Registration tips every successful student should know

Katie Fenton, Online Reporter

It’s that time of year again. It seems like fall quarter just started, yet students race to register for classes before the seats begin to fill up. For some of the newer students at Pierce College, here are some quick tips to make the registration process slightly less painful.

Don’t wait until the last minute

Advisers typically have busy schedules and can’t schedule appointments with students without at least a week’s notice. It inconveniences advisers when students need to see them in such short notice because they have to make special accommodations.

Students who expect an appointment with their adviser to only take a few seconds might be in for a surprise. Generally, advisers tend to check in with their students on the classes they’re currently taking and if they’re on the right track to completing a degree. While it depends on the adviser, RAC’s aren’t handed out like candy.

Likewise, students who try to schedule appointments right before registration might be forced to wait weeks until their adviser can meet with them. At that point, the majority of classes will be full and students would have to enroll in classes they might not need or want to take.

Currently enrolled students began winter registration Nov. 16. Former students can start registering Nov. 23, while new students begin registration Nov. 24.

At this point, it’s too late to schedule an appointment with advisers; but knowing more about the registration process, new students can use this knowledge to their advantage during spring registration.

Have a plan

It’s important to have an idea of what classes are required for a certain degree or program. For example, the nursing program at Pierce College requires CHEM& 121, BIOL& 241, BIOL& 242, BIOL& 260, ENGL& 101 and PSYCH& 200 just as prerequisites.

To get an idea of what courses are offered this quarter, students can access the winter class schedule from Pierce’s website by clicking the drop-down menu “Shortcuts” and selecting “Class Schedule.”

Students can use the class schedule to view most of the classes available during winter quarter and get an idea of what classes they wish to take.

While it can be useful to have a plan, sometimes they fail. Maybe that HIST& 157 class closed at the last minute or there was a misprint in the schedule. Either way, students who have backup plans can sleep at night knowing they won’t have to rely on a single class to make or break their entire schedule.

Having a backup plan simply means keeping a list of a few courses that would serve as alternatives to the original desired course.

Under the “Advising” tab In the MyPierce Portal, students can access the Educational Planner. Here students can select what type of degree or certificate they’re earning and then fill out a plan with the classes they intend to take over however many years.

Another useful resource is the eCatalog, which is found under the “Scheduling” tab in the MyPierce Portal. The eCatalog is the official version of Pierce College’s course catalog, which contains specific information about degrees, certificates, programs and individual courses. Students can view degree requirements and course descriptions to help them plan which classes they want to take.

Ask questions and learn from mistakes

In a world that has instant access to a plethora of information and resources, the registration process can be confusing and frustrating. Sometimes it takes days or even weeks just to get an RAC. Maybe the advisers are all booked, or perhaps an important class is full.

There are plenty of resources to help with registration. Students can contact their adviser or the Department of Student Success in the Gaspard Administration Building for information regarding the registration process, what kind of courses they should take and important dates to remember. Students can even ask professors or classmates for additional help.

Everyone makes mistakes as it’s a part of human nature. There’s no shame in doing something incorrectly or having to ask others for help. Mistakes are learning opportunities and allow students to better evaluate their actions.

With these quick tips in mind, the registration process might not be so bad after all.

The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost

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Registration tips every successful student should know

by Katie Fenton time to read: 3 min
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