New registration system finalized for fall semester

Following a change in the class registration process from last fall, the Registar has implemented multiple changes to address student and faculty concerns. On Friday, March 5, College Registrar Ericka Peterson announced initial alterations made to the registration system in an email to the student body. The registrar made these changes after receiving input from faculty, staff and students via a schoolwide survey.

The initial changes to the registration process would have split up students alphabetically into two groups andl staggered students registration time by class year.

Based on this proposed plan, first-day registration would have opened to students in class years 2021 and 2022. Priority registrants would have signed up for classes at 6:30 a.m. in accordance with federal regulations. At 7:00 a.m., students with last names beginning with A-L would register, followed by students with last names starting with M-Z at 7:30 am.

Students raised concerns about alphabetical ordering, which coincided with concerns about equity and accessibility. Due to these worries, the registration implementation team made new modifications to the registration process. On Monday, March 22, Peterson sent a new email announcing the changes.

The new registration process is now randomized in an attempt to give equal opportunity to all registering students.

“There will no longer be A-L and M-Z ordering. All entering students will be split into two groups randomly for registration. A computer program will determine random assignments,” Peterson said in an email to the Messenger.

The ongoing pandemic has also created hiccups in the registration process. The main two issues were COVID-19 limits on classroom capacity and the need for students who were planning on studying off campus to have access to on-campus classes. The registration implementation team had to reckon with these problems in order to create the revised system.

“The registration implementation team consists of two members of the Registrar’s Office as well as five members of the Information Technology team,” Peterson said. “There have been multiple conversations with and advice from the Curriculum Committee, the Advising Study Group, faculty and student survey results, and conversations with students, faculty and other staff.”

Registration for fall 2021 begins on April 20 and ends on April 23. Students can currently view the registration system on SIS and begin planning their schedules.

“The goal and reason for implementing a new registration system has always been about equity,” Peterson said. “Since last registration, many new functionalities have been added and we are optimistic that this next registration will go much more smoothly.”


lindah2@stolaf.edu