University handles student registration problems

Kara Haight

Waking up at 6:30 a.m. with course registration numbers in hand, and with high hopes of open seats and no early morning classes, many students have completed registration for yet another year at Grand Valley State University.

Course registration for all GVSU students began March 18 and will continue through March 29 for current freshmen, with students registering for both spring/summer 2013, fall 2013 and winter 2014.

For many, this process can be stressful and anxiety-filled due to technology woes, confusing requirements or capped classes.

When students encounter error messages or other roadblocks keeping them from the courses they want, GVSU’s Registrar’s Office is one of the first places they can turn to.

“We often receive calls from students who attempt to register online and are unsuccessful,” said Christy Mayo, associate registrar.

Mayo said problem solutions can range from directing students to other departments, interpreting error messages, or simply providing G numbers to students who have locked themselves out of myBanner.

“It all depends on the problem,” Mayo said. “The staff in the Records Office listens to the student and tries to assist them in any way they can.”

The office also spends time before registration opens to get ready for the increasing needs during the two-week period.

“We do a lot of preparatory work to ensure that students have the appropriate registration date assigned to them,” Mayo said. “(And) we do a lot of testing to make sure everything is working smoothly before registration begins. “

But technology problems aren’t the only worry come registration time.

Nancy Giardina, vice provost for student success said that before and during the course registration periods, advising centers around GVSU prepare for students well ahead of time.

“University-wide, typically advising centers extend hours of operation and add more advising appointment slots,” Giardina said, adding that walk-in hours and sessions are also offered more often due to registration.

Most of the advising center, like the Student Academic Success Center and many of the college level advising centers are definitely aware of the increased need for students prior to and during registration, Giardina said, but she encourages students to plan ahead and not wait just before the registration period.

Like the advice from Giardina, the Registrar’s Office also encourages preparing when dealing with registration troubles.

“Meet with an adviser, look at your records ahead of time, check that you’ve met all the prerequisites,” Mayo said. “Prepare.”
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