Registration problems decreasing

Kristine Gill

Nearly 7,000 students have successfully registered for spring semester and the number of students calling into the registrar’s office for help using FlashFAST has declined, said Associate University Registrar Susan Cole.

Registration will continue with the new system through Nov. 16. Students can enroll in classes at midnight on their particular date for registration.

“The numbers show us that we seem to be in pretty good shape for the end of the week,” Cole said, adding that about the same number of students had been registered at the end for the first week for registration last spring semester.

One of the problems students called the registrar’s office about most frequently involved meeting prerequisite requirements.

“The new system monitors prerequisites more diligently than the old system,” Cole said. “Now we’re actually doing what the prerequisite says we should and upholding the academic integrity of the course.”

Sophomore biochemistry major Liz Schindler is one student who encountered prerequisite errors while registering. She had to contact the physics, biology and chemistry departments to get overrides.

“I had to make three phone calls, and it was pointless to have the restriction because they put you through anyway,” she said.

Senior finance major Elizabeth Eckels had to make some calls, too.

“I tried registering for an upper level finance course but the system restricted me,” she said. “I then called my college undergrad office and they corrected the problem for me within five minutes.”

The provost office dealt with overriding prerequisite requirements for students.

Therese Tillett, director of curriculum services, said that in most cases the problem was with the student and not FlashFAST.

“The system was working, the student just didn’t take the course,” she said, In cases where a higher level course could have replaced a lower level requirement, the provost office made overrides.

During the Banner outage on Oct. 20, the provost’s office made changes to improve the way prerequisites are monitored. Tillett said they added more options for courses that would be accepted as prerequisites and also included acceptable test scores, including those from Advance Placement and College Level Examination Program tests.

The outage also allowed the registrar’s office to make corrections to avoid problems with major restrictions.

“When we brought our records over to Banner we didn’t bring over the campus associated with your degree program because we didn’t use it before,” Cole said. “The new system wanted it for major restrictions.”

Cole said most feedback from students concerning FlashFAST has been positive.

“Some think the schedule search is more cumbersome, but twice as many people say it’s better,” she said. “A lot of people have said that it’s cleaner looking and not as cluttered.”

Additional suggestions for improvement have included things as basic as changing the colors of the display, Cole said.

Cole felt that most of the adjustment to FlashFAST would be getting used to the new look and feel, but felt some students probably didn’t even notice it had changed.

“It probably didn’t register,” she said. “No pun intended.”

Contact student affairs reporter Kristine Gill at [email protected].