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Doesn’t Seem To Register That They’re Not Registered

, , , , , | Learning | January 31, 2018

(I work in the office of the Chemistry Department at a university. We have some of our courses available online, as well as on campus. Since our department phone number is listed on the website, sometimes people call us when they should talk to admissions or the registrar’s office first.)

Me: “Department of Chemistry. This is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Student: “I’m a new, non-degree-seeking student, and I want to take the online organic chemistry. I have a question about sending in my transcripts to show I meet the prerequisites.”

Me: “Do you know which organic chemistry course you are interested in? We have two sequential courses online. I want to make sure I check the correct prerequisites for you.”

(After a few minutes of back and forth, I figure out which one the student is interested in.)

Me: “The prerequisite for that course is just one year of general chemistry. When you try to register, is it giving you any registration errors?”

Student: “Should I send in my transcripts to the department so I can get an override to register for the course?”

Me: “Are you getting an error message when you try to register?”

Student: “I haven’t tried yet.”

Me: “I would hold off for the moment. Try registering for the class. If your transcripts made it into our systems during the admission process, you may not need an override.”

Student: “I just sent in my application today. When do classes start this term?”

Me: “Today is the end of the first week of classes this term. You haven’t been admitted yet?”

Student: “Not yet. I just sent in the application a few minutes ago. Should I email my transcripts to the department so I can get the override?”

Me: “You’ll need to wait until you are admitted, and then attempt to register. It may be too late to register for classes this term, depending on when you are allowed to register. Once you are admitted and the registrar’s office informs you that you are allowed to register, go ahead and give it a try. If you encounter any registration errors, you can use the webform to send in your info, and we then need to get instructor approval. If it is over a week into the term, the instructor may not grant it.”

(We are on a quarter system, with 10-week terms, the 11th week being finals week.)

Student: “You mean I can’t just send in my information for the override so you have it?”

Me: “If you send something in now, and we don’t have a student ID number to connect to it, it may get lost. And it may be too late to get any kind of override. If you encounter issues trying to register, we can do our best to help you at that time. For now, it would be best to wait for admissions to make their decision.”

(A little bit more back and forth, and I finish the call. Turning to a coworker in the office:)

Me: “Isn’t it customary to wait for the letter of acceptance before trying to register for classes?”


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