Faculty clearance no longer required for registration


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Rachel Horton, an advisor at the College Advising Center, discussed spring 2016 classes with Sandi Woods, a freshman cinema art + science major.

By Campus Reporter

To ease the registration process for continuing students, they will no longer be required to meet with faculty advisors before they can sign up for classes.

Brian Marth, director of the College Advising Center, said students were previously required to meet with a faculty member to be cleared for registration. Marth said the required clearances varied from department to department and from school to school.

“The [college] decided, under the provost’s leadership, we were looking [for] ways to make registration easier for students, to give them access,” Marth said.

Keri Walters, assistant provost of Academic Services, said the college observed a trend in which students were registering later than their assigned registration date and time. She said the college prioritizes registration for students who are closer to graduation so they are able to get into required classes before they reach capacity.

“We noticed, in particular this last spring and fall, students are not taking advantage of their priority day and time to register,” Walters said. “Many students were registering up to two weeks after their scheduled day and time, even though they had no holds other than faculty clearance.”

Walters said the college evaluated the faculty clearance requirement for this academic year and made the decision to rescind it with the help of Senior Vice President and Provost Stan Wearden.

Walters said it was possible the advising clearance was an incentive for students to meet with their advisors, but the data is not clear enough to draw that conclusion.

“We saw many students were being cleared by faculty advisors,” Walters said. “We also saw many students were being cleared by college advisors, and also many students were being cleared by front desk staff, or other staff members in academic departments.”

Walters said there is no foolproof way to track whether or not students were advised because the data is ambiguous.

“I feel certain there are students who never had a hold and never had a clearance,” Walters said. “I also feel certain there were many students who were cleared who were not advised. That was a compelling reason for us to decide to remove that hold.”

Walters said the college is working to uncouple advising from registering for classes.

“Just because there’s no hold doesn’t mean students shouldn’t be going and getting their advising,” Walters said. “In fact, the email that went out from the registrar strongly encourages students to meet with their college advisor and their faculty advisor before the end of the fall term.”

Marth said students have received an email from the registrar notifying them of their date and time to register.

Undergraduate students in the Creative Writing Department received an email from Devon Polderman, the academic manager in the Creative Writing Department, which stated all undergraduates were cleared to register for the Spring 2016 Semester without the need to consult with a faculty advisor.

Andrew Bramson, a freshman cinema art + science major, said he meets with his faculty advisor to better understand the necessary classes and requirements he must meet to complete his major. Bramson also said he thinks advising is beneficial, but other students may not get as much out of the sessions as he does.

“It’s good to know where we all are,” Bramson said.