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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Course survival guide

    For anyone, especially freshman, the first two weeks of school can be daunting. Not only is finding your way through campus and to your classes challenging, but then you have to sit through that first day and think, what if I don’t like my classes? How can I pick up others? Can I replace one of my classes with a different course?

    And all this after finding parking.

    Every semester hundreds of students will add and drop classes like a game of Go Fish, trying to balance the necessity of the course and the difficulty level. Most students already have a good understanding of how to complete this process, but for freshmen, this may seem more taxing than a senior-level trigonometry class.

    Here are few things to keep in mind when trying to navigate through the rough waters of registration after the semester has already begun and, more importantly, tricks that may help guide under and upper-classmen alike.

    If a particular course is needed but has already reached full capacity, students can still attempt to get into that particular class by showing up on the first day.

    “”Students can walk in on a class and see if there are any openings. And very often, almost always, there are openings in classes where the rosters says it’s filled,”” said Paul Johnson, academic advisor for the journalism department.

    He also added that some students registered into the course may not show up for the initial day of class, which will lead to them being dropped and slots opening for others.

    However, Johnson advises that if you are going to try and get into a class on the first day, be sure to have an add/drop form before you go.

    “”Very few instructors will have one and then there’s the hassle of where do you go to get one,”” he said.

    Johnson said an add/drop form can be obtained by going to any advising office.

    For the students who already have their schedules set and are just looking for one or two classes to fill space, the Course Query Wizard may be the best bet.

    The program is accessible through the schedule of classes webpage. It verifies the term and allotws you to select your courses individually, or matches them from your SAPR and then narrows your search to courses aimed towards the major selected. The program can even tailor the classes to a specific time period to neatly fit into your schedule. Although it will only show courses that are open, the wizard can prove to be a very productive device in getting that one last class needed.

    Another tool for students to use when looking to get into classes that are already filled is a waiting list.

    “”We have a waiting list for every single one of our courses, and there are people on the waiting list for almost every single class. So this assures fairness because it is a first come-first serve basis,”” Johnson said.

    Waiting lists are much like showing up on the first day of class and searching for openings, except it is done automatically.

    A student will simply need to search through the class schedule, select a class and, if it has a wait list available, click on the hyperlink. This will produce a listing of classes and sections. After choosing up to three classes, the student can check on their location on this list for a realistic idea of their chances of getting into the class.

    Even after utilizing these methods, a student’s best weapon for the rigors of selecting classes may simply be preparation.

    Vanessa Richards, a microbiology graduate, attests to this:

    “”Decide on a major early and go to an adviser, and get a breakdown of classes you will need to take in a four-year period,”” she said. “”My best tip would be when picking electives is to have three or four alternative classes in case you don’t get the one you want.””

    “”Be persistent,”” Johnson said. “”If a course is filled at this moment, keep going back, because there are 37,000 students on this campus-6,000 are freshman-all of whom are trying to put a schedule together. What is filled one minute may have an opening the next minute.””

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