New system staggers students

Linda Nguyen
Staff Writer

Starting this year, students participating in early registration for Spring 2013 classes may not have the same 6 a.m. registration time. Instead, students will be staggered in groups of approximately 300 per-time-slot.

Rather than all students eligible for early registration registering at 6 a.m., students will be divided by priority, classification and number of completed credit hours.

“We’re making some changes to early registration, primarily to relieve the stress that was put on the system because of early registration, which in the past resulted in periods where students were not able to log on, slow response time or being kicked off the system because of the load,” Baylor registrar Jonathan Helm said.

Helm said the registrar’s office, Baylor Information Technology Systems (ITS), Provost’s Office, the Council of Deans, student government and Faculty Senate all discussed different options for dividing students for registration.

“We thought credit hours would promote student progress towards degree completion,” Helm said.

Helm said the registrar’s office and Baylor Information Technology Systems began to discuss adjusting the registration schedule to improve student experience with the BearWeb in January.

“We knew students were not having the best registration experience in the past, based on the load in the system,” Helm said. “Plus there were some technology changes that needed to occur over the summer and fall that would require more technology horse power to continue in that fashion. We didn’t think it would create the best registration experience nor would it be the best use of Baylor’s ITS resources.”

Helm said this will not affect priority order. Honors, Baylor Interdisciplinary Core, Dean’s List and the other priority registration groups will still register in the order they had previously. Students will be divided by the completed course credit hours within their respective groups.

“The idea is where we had as many as 3,000 or 3,200 students all being released at the same time, now we’re breaking them into groups of approximately 300,” Helm said. The expanded early registration times will be at 6 a.m., 7 a.m., 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“We chose those times to try to avoid prime time for the classes,” Helm said. “That’s not to say no student will have class at one of these times, but we tried to minimize the chance that students will have a class at their registration time.”

Helm said they will divide students into the groups after Oct. 8, and exact registration times will not be known until Oct. 15.

Oct. 8 is the deadline for all students to have all transfer credit, grades of incompletes in classes and any other course credit in the system for calculation for early registration.

According to the early registration schedule, registration times will be available for students through their BearWeb account on Oct. 15, so students should check there for information of their exact registration time.

“We did some modeling based in credit hours in the spring, how students would have fallen,” Helm said. “We expect that the times are going to fall between Oct. 29 and Nov. 16.”

Some students hope the new registration system will alleviate some of the stress they experienced during registration in the past.

Danville, Calif., junior Claire Managan said she thinks the staggered registration system will be helpful.

“Even for honors, we have to fight with one another for our honors classes during registration,” Managan said. “I can only imagine how difficult it would be to fight for all our classes at once.”

Plano senior Olivia Ho said she thinks that it is a good system for Baylor to use credit hours to determine registration order between groups.

“I think it’s fair for Baylor to base registration on how many completed credit hours students have,” Ho said.