The Office of Registration and Academic Services extended fall 2020 registration to a two-week period in order to accommodate remote students.
This decision will likely make up for the fact that students are not on campus, which makes the registration process more difficult, said Linda Bell, director of Administration and Student Services.
Registration typically occurs on Monday through Thursday over a one-week period. Bell said there are often many students in the registration office during this time, so adding the extra day between registrations should help give the office time to assist students.
“Usually, students have to go to the departments to get overrides and, a lot of times, students don’t realize that we can’t do that,” Bell said. “So, they end up coming to our office, and then we send them to the departments. Because people are not on campus together, we thought it best to extend the time that a student would have now because they have to do it all via email.”
This change was also made to aid department chairs, who are working remotely, and students who may live in different time zones, Bell said.
The time at which students register is dependent upon their classification. Bell said students’ current year is their classification. Classification can change depending on the amount of AP or transfer credit students acquired before coming to Lehigh, Bell said.
The new two-week registration system has added stress for some students who may be registering towards the end of the two-week period.
“It’s kind of frustrating, and the people during the first week will get more time to rearrange their schedule and kind of figure it out,” said Tracie Dinh, ‘22. “(They) still have so much time to pick what classes they want, because they have the extra two or three days.”
Due to remote learning, advisors have had to modify their methods to help students register for classes, said Emily Ford, assistant dean of the College of Business and an academic advisor.
“We have Zoom appointments with our students, so they still can sign up for appointments just like they did in the past but, instead of meeting in person, it’s all through Zoom appointments in terms of our interaction with students,” Ford said.
Bell said the registration process is very similar to previous years besides occurring over a longer period of time.
She said students shouldn’t panic if they are on the waitlist for a class, since other students can oftentimes change their entire schedule in August and open up seats in a class.
“Generally everything works out by the start of the semester,” Bell said. “So it’s just a matter of remaining patient.”