Students’ confusion, consternation over order of scheduling priority determination continues

Every semester, Baldwin Wallace University students stare anxiously at their laptops with WebExpress open awaiting one of the major events of the semester — scheduling.
Between selecting classes that do not overlap times with one another, organizing their schedules around extracurricular activities and fulfilling both major and CORE requirements, scheduling can be a stressful time for students.
Above all those concerns, however, is often a simple one: are the classes a student wants available?
Students describe one of the most frustrating aspects of scheduling as being “locked out” of one of your scheduled classes because the class has already registered the maximum number of students allowed.
This can be detrimental to a student’s graduation plan when they are locked out of classes that are required for their major, which could mean a cascade of potential issues, like feeling forced into changing a major or even, in extreme circumstances, delay of a student’s graduation year.
When it comes to missing out on courses that have already filled up, often these issues are blamed on when the student was able to submit a schedule – in other words, the scheduling priority based students’ particular class year.
The order of priority for students is the order in which students are allowed to begin scheduling their classes, according to Assistant Registrar Rachel Paschal.
Currently, Paschal said, the order of priority for scheduling is as follows: honors seniors, honors juniors, seniors, juniors, honors sophomores, honors freshmen, sophomores, and finally, freshmen.
However, within each specific category of students, credit hours also play a role.
For example, honors seniors are set to begin scheduling first, but within the honor seniors’ subgroup they will schedule in order based on credits earned, Paschal said. Honors seniors with more credit hours earned schedule their classes prior to honors seniors with less credit hours earned. Even this distinction sometimes leads to confusion, Paschal said, as students sometimes count all their credits, rather than those that apply to scheduling priority.
“It’s number of credit hours earned, so whatever you’re taking now wouldn’t count towards that,” said Paschal. “It’s only what you have been graded on thus far.
Many students have different ideas in regards to how scheduling should be organized. Some students have recommended that order of priority be determined by GPA rather than the amount of credits earned. Other students say that involvement in the Honors Program should not play a role in the order of priority.
Regardless of students’ opinions, the order of priority for scheduling is not likely to change anytime soon, Paschal said.
“I know that this has been the order of priority for a while,” she said. “I haven’t heard of any plans to change the system, so I do not think that it is in the plans.”
While scheduling may not always seem easy, it is a necessary process in every college student’s life and Paschal said there are some tips students can use to avoiding getting locked out of classes.
First and foremost, allow a significant amount of time to plan your schedule prior to your scheduling time, she said. When it comes time for your group to register, have your schedule planned and ready to submit with back-ups for popular classes in case they’re needed.
Meeting with your advisor prior to your scheduled registration time can allow you the opportunity to ask about what classes are popular and fill up fast, as well as identify possible alternatives. It is also important, she said, to plan ahead on the day to register so you can submit your courses as soon as your scheduled registration time begins.
Finally, if you are locked out, Paschal suggests students get on the wait list immediately and consider asking the professor if he or she would open another seat for the class.