By Madison Ferril
Many students can relate to the race for classes at registration and the disappointment that can accompany not getting into a certain class or a section with a favorite professor.
If successful, a new waitlist feature for Bearweb could change the way students sign up for classes.
Students in the school of Engineering and Computer Science, as well as incoming freshmen, will pilot the waitlist system for Fall 2013 registration, which starts Thursday.
Registrar Jonathan Helm said if the pilot is successful, it has the potential to be used for many, if not all, programs at the university.
The pilot will provide a waitlist for most engineering and computer science classes and a number of freshman-level courses.
“We contacted the ECS dean’s office and they expressed willingness to be a part of the pilot,” Helms said.
This program will allow students to be placed on a waitlist for classes that have already closed but does not guarantee their registration in the class.
If a student drops the course or if additional space opens up in the course, the system will send an email to the first student on the list through Baylor email.
The student can then go into BearWeb and add the class to their schedule. If they do not add the class within 24 hours, they will be removed from the list and the system will contact the next student on the list.
“Obviously we would have to work with individual schools and departments to see if there are any courses that should be excluded, but there seems to be a great deal of interest,” Helm said.
Helm said he thinks the waitlist could help the university gauge course demand and possibly offer more seats or additional sections of a class.
“I don’t know that this will be the outcome in all cases, but having that data could be beneficial,” Helm said.
Helm said he thinks the waitlist will allow the university to maximize enrollment and as it is hopefully rolled out for use in other departments, the process will become more efficient and uniform.
“Students wouldn’t have to know how each department handles the waitlist,” Helm said. “It will be the same process for each school and department.”
Helm said the waitlist will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
“It should be more equitable to students, whereas in the past if a department added seats or students dropped the class, it was up to luck,” Helm said.
The waitlist will go in the order students register for classes.
Students can sign up for a waitlisted class until the last day of BearWeb registration, Aug. 30.
San Antonio junior Kari Schroeder, an electrical and computer engineering major, said she would rather not use the waitlist.
“Once someone drops a class, everyone should have an opportunity to sign up,” Schroeder said. “I would put myself on a waitlist if I had to, but I would still prefer if it was equal.”
Houston junior Christina Griffin, an electrical and computer engineering major, said she thinks the waitlist system will be useful.
“I don’t have to stalk BearWeb all summer to see if a spot opens up,” Griffin said. “I just sign up for the waitlist and they’ll email me.”
Helm said the office of the registrar has been discussing the waitlist program off and on for a year and a half, but had not developed the system fully until the beginning of this year.
The complete list of introductory level courses with waitlists can be found at https://www.baylor.edu/registrar/index.php?id=94468.