having somebody to go to talk to about if you’re having trouble with classes.

“I just see the adviser as key to your success. We tried to make it where students do have more control and it is more convenient for them. That’s been our driving force for this without losing that important piece of finishing a college education which is having some advisement.”

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