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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

August 17, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

ColumnsThe 'U' in Education

Yearly scheduling reduces stress

Approaching the end of a semester may bring students more stress when they have to select classes for the next semester. The denial can be a let down, but some colleges and universities are trying to relieve students of worrying by using a new registration system.

As of March 31, 2014, students at Cleveland State University may register for a year’s worth of classes before the upcoming fall semester. The objective of multi-term registration is to allow students to get their degree in a reasonable amount of time. Unlike Ithaca College, Cleveland State is primarily a commuter campus with students who have part-time jobs or families. By offering multi-term registration, students can plan ahead to stay on track to graduate. According to Ronald M. Berkman, president of Cleveland State, 60 percent of students used the new registration method this past year.

The main advantage of registering for an entire year is knowing that prerequisite and follow-up courses will be offered. According to Berkman, the method pushes faculty members to create a set class schedule for the academic year, making sure classes that rely on prerequisites are offered every semester. This way, students do not wait to sign up for classes to be offered only a certain semester, saving them time and money.

Michigan State University has had the system for about 10 years. Because Michigan State is primarily a residential campus, it encourages students to use multi-term registration so they can receive more academic advising, according to an April 11 article from Inside Higher Ed.

Of course, multi-term registration may not be ideal for all students. Some students who are undeclared may realize midsemester they will want to declare or switch to a major, which would require them to redo their next semester’s schedule. But these problems have simple solutions, such as choosing new classes or acquiring override forms. Cleveland State opens up a new section of a certain class if the maximum capacity has been reached, guaranteeing students a spot.

Though Ithaca College does not have multi-term registration, students whose majors have specific requirements, such as physical therapy or music education and performance, can benefit because their class choice is not as flexible as other majors like politics or environmental studies. Having an entire year planned out can save students from the stress of potentially not getting into a required course and keeping them on track for graduation.