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Negotiating the Registration Process


Registering for classes can be a stressful process: there are necessarily a limited number of seats in each class, and particularly first- and second-year students are rarely able to get the exact schedule that they were hoping for.  Three important factors, though, can lead to a successful registration process: 1) plan ahead and stay organized; 2) seek guidance from your advisor; and 3) allow for flexibility and look at a variety of course options. Be assured that despite occasional frustration and with some hard work, most students eventually are able to set up a suitable schedule each term. Another important thing to remember is - don't panic - we have many resources to assist you. If you have a crucial problem with your schedule, though, please do not hesitate to contact your advisor or the Director of Advising, Mike Augspurger (794-8290).

Below are some notes that might help newer students navigate Augustana's registration system.  You can scroll down to read the range of topics, or click on link to go directly to a topic.

If you have a technical question, need a form, or need to process academic paperwork, please contact the Office of the Registrar (794-7277, Founders Hall (first floor), or through their website).

How and when are registration times assigned?
How do I register for classes on Webadvisor?
How do I avoid being restricted from registering?
What is open registration?
How can I join a class that is closed?
How can I add or drop a class during the first week of class?
How do I declare my major?
How do I change advisors?
Do transfer and AP credits count for general education credit?

How and when are registration times assigned?

Registration times are assigned according to the number of credits you have earned at Augustana.  The reason for this is that as students approach graduation, it becomes more and more important that they be able to join the classes that will fulfill their major and general education requirements.  This can make the registration process more difficult for incoming students, of course, but most of the time seniors and juniors are not interested in introductory level courses.

Please recognize, though, that registration times are not assigned exactly by credits: for instance, if you take 12 credits in your first term, you will not jump ahead of all the students who took 9 or 10 credits.  In fact, for all students with 28 credits or fewer, registration times are randomly assigned.  For more advanced students, the registration times are assigned according to tiers: for instance, students with between 29 and 42 credits might be grouped together, and their times would be randomly assigned within that group.

You will receive your registration time in an email from the Registrar in the weeks before the Registration period.  This time will either be early in the morning or in the late afternoon/ evening.  The reason for this is that we want to avoid assigning registration times that would conflict with students' courses during the day.  You will be assigned a half-hour period, but you will be able to register anytime after that start time up to the point that the registration period ends.

How do I register for classes on Webadvisor?

For information about how to sign up for classes on Webadvisor, click here.

How do I avoid being restricted from registering?

The most common restrictions for first year students are advising, business office, the honor pledge, and immunization restrictions.  The first arises when a student fails to meet with his or her First Year Advisor in the weeks leading up to the registration period; the second when a bill remains unpaid; the third means that you did not sign the student Honor Pledge during fall orientation; and the last when a student has not turned in the appropriate immunization records.  In each case, you will receive email notice that you are restricted; to avoid a restriction, please pay careful attention to your email in the weeks leading up to the registration period.

While we do our best to avoid this, occassionally a student will meet with a First Year Advisor, and the advisor will forget to clear the student's restriction.  This can be frustrating if the student doesn't discover this until the assigned registration period (Webadvisor won't allow the student to add a class in this case).  To avoid this, please be sure to click on "My Registration Information" on the Student Menu of Webadvisor a day or two before your registration time to ensure that all of your restrictions have been cleared.

What is open registration?

After all the returning students have had a chance to register for classes, Webadvisor will close down for a couple weeks: no students will be able to drop or add classes during this period.   However, before the next term begins, there will be an "open registration" period.  This occurs during finals week of each term, and again for a week in late July.  During this time period, all students will have equal access to Webadvisor: any student who would like to add or drop a class may do so on Webadvisor during this time. 

If you wait until the first week of the term to drop or add a class, on the other hand, you will need to add or drop the class the "old-fashioned" way: you'll need to get a drop or an add slip (or both) from the Registrar, and have your professor and advisor sign the slip before you turn it back into the Registrar.Important enrollment deadlines are strictly enforced, so be sure to consult the Academic Calendar for those dates and watch your e-mail for reminders.

How can I join a class that is closed?

If you would like to get into a class, but it is closed when your registration time arrives, you still have some options.  Your first move should be to contact the professor, and ask to be put on a wait list.  You can do this on email if you'd like, but it's likely more effective if you go to the professor in person: this suggests to the professor that you have some genuine reason for seeking out that class, and that you are not just emailing a whole handful of professors with the same request.

After you've made contact, the professor will let you know where you stand in regard to the class.  If you really want in the class, you should send the professor a second note as the beginning of the term approaches, to let him or her know you are still interested.  Then go to the class on the first day.  This makes a huge difference.  Don't email after the class and ask if there is a spot; don't show up right at the end of class; instead, attend the entire class.  Then stop the professor afterwards and get an update; if there is still a possibility of getting in the class, come to the next class, too.  A professor will only rarely turn down a student who consistently goes out of his/her way to join a class.  This is not to say you will always get in, but you give yourself a very good chance if you do this.

Finally, remember that as you are pursuing this other class, you still need to attend the classes that you are actually signed up for: you don't want to be in a position where you are not registered full-time because you were hoping to get into a class but it didn't work out. 

One last note: A ten-week course may only be added during the first six days of the term, so don't delay turning in your add slip.

How do I add or drop a class during the first week of classes?

If you  want to add a class during the first week of classes (or to drop a class anytime before the drop deadline at the end of week 5), you will need to add or drop the class the "old-fashioned" way: you'll need to get a drop or an add slip from the Registrar, and have your professor and advisor sign the slip before you turn it back into the Registrar.  You may turn in enrollment change forms beginning on day 2 each term.

This means you'll need to contact the professor and make sure you will still be permitted to join the class.  While most professors will allow a student to join a class if no more than one or two classes have passed, once classes have started it is entirely up to the professor whether to allow you to enter the class or not.  If the professor doesn't think you can catch up, or wishes to limit the size of the class, it is his or her prerogative to deny your request.  This means you should approach a professor with an add slip as if you were asking a favor (because you are).  Always ask for permission to join the class before you hand the slip to the professor and ask to have it signed.

There is no automatic drop at Augustana: if you do not attend or stop attending a class, and you do not turn in a drop slip, you will receive an F in the course.

When and how do I declare my major?

You are allowed to declare your major as early as the beginning of the spring term of your first year at Augustana.  You will get an email at that time from the Director of Advising with details about how to make this decision.  However, you need not declare at this point: you do not need to declare a major until you reach 60 credits.  In other words, you should plan on declaring your major sometime between the spring of your first year and the end  of your sophomore year. 

If you reach the beginning of your sophomore year, and still are uncertain about what you'd like to major in, you should begin to make a more concerted effort to identify possible majors.  This will start with your class choices and with discussions with your First Year Advisor, but there are also other resources to help you.  Click here for more information about these resources.

You can declare a major by filling out a "Declaration of Major" form.  This is available in the Registrar's office.  You will need to get this signed by your First Year Advisor (if this is a first major), the department chair of the new major, and your new major advisor.  The new major advisor is most often assigned by the department chair, although if you have a preference for a particular faculty member, you are welcome to express this preference to the chair (be aware, though, that sometimes your request will need to be denied for a staffing reason).

How do I change advisors?

To change your major advisor, you will need to get a major declaration form in the Registrar's office: fill out the ""Changing a Major/ Advisor" part of this form, and have it signed by the old advisor, the new advisor, and the department chair.  If for some reason you'd prefer not to have it signed by the old advisor, please contact Mike Augspurger (Director of Advising, 794-8290).

If you feel like you need to change your First Year Advisor, please contact the Director of Advising (Mike Augspurger, 794-8290).

Do transfer and AP credits count for general education credit?

Transfer credits count for general education credit only when they transfer as a specific class, and when that class carries general education credit.  In other words, if a class transfers as Psychology 100, then that would earn the student a Perspective on Society (PS).  But if the class transferred as just credits (as "Psychology elective"), then it would not carry any general education credit.

AP credits do not usually carry general education credit, although there are exceptions (the two primary exceptions are Calculus and Psychology).  To check whether and how a particular AP score transfers to Augustana, please click here.