Tips for a Successful Registration

  1. Read the Overview of the Web Registration Process to understand the principles behind our process. To make the process as useful as possible to all, plan to submit your choices as early as possible in the web course choice submission process so that all students and faculty can make informed choices based on accurate information.
  2. Please participate fully in the process, enter your choices early in the process, submit course choices you truly wish, and do not attempt to work around or “game” the system. We need to know the real demand for each course in order to make appropriate staffing decisions. We also need students to be flexible and willing to choose alternate courses, sections, or labs when faced with a high-demand course. If you see that a course or lab you are projected for is in high demand by other students, and if you can move to a different section, please do so. This helps everyone get the courses you all need. Someone else may some day return the favor.
  3. Complete the Web Course Choice Submission Worksheet before completing your choice submission on the SIS . That worksheet will also help you understand the order in which the computer runs the data to assign courses.
    • Courses within one schedule show horizontally, left to right, along one row or rank of the schedules page.
    • Registration passes run across schedules (vertically on the worksheet – down!) to place all students in one course before any student is placed in a subsequent course.
    • Make sure that your list of schedules includes at least 3-4 distinctly different alternatives for the first course and, then, for each first course alternative, at least 3-4 alternatives for the second course, then the third, and so forth. The result will be a choice tree, containing multiple branches, each of which continues to branch out. Each branch = one schedule.
    • DURING PAST WEB REGISTRATION PERIODS, BY FAR THE MOST COMMON SOURCE OF FAILURE OF STUDENTS TO OBTAIN COMPLETE SCHEDULES WAS PROVIDING ONLY ONE DISTINCT SCHEDULE OPTION. Do not make this mistake!
    • Be flexible and include alternate schedules that contain different combinations of course sections and lab/discussion sections. One section of a course may close, but others may still be available.
    • Examples of a distinctly different alternative to an already-listed course:
      • A completely different course
      • A different section of the same course
      • For courses with labs/discussions:
        • The same course but different section of lab/discussion
        • A different section of the same course but same lab/discussion
        • A different section of the same course + different section of lab/discussion
  4. Remember: you may take only 1.00 credit during interim. This is one course, plus any associated labs/discussions, if applicable.
  5. Make sure that each of your semester schedules contains the total number of credits you plan to take that term (maximum: 4.5).
  6. Use the SIS Class/lab Inquiry Tool (available on the registration screen to help you choose courses. Check the course description to see if there are any prerequisites; check the notes to determine if the course is available to your class year or if there are class-year limits (a designated number of spaces for students of a specific class year seniors, juniors, sophomores, first-year students). This will help you determine the order of your courses within a schedule.
  7. Make sure that your schedules are all valid. A valid schedule contains NONE of the following: time conflicts, repeats of courses you have taken; courses for which you lack pre-requisites; closed courses or courses closed to your class year.
    • Prerequisites:
      • The computer looks only at your previous St. Olaf courses in determining if you meet a prerequisite for a course.
      • If you know that you meet the prerequisite by some other means (i.e., an AP exam, non-St. Olaf coursework), you can add that course to your schedule
      • The computer will NOT block your registration because of lack of pre-requisite. If, however, you really have NOT met the pre-requisite, do NOT try to register for the course! If you took but failed the prerequisite, do not register for a course with the prerequisite.
  8. To determine the order within a schedule to place courses, consider the following:
    • For courses in the highest demand by students across campus (check Enrollments screen), consider placing them at the beginning (left-hand side to run in Pass 1 or Pass 2) of your schedules. If there are multiple sections of the same course, make sure to include these other sections in alternate schedule options.
    • If, in using the Registration Tracking Tool (see below), you discover that the course section you want is in very high demand, consider the following:
      • For courses with multiple sections, one of which is filling fast, it is to everyones advantage if those who can take a different section of the course submit alternate schedules that contain that other section. Even if the tracking tool indicates you probably would get the in-demand section, for the sake of others whose schedules may be less flexible, create a schedule with another section of the course and place it above the schedule with the high-demand section. Remember: maximum flexibility is the key!
    • On the other hand, if the demand for a course tends to be very specific or limited (the course generally does not fill), use one of the last slots (Pass 4) in your schedules. Make sure that this course appears in all of your schedule alternatives.
  9. Use the Registration Tracking Tool at the bottom of the SIS schedules page to get a sense of how your choices relate to those of all other students who have submitted schedule choices. Check back periodically while course choice submission is open to see if any adjustments need to be made as more students submit schedule choices.

**Even if the tracking tool suggests you might get into a certain set of courses, make sure you keep sufficient alternate schedules in your list of schedules!**

(NOTE THAT THERE IS NO GUARANTEE THAT REGISTRATION WILL RUN FOR YOU IN EXACTLY THE WAY IT APPEARS ON THE TRACKING TOOL, EVEN IF YOU CHECK IT SHORTLY BEFORE THE END OF THE WEB COURSE CHOICE SUBMISSION PROCESS. The tracking tool is based on already-entered data only.)