During the week of Nov. 2, St. Olaf students registered for their spring semester courses on the Student Information System (SIS). “The registration system was first used for incoming students to register in summer of 2020. The first time it was used for all continuing students was last fall,” St. Olaf Registrar Ericka Peterson said.
Students registered in order of their class year with seniors receiving first priority and first year students registering at the end of the week. Beginning with the fall 2021 registration, class years were split in two and given separate registration times. “Splitting each class into two groups is necessary to keep from overloading the multiple systems involved with registration and minimize potential crashes,” Peterson said.
Despite the attempts to mitigate the number of crashes, crashes did still occur during registration. For Emilie Bencke ’24, SIS crashing did not impact her luck of getting into her desired classes. “I got into every class I planned for at 7 a.m. The website did crash for three minutes, but I did plan out which ones to click on first. I got into the classes I wanted, but barely,” Bencke said. After registering, Bencke refreshed the page and noticed that all the spots were already taken for the classes she had selected. Luckily for her, she had registered just in time.
Students are required to complete both general education requirements and the required courses for their major, which makes registration an important time for students to be able to stay on track with their four year plans. “The Center for Advising and Academic Support recommends that students complete an override request if they don’t get into the classes that they need and to contact their advisor for assistance. Another tip — it may take a bit of time before students receive a response to an override request,” said Kathy Glampe, Director of Academic Support and Advising.
For students who need certain classes and cannot get in even after overrides, “they should absolutely check back in with their advisor. If they still need additional assistance, they can contact the department chair for that course they are seeking,” Peterson said.
“There are two types of overrides — one is for capacity and one can be for any hard-coded requisite for the course. As of this past Wednesday, we showed a total of 1,873 students who requested one or more overrides. A few of the departments which get the most requests for overrides are biology, math, and psychology,” said Peterson.
Even if an override gets denied, there is still a chance that someone will drop the class and you can swoop in and take it. “This registration went better than last time. I was in the later half to register and I was only registered for one class and then requested a bunch of overrides and got denied for most of them, but I kept checking over the summer and eventually some people dropped. That’s how I got into
Industrial Psychology and Culture and Place in Psychology and they opened another section for Statistics later this summer,” said Bencke.
Overrides and waitlists have an impact on how departments evaluate course offerings for the future. “The Associate Deans will be reviewing the number and type of override requests, along with the wishlist and waitlist information moving forward,” said Peterson.