Tag Archives: registration

My Registration Nightmare

13 Nov

It was 5:45 AM as I turned off my alarm clock and greeted registration day with bleary eyes. I had been waking up at 4 AM to do my homework all semester, but this particular day, I had a case of the dreaded Mondays. My laptop had died at my bedside during the night, my roommate had taken the last Frappuccino and my favorite sweater was nowhere to be found. Things weren’t going my way, but I accepted my fate, plugged in my laptop and logged on to UAccess.

The wifi was crawling along like molasses, leaving me with nothing to see but a bright white page that made my eyes water. Refreshing the page, I looked over the handwritten list of classes my advisor had given me, my academic security blanket. The classes had been in my shopping cart for weeks, but my advisor warned me to be prepared for anything.

Sure enough, my student center looked like text-salad nightmare and the wifi crashed completely. By the time I logged in again 20 minutes later, a disheveled heap of stress at the café, all of my classes were full. Admittedly, I freaked right out.

If you find yourself in these shoes, it may seem like your academic sky is falling, but don’t panic! Make the schedule you can make with the course options you have left and talk to your academic advisor about it. There are still a few ways to get you on track and into the schedule you hoped for:

1. Get on the wait list, when available

Two of my classes gave me the option of being put on the waiting list. This may seem like a bleak land of limbo, but it’s not. So many students change, swap and drop their classes before registration ends. With the wait list, you’re already in line to take those spaces as they open.

2. Check on the class religiously

If there’s no wait list, keep checking on the class and accomplish the same thing manually. Keep your fingers crossed for the green circle to take the place of the angry blue square next to your class in the class search. As long as registration is still open, there’s still hope for an open seat.

3. Beg your way in

Showing up to your desired class on the first day with a Change of Schedule form is not a bad idea. Some classes are more rigorous than others about attendance, so you may even get lucky on your first day. In one class I wanted, anyone who didn’t show up for the first day was dropped from the roster so the wait-listed students could take their places.

4. Talk to your academic advisor

At the U of A, your advisors are the music makers and dreamers of dreams. They know what’s possible and they can help you see the glimmer of hope in any academic disaster. Ask them for ideas if you get stuck. They’ve seen degrees completed in the most unconventional of ways and can always help you navigate your obstacles to gain that academic success you so deserve.

My registration nightmare ended with a less-than-perfect schedule, but it resulted in the best set of classes I could have hoped for. It threw me off my 4-year plan a little bit, but overall, I still got all of my requirements knocked out without any extra semesters added onto my academic career.

If you find yourself in this position, keep calm, bear down and hang in there! That which doesn’t bend can break under pressure, so take it as an exercise in adaptability, jump the hurdles that are thrown at you and keep on keepin’ on. The commitment you’ve made to your education is a commitment to yourself, and that makes it worth the struggle. Use the resources all around you and don’t be discouraged. You may be forced to take a gen ed at an awkward time, it might shift a prerequisite over to a different semester, but overall, you’ve got this!

-Amanda

 

The Gen Ed that Won Our Hearts

13 Nov

It was 5:45 AM as I turned off my alarm clock and greeted registration day with bleary eyes. I had been waking up at 4 AM to do my homework all semester, but this particular day, I had a case of the dreaded Mondays. My laptop had died at my bedside during the night, my roommate had taken the last Frappuccino and my favorite sweater was nowhere to be found. Things weren’t going my way, but I accepted my fate, plugged in my laptop and logged on to UAccess.

The wifi was crawling along like molasses, leaving me with nothing to see but a bright white page that made my eyes water. Refreshing the page, I looked over the handwritten list of classes my advisor had given me, my academic security blanket. The classes had been in my shopping cart for weeks, but my advisor warned me to be prepared for anything.

Sure enough, my student center looked like text-salad nightmare and the wifi crashed completely. By the time I logged in again 20 minutes later, a disheveled heap of stress at the café, all of my classes were full. Admittedly, I freaked right out.

If you find yourself in these shoes, it may seem like your academic sky is falling, but don’t panic! Make the schedule you can make with the course options you have left and talk to your academic advisor about it. There are still a few ways to get you on track and into the schedule you hoped for:

1. Get on the wait list, when available

Two of my classes gave me the option of being put on the waiting list. This may seem like a bleak land of limbo, but it’s not. So many students change, swap and drop their classes before registration ends. With the wait list, you’re already in line to take those spaces as they open.

2. Check on the class religiously

If there’s no wait list, keep checking on the class and accomplish the same thing manually. Keep your fingers crossed for the green circle to take the place of the angry blue square next to your class in the class search. As long as registration is still open, there’s still hope for an open seat.

3. Beg your way in

Showing up to your desired class on the first day with a Change of Schedule form is not a bad idea. Some classes are more rigorous than others about attendance, so you may even get lucky on your first day. In one class I wanted, anyone who didn’t show up for the first day was dropped from the roster so the wait-listed students could take their places.

4. Talk to your academic advisor

At the U of A, your advisors are the music makers and dreamers of dreams. They know what’s possible and they can help you see the glimmer of hope in any academic disaster. Ask them for ideas if you get stuck. They’ve seen degrees completed in the most unconventional of ways and can always help you navigate your obstacles to gain that academic success you so deserve.

My registration nightmare ended with a less-than-perfect schedule, but it resulted in the best set of classes I could have hoped for. It threw me off my 4-year plan a little bit, but overall, I still got all of my requirements knocked out without any extra semesters added onto my academic career.

If you find yourself in this position, keep calm, bear down and hang in there! That which doesn’t bend can break under pressure, so take it as an exercise in adaptability, jump the hurdles that are thrown at you and keep on keepin’ on. The commitment you’ve made to your education is a commitment to yourself, and that makes it worth the struggle. Use the resources all around you and don’t be discouraged. You may be forced to take a gen ed at an awkward time, it might shift a prerequisite over to a different semester, but overall, you’ve got this!

-Amanda

 

Worst Moment Ever

15 Apr

It was the Spring Semester of my first year at the U of A and I felt like registration was going to be a breeze. Registering for my Spring courses had been easy. I orchestrated a nice schedule for myself, got up early with my roommate, clicked the finish enrollment button and within minutes I had all the classes I needed.Unfortunately I was wrong. This would be the worst registration experience of undergraduate career.

I woke up early, put on my glasses, washed my face, brushed my teeth, grabbed my laptop and walked downstairs to the common room with my roommate. We both grabbed donuts and hot chocolate and settled in at a nice table. I logged into UAccess and pulled up my shopping cart. I had 5 minutes to spare, so I ate my donut and sipped my hot chocolate. At 5:59am I refreshed my page. At 6:00am I pressed finished enrollment. At 6:03am I was redirected to a page and was blocked from enrolling. At 6:10am I had logged in on 3 different devices and tried to finish enrolling countless times. By 6:15am my R.A. was helping me figure out why I wasn’t able to enroll. Turns out I was already considered a sophomore because of all the Advanced Placement Credit I had come in with and all the units I had already completed. I was devastated.

Missing my enrollment period was the worst thing that could happen to me in that moment. Being a science major, there was a very specific order I needed to take my classes in, and it also meant that many of my classes were in high demand, making the whole situation even worse because of the competition for seats in my classes. I felt stupid and dumbfounded because I thought I had everything under control. I thought I could do it all on my own. I didn’t really have anyone in a position of authority I felt comfortable approaching to ask questions. I planned to have my advisor meeting after I had registered so that we could just double check things. I didn’t know that I would actually need help. I was also a little angry because I didn’t even know where to look to find out what was wrong. I felt under prepared and disappointed.

Thankfully, I was able to scramble around and pull things together over the next few months so that in the Fall, I had all the classes I needed. I would check UAccess multiple times a day to see if the classes I needed opened up, and I was fortunate enough to make the cut at the last minute. My schedule was not sexy at all. There were 8ams and art history classes and nothing was convenient or easy, but I learned how to push myself and to stay focused on what matters most. I do not recommend missing your enrollment period at all, it is hectic and just awful. All I can say is that I made it through, and I never messed up on registration ever again.

When What Can Go Wrong, Goes Wrong

14 Nov

Registration comes and goes. All that stress, excitement, tears.

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For some, registration is a success and celebrations happen. For others, not so much. If anything, the end of your registration period has left you even more flustered and confused than before. For those of you with success stories, congratulations… you have survived this madness that will continue to repeat while you’re here at the U of A.

Now for those of you who found yourselves stumped and couldn’t defeat this monster of registration… don’t lose hope! Sometimes, it happens to the best of us. The important thing now is to understand what went wrong and how to move on from those common registration hiccups. That way we can join those registration celebrations too!

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These turn out to be the most common registration obstacles:

  • Classes are full and, therefore, closed
  • Holds
  • Pre-requisites
  • Time conflicts

For each of these evils, there’s a reason why it happens. They don’t simply exist to ruin your life (although it may feel that way). Journey with me as I break them apart and provide possible ways to proceed and potentially conquer the evil.

Evil #1: Classes closed because they reached their capacity.

For this one, there are a few different methods to best this evil. First and foremost, the reason that funky blue square appears under the status column is because the number of seats available have all been filled.    Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 11.37.42 AM

 

This means the following: 1) you either leave it in your shopping cart and await the glorious day that it might open up again or 2) talk to the professor and ask that they add you.

For option 1, there is a good amount of time between now and the first day of classes in Spring 2015. Students in the course may drop and change their schedules around. This means that if you are aware and ready, you can potentially enroll in the once someone drops it. My recommendation is leave that course in your shopping cart and check regularly to see if the status goes from a blue square to a green circle. Once that happens, enroll away! Also, keep in mind that the first week of classes is somewhat of a trial period for students. During this time you, still have the ability to change your schedule, so some people might find that the course you’re waiting for isn’t their cup of tea and will drop it… leaving it nice and open for you to enroll.

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Option 2, on the other hand, is something you can do now by contacting the professor and expressing interest in being in his/her class next semester. Sometimes they’ll keep you in mind when seats become available. In order to proceed with the professor route, you’ll have to have them sign an Add/Drop form to then turn into the administration office. This is the manual method of enrolling in courses.

Evil #2: Registration holds on your account.

There are different types of holds and different ways to clear them. These are common reasons for such holds:

  • Past-due debts: You owe money.
  • Academic holds: You are mandated to meet with your advisor…why haven’t you?
  • Campus Health holds: did you ever turn in your immunization records?

These holds can range in complexity and reasons, but at the end of the day they won’t let you register so take care of them as soon as possible. For any of the holds, if you click on them on your UAccess account, you should be able to see what the holds are all about and who to contact to get them fixed. Usually, financial holds are good topics of discussion with the Bursar’s office or financial aid office. For academic holds go to your advisor or department of study. Lastly, Campus Health holds… well go to Campus Health for more information.

Evil #3: Pre-requisites.

For this one there aren’t many alternatives. If you don’t meet the requirements, you simply just need to do those things before you can enroll in such classes.

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Evil #4: Time conflicts.

This one is another of those evils that you can take care of on your own or just will have to deal with. Time conflicts happen when your 9am Jazz class is at the same time as that 9am Puppets and Dragons class you want to enroll in. FYI- Not sure if that actually exists, but it serves the purpose of making my point. Unfortunately, sometimes you can’t have your cake and eat it too!

eat

You’ll have to choose and hope for the best. Or find other courses that don’t conflict in time. If you’re not sure which ones are conflicting, UAccess let’s you know using the number of the class when it gives you the big red “X”.

All these hiccups are common and most of us will undergo at least one in our time as a Wildcat here. They might make you feel like this….

anger

but the important thing is to not let them go unnoticed and unattended. Make sure that you look into them ASAP so you can enroll in all of the classes you need.

Final note: Make your advisor a primary contact. Save their number on your phone. Make them your homie, in the most respectful manner of course. I promise you that they’ll have the best answers for all of these registration mishaps!

Final note #2: Don’t be afraid to take the initiative and ASK! If you don’t know how to fix something or what it means… simply ASK! Someone out there knows and it’s your responsibility to find these answers!

Best of luck Wildcats. Bear Down for Spring 2015.

 sad

– Lucero

13 Oct

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Registration is upon us Wildcats! From registration dates to tips to get you through all the chaos, this edition will get you ready for your Spring 2015 registration time!

Preparing for Registration: The Long Path Down Rainbow Road

10 Oct

Sometimes registering for classes can be hard; especially if it’s your first time doing it. There are a million different things going through your mind: “What classes do I have to take? What classes do I want to take? Can I handle an 8 a.m. three days a week? Can I take 18 units and still survive?” The first thing I want to tell you is STOP and breathe. Everything will be okay! With these tips, and the help of the Mario cast, your road to registration will be as smooth as Rainbow Road. Well, that’s a pretty difficult course so maybe that’s not the best example…

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The first thing to know about registration is that you want to get an early start. I am not just talking about getting up at 6 am to register for classes, I am talking about going through the different classes that are available and getting your schedule set BEFORE your set registration day. Adding your classes into your shopping cart and having that ready to go will make registering go by so quickly it will seem like you have a golden mushroom at your disposal.

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Now, there is always the chance that you log on to UAccess to register for classes and some of the ones you picked were unavailable. Having this happen is like running over a banana in Mario Kart, unfortunate but not life ending. When adding classes to your shopping cart, you should always put in backup classes. This allows you to have classes that fit into your schedule if you need them to.

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For those students who don’t have a major selected yet, you might want to stick with taking General Education classes. While these are not always the most fun to take, they are required for every major so getting them out of the way isn’t that bad of an idea. Doing this is almost like having the invincibility star because these classes can only help you knock of things you will need for your major, and who knows one of these classes might inspire your choice in a major!

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The biggest tip I could give you is to talk to your academic advisor. They are the Luigi to your Mario, they have your back and always have your best interests at heart. I strongly recommend you go in and talk to them before you register for classes. You could even go in and talk to them about the classes in your shopping cart. Advisors are full of helpful information and resources that can help you choose classes that really inspire and pertain to you as a student.

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After all of this, now all you have to do is register. Congratulations, you survived it!

Mario Blog 2-Christine

 

“Going Off Script” with Your Education

25 Apr

If I’m remembering my freshman orientation correctly, we were all given pre-generated course schedules, quickly introduced to UAccess, and then told to change our schedule around however we like. Well, at first, that’s great! So much power! It’s our first real opportunity to make our own decisions and finally have some say in how we spend our academic lives. All good things for sure. However, if I am in fact remembering orientation correctly, I was also very confused, definitely on the brink of heat exhaustion, and so overloaded with information that I didn’t even know how to start. I think I ended up halfheartedly scrolling through some courses, swapping one gen-ed out for another, and then calling it a day. The result? A huge block of core classes with some pretty random gen-eds sprinkled in (at very inconvenient times of the day, might I add). It is only when you realize you have six straight hours of pre-calculus, English, and chemistry (don’t forget the lab!), that you realize you probably should have rearranged a few things for the sake of your sanity.

Making your perfect schedule is easy, said no freshman ever. It’s true. Priority registration can be a frustrating time. Maybe all the courses that you so carefully selected end up being closed by the time you register. Or maybe the only section available is at 8:00am and you don’t really enjoy taking economics with your morning coffee. Such are the qualms of a first year Wildcat. The good news? As you move up in the “registration food chain,” the more options and flexibility you will have with your schedule. Your job is to make sure you take advantage of it!

By now you have had a couple rounds of registration completely on your own. No pre-made schedule. Just you, UAccess, and your ability to strategize how much time you will need to get from Harvill to Modern Languages in time for your next class. Crafting the perfect schedule is an art form, really. But carefully selecting your classes isn’t all about convenience. It’s an opportunity to personalize your education!

There are 4 key components to individualizing your college career:

1. Shop Around.

Take some time to get to know UAccess. If your skills are only at “basic survival” so far, now is the time to familiarize yourself with all the different features of your main registration tool. Once you know all the different ways to filter your search, you can hone it to your specific interests, degree requirements, and preferred time frames.

Make sure to use your other main resource: YOUR PEERS. Your ears should be perking up every time you hear that someone is enjoying a class. Ask them about it! Why do they like about it? What’s the study load like? How’s the instructor’s teaching style? If all their answers sound good to you (and you trust the person’s judgement), why not try it out yourself?

For the most part, I only knew my most interesting classes existed because of word of mouth. We can easily get limited by our declared major when it comes to searching for classes, so it’s a great idea to ask people outside your college (especially upperclassmen). The good classes tend to fill up quick, so start asking around…

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2. Know Yourself..

Know when you are most likely to be alert, productive, and motivatedThen make sure to apply that to your schedule! I know. I know. Again, easier said than done. Sometimes there is just no getting around an inconvenient schedule, but being mindful of your personal (and biological needs–you know, food, water, sleep) is a big step in taking an active part in your life, rather than remaining bound to your academic demands alone.

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Another thing to keep in mind is that while creating a well-timed schedule is important, do not fall victim to convenience either! If you have been eyeing a really cool sounding course for a couple semesters now, (but it’s always at four in the afternoon), don’t miss out on it just because it’s at a less than ideal time! Balance isn’t about equality in every area of your life. It’s about weighing the costs and benefits, and carrying out your priorities accordingly.

3. Go Off Script.

Tools like Degree Search and Smart Planner are great for creating your four-year plan as they offer a general overview of your coursework and degree requirements. However, much like that schedule you were handed at your orientation, these are only suggested plans. You can look at them kind of like degree templates. The structure and relative timeline of your core classes (i.e. the required courses for your degree) are included, but when it comes to upper division credits, electives, and which semesters you take them, that’s pretty much up to you!

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4. Get Creative

Did you know that you can invent your own minor? Not every degree requires a declared minor, but if that’s the case, it doesn’t have to be a chore! It can actually be a great chance to take classes outside your major and be a little crafty with your education. These are called Thematic Minors.

The process for declaring a thematic minor is fairly simple. All you have to do is create a proposal that outlines courses from two or more subject areas and how they apply to a common theme. This is then approved by your advisor or college.  For instance, I was able to blend my nursing prerequisite courses with the coursework I had already completed for a linguistic minor. The result? I declared a thematic minor in biolinguistics. Fancy, huh? It’s a pretty cool way to take classes that seemingly are “just for fun,” and also get credit for them!

barney-yes

The beauty of degree-seeking is that as long as you complete your degree requirements, the rest is up to you! You can explore other fields of study, gain experience through an internship, or even take up a fitness class. Take every opportunity to put yourself into your eduction and add in aspects to your education that are going to motivate and excite you.  That way, when you look at your four year plan, it’s not “I have to take another Tier II INDV,” it’s “I get to take a class on Werewolves and Vampires!”

 

–Franny

Major Change Reporting for Duty!

23 Apr

Whether you came into college with a major picked out already, or thought you’d find one along the way, choosing a major and sticking to it is a huge anxiety for many students. Worse, after you choose a major, you may decide it’s not right for you. What do you do then?

Well, for too many students, step one means freaking out and talking yourself out of it. I mean, you’ve already put in so much work! How can you possibly throw all that away even if you hate your major classes and dread going? I’ll tell you how. Take a deep breath, follow your heart, and take the leap!

See, here was my strange journey. My freshman year, I started out with a history major and an adolescence, community, and education (ACE) minor. Then, my sophomore year, I added an English major. Second semester, I dropped my ACE minor. Junior year, I dropped my history major down to a minor, and added my ACE minor back. Only to drop that poor ACE minor once again. It was a bit of a juggling act, but all accomplished with absolutely zero waste! In just a few weeks, I’ll be graduating with an English major and history minor, on time and with just the right amount of classes to graduate.

That’s the trick to changing your major – look at your requirements and see what carries over. Best of all, there’s a handy tool called the What-If Report to do all that thinkin’ for you!

Introducing the What-If Report!

Introducing the What-If Report!

While your major change may not be as clean as mine, don’t let a few unnecessary classes that you took keep you from pursuing the major you want! Seriously, if you think throwing away an entire semester of classes is bad, think about how much worse staying in your unwanted major is. You spend four years and who knows how much money pursuing a degree for a career you don’t even want any more.

So, would you rather spend a bit of extra time in school because you changed your major, or spend your whole life in a job that makes you miserable?! Okay, so that last part may seem a bit dramatic, and maybe it is. But it’s not far off – that could happen. And changing your major and having a ton of classes become useless is a worst-case scenario. Chances are that your transition into a new field of study could be easy as pie!

-Tori

 

Making UA Your New Home: Wildcat Connections October 28th – November 3rd Edition

28 Oct

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Hot off the press!  Check out the latest edition of Wildcat Connections!  Missing mama’s homestyle cooking?  Joceline and Ciara eat at the new Bear Down Kitchen for the first time and share their experience on our UA Secrets video.  Missing someone taking care of you when you’re sick?  Visit the UA Health Promotion and Prevention Service to keep yourself healthy and happy.  This edition is full of insider info on campus resources and tips on how to make the university your home away from home… so click on the picture above and dig in!

Planning Out Life for Fall 2013: Tips for Registration

18 Mar

Class registration is one of the most exciting and stressful times of the year, and for good reason: figuring out your class schedule determines not just your academic life, but your social life as well. It’s no wonder that the first time you open the schedule of classes, it can be a little bit intimidating.

Girl scared of laptop

That’s why it’s important to start thinking about registration early. If you plan ahead, you’ll be surprised how close to your ideal schedule you can get! Here are some tips, tricks, and things to keep in mind:

Some Self-Reflection Before You Start Scheduling

Look at your life, look at your choices.

  • Think about your commitments for next semester and balancing those with your classes.
  • Be realistic about how you can be the most productive – if you schedule all of your classes for the late afternoon, will you really get up and do homework in the morning, or are you going to sleep in every day?
  • Think about your own limitations: some people can be in class 8 AM to 3 PM with no breaks, and some people really need some breathing time in between. Make sure you are honest about what you can handle!
  • Do you prefer studying at home, or in the library? Keep this in mind when you are considering when to schedule breaks and study times.
  • Think about your transportation, and plan your schedule accordingly if you are relying on public transportation or carpools.

Using Your Advisor

Pull Yourself Together!

  • Talk to your advisor before you register about developing a plan for the next few semesters. Getting your requirements scheduled appropriately and being sure you’re taking the right classes will make your schedule more efficient, which means it will be easier to avoid taking too many units in one semester.
  • Once you have your schedule for the semester, check in with your advisor again to make sure everything looks great.
  • If things don’t turn out how you wanted them, don’t assume there aren’t alternatives. Your advisor may be able to recommend alternative classes to keep you on track.

Registration Time!

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  • Add all of the courses you want to your Shopping Cart before your registration day (you’ll see why).
  • On registration day, set yourself an alarm to get up and log in to UAccess a few minutes before registration opens (usually 6 AM, so I like to set it for 5:45).
  • When registration opens, click on that “Enroll” button in your Shopping Cart. This makes it easier for you to grab those classes before spaces fill up, and is much faster than searching for each class individually that morning!
  • If not every class went through, always add some alternative classes, even if they are not your ideal. You can always swap them later if the class you wanted opens up, but this ensures you’ll still have a backup schedule locked down.

The important thing to remember is that there is always help available. Don’t be afraid to talk to your advisor if you’re unsure of what to do for registration!

You got this.

High five