New registration policies provide benefits, difficulties for students

Zach Trueblood

Staff Writer

Photo by Billi Jo Hart/Prospectus News The On-Time Registration policy at Parkland has urged many students to get their classes registered for early. Students who are unable to make the first deadline may still register for classes with late start dates.

Photo by Billi Jo Hart/Prospectus News
The On-Time Registration policy at Parkland has urged many students to get their classes registered for early. Students who are unable to make the first deadline may still register for classes with late start dates.

Parkland has implemented a new registration policy beginning in the fall semester of 2014 called On-Time Registration. The new policy states that every student must be registered by 11:59 pm the Tuesday before their class is scheduled to start.

If the classes are not paid in full nor have a payment plan set up by 11:59 pm of that Tuesday students will be dropped and are not eligible to register for those classes again. Gone are the days of walking into Parkland, getting on a computer the day your class starts, registering, and then going to class.

Many at the Parkland College have differing views of this policy. On one hand the new policy is being implemented to help students. On the other hand it is hindering them by putting stricter deadlines on paying tuition and signing up for classes.

The new policy has affected one instructor in particular; Dr. Matthew Hurt. Hurt has a very positive outlook on the new policy.

“The goal of On-time Registration is for improved student success. It promotes retention and helps develop soft skills such as responsibility, preparation, and time management,” Hurt said.

Hurt also explained that the new policy will make the beginning of the semester smoother for both the instructors and students. The student roster won’t be ever-changing in the first week as it was before. Hurt went on to say that having different types of the same class, for example a class that started on the Aug. 18 and one that starts on the Sept. 8, may be slightly inconvenient but he and his colleagues would do whatever it takes in order to make the change easier and more beneficial for students.

Student worker Shon Campbell had some things to say about the new policy as well. Campbell is in the Nursing LPN program and also works in the Office of Student Life. He spent most of the summer helping with SOAR orientations and registering students for classes.

Campbell himself is in two late start classes that he chose so he could meet his 12 credit hour requirement. He also chose them because they fit into his busy schedule well, and he enjoys the subjects.

“Parkland could’ve done a better job at getting the word out to students. It’s tough for those of us that have been going here to have the policy changed all of a sudden,” Campbell said. Campbell ultimately believes the new policy is a good one and continued, “In the long run it will be better. There may be a few bumps in the road but overall the college has done a great job with On-Time Registration, Triage, and SOAR.”

Despite the high hopes enrollment at Parkland is down when compared to the last few years. The full figures for late-start classes have yet to be released and only time will tell how this new policy will affect enrollment.

Kevin Knott, the Director of Accountability and Research said that enrollment is down about 5.11 percent.

“There have been studies showing that many colleges experience an 8-10 percent drop in enrollment when implementing an On-Time-Registration model. So far we have not seen this much of a drop in our numbers,” Knott explained.

Another department heavily impacted by the new policy is Counseling and Advising.

“On-Time Registration is still a work in progress. We have to implement it and test things but overall, even statewide, we’re doing much better than expected,” Director of Counseling and Advising, John Sheahan stated.

Sheahan went on to explain that this policy didn’t just come out of thin air. It took almost two years of careful planning to develop. He believes that an increase in midterm and late-start class options would be highly beneficial for the school.

To find out important dates on registration and classes at Parkland, please visit http://bit.ly/1lPSwxR.