Virtual Bourgeois

Just An Analog Guy Trying to Upgrade For a Digital World

Perspective Changes Everything

Posted by Gerald on December 4, 2009

There is no part of my job that I dislike more than registration.

Registration, not advising.

Our little Yale on the Interstate hasn’t yet deployed a system to allow students to register online.  As a result we faculty meet with students each semester to advise and register.  I have no problem discussing programs or course selection with students.  What annoys me is that so many of them refuse to make up schedules for themselves.  Also, abetted by policies and by many of my colleagues, many advisees abuse the riles by not coming in when they are supposed to and then just dropping by with the expectation that we can drop all of our other responsibilities to advise and register them on the spot.  Scheduled advisement and registration for returning students ended in October.  I’m still getting walk-ins.  While I can get away with telling them they have to make an appointment and come back, I cannot get away with telling them – as we should be – to come back in January after all the NEW students have gotten their classes (new students are the only ones who should be getting advised and registered now, according to the rules).  If I did so I would incur official displeasure from a segment of our administration that thinks any attempt to enforce rules or procedures isn’t “student-centered”.  This whole thing plays out every semester as a giant annoying cluster – well, you know.

So, imagine my amazement at the following:

I was helping a new transfer student register by phone because he lives 45 miles from here and will be taking web-courses with us.  This man actually has a bachelor’s degree from a prestigious local liberal arts college, but wants to change career paths and needs some courses we offer.  He is also taking classes from another area community college and from a local state university.  When we finished getting him set up, he complemented me and the college for how professional and organized everything was – particularly in contrast to his dealings with the local university.  He was pleased with how we had answered his questions and with out professionalism (he is coming out of 20 years in financial services) all through his application and admissions process.

I guess sometimes it is just for the best if you can’t see what the man is doing behind the curtain.

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One Response to “Perspective Changes Everything”

  1. Rebecca said

    I think it has to do with when they catch us. There were plenty of days when I was happy, willing, eager even, to help students with the registration and advisement process – even when it was going beyond the call of duty. And there were other days when I, like you, was so peeved that half of my signups didn’t show up and a bunch of others showed up when they hadn’t signed up, that I got grumpy and unhelpful to everybody. Most of the time it was a case of common sense not being at all common. Students not bothering to even look before they came. It’s like: “Yawn! Wow, it’s 2:00 in the afternoon, maybe I’ll go by the college and sign up for classes today. Naaaah, maybe next week.”

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