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The flaws of course registration | The Triangle

The flaws of course registration

Another term, another class registration week, another new schedule to choose. When I came to college, one of the things I was most excited about was getting to pick my own classes, and decide in part for myself what I wanted to learn about each term. And for the most part, this is still true I get to take elective classes that have nothing to do with my major or minor, and I get a certain amount of say in what times of day I take classes, too. And yet, in my opinion, Drexel’s class registration system is still deeply flawed.

On DrexelOne, the system is set up so that if a student attempts to register for a class that they don’t have the prerequisites for, they will be blocked from registering. However, not all of the possible prerequisites are always entered into the system. For example, just this term I tried to register for Biochemistry Laboratory, for which the prerequisite is Organic Chemistry II. As a chemistry major, I had taken Majors Organic Chemistry II. The class coverage is the same, and yet it was not entered into the system, meaning I had to contact my advisor in order to register. I think this is a serious problem, especially as the lab is a requirement for chemistry majors, and only one section was offered — which is now full. This is not the first time I have had this problem, and I have friends in other majors who have fallen foul to the same issue.

Even once you’ve successfully registered for your classes, often the staff decides to change class times after the registration period has already opened. It’s incredibly frustrating when I’ve spent hours planning out the perfect schedule that means I can take everything I want to take and stay on track to graduate, and then the school decides to change the class time meaning that my classes now conflict with each other. It puts a huge extra stress on already busy students to have to re-organize their schedules like this, and personally I think it’s inconsiderate of the professors not to have their schedules finalized by the time students have the chance to register. Of course there will always be exceptional circumstances, but this has happened to me almost every term, and it’s caused a lot of problems. I know multiple people who had to stay in school for a whole extra term to take classes they missed out on because of this, and Drexel is so expensive already that many people literally cannot afford to graduate late.

Lastly, there are classes listed in Drexel’s official course catalog that just straight up don’t exist. As a small nerdy freshman browsing the course catalog looking for electives that I’d like to take in future, two classes that interested me were The Mystery Story, and Issues in Science and Religion. Two years later, neither of these classes have been offered a single time since I started and the English class is still listed in the course catalog. The same applies for one of the optional courses for my minor, and personally I find it a huge disappointment when I want to learn about something and think I’m going to get the chance, only to be disappointed every term when the class isn’t listed. If Drexel no longer wants to offer a class, they should remove it from the course catalog.

While in theory the class registration system should work well, the way Drexel handles it isn’t good enough for a school of 13 thousand undergraduates where everyone is falling over each other to plan their schedules and secure a spot in the classes they need. I truly believe that more time needs to be spent by the staff to make sure this system runs smoothly for everyone.