Registration: The good, the bad and the ugly

Amanda Irons
Amanda Irons

As registration for next semester comes to a close, let us reflect on how painful it is to create a class schedule.

Entire novels could be written about the difficulty of booking a seat in one of Chico State’s classrooms, but because we only have years left on this earth, I’ll give you the lowlights.

First and foremost, it should be illegal to have a class listed as staff. I base all of my class selection on a short list of criteria. The class must fulfill a requirement, be at a time that works with the rest of my classes and it has to be taught by a good professor.

If I’m going to attend a class for an entire semester and set goals to excel in my studies, then I must insist that it is imperative to my success as a student to take classes with the best professors.

I’m not talking about an easy A, or whom my friends have the notes for. I am talking about taking a class with a professor who is passionate about what they teach and is a phenomenal teacher. So Chico State, when I go to sign up for Finance 307 and I see that all but one are taught by the mysterious “staff,” you are forcing me to take a gamble with my education. I’m not okay with that.

odds

The ratio of “good” teachers to “bad” teachers, judged by my peers, is frustrating. You can bash me with comments about how all teachers will teach you the same thing and how this is a fickle comment to make, but I can bet everyone has had a “bad” teacher.

You know the one I’m talking about. A teacher who speaks exclusively in monotones, or has the idea that movies are sufficient material to teach a class with, a teacher who goes on tangents about nothing related to course content. This is the sort of sub-standard educator that leaves you thinking: “Why do I even come to this class?”

The struggle is real, Wildcats. When I’m ready for my registration time slot, I’m sweating over the thought of being wait-listed for the best Accounting 202 teacher and forced to take the worst.

Speaking of registration time slots, can someone release the Area 51 information that decides which students get to register first? I have been trying to figure it out for three years, and the only response I get is essentially folklore of what people have heard it’s based on. At this point, I’m fairly convinced that it’s a combination of units completed and GPA, but my peers suspect last name comes into play as well.

I’m not asking for front-page coverage from The Orion, but some transparency on this issue would likely settle the stomachs of my friends who constantly complain about why I get to pick classes on Friday, and they have to wait until Monday semester after semester.

But registration isn’t all bad. I give props to the renovated Wildcat scheduler for making class selection a little less agonizing. The import to shopping cart feature really had me going. I was also impressed with the compare and preview features, as well as the ability to see seat availability. It’s made picking schedules a little less grueling.

In the midst of complaining about all the woes that accompany scheduling, I must inform my fellow students of the single most helpful tool when picking classes. In the student center, there is a glorious page called the degree progress report.

This is the holy grail of scheduling. It tells you what classes you still have to complete, are currently taking, or have completed for your general education, pathway and major as well as minor option. I highly encourage all students to take a look.

In hindsight, perhaps I would experience less of a headache if I simply visited an adviser, but my fierce sense of independence is determined that I can figure it out myself. To my fellow Wildcats who feel the same, I recommend checking out the degree progress report and utilizing the Wildcat scheduler. Good luck on remembering this advice when you pick classes next semester.

 

Amanda Irons can be reached at [email protected] or @amanda_irons on Twitter.

Illustration by Liz Coffee.