Registering late a thing of the past

News-Register – Andrew Turner

Policy change to be implemented next semester

By Regina Fischer
Staff Writer

Starting spring 2013, Dallas County Community College District will eliminate late registration as an option for students.

The deadline to register for the spring semester will be Jan. 16, at 11:59 p.m.. Beginning Jan. 22, students will be able to register for flex and online classes only.

This policy has become common procedure at several other community colleges in the state. According to Christa Slejko, interim president of North Lake College, statewide budget cuts have contributed to the changes for student registration.

“Combine that with the pressure we are getting from the state and legislature that says we are going to hold you accountable, not for how many students you register, but [for] how many get through the semester,” Slejko said.

Institutions receive compensation per student based on the rate of enrollment, and students who start late have shown they are less likely to complete courses according to InsideHigherEd.com.

This change in enrollment policy has spurred administrators into addressing the concerns and needs of students prior to the start of next semester, said Mary Ciminelli, vice president of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.

“The new policy allows our deans to notify students in advance that their classes have been canceled and place them in another class before the first day of classes,” Ciminelli said. “This is an important factor because research indicates that students are more successful if they do not miss their first class session.”

In the past, students could register past the deadline for classes with an enrollment minimum that had not been reached. However, the leniency unintentionally created frustration for administrators and students.

“We are trying to make sure students are successful,” said De’Aira Holloway, director of Academic Advising. “The period between January 17th and 22nd gives the dean and faculty enough time to address students’ schedule needs and concerns.”

Should a student miss the registration deadline, he or she will still be able to register for online and flex classes, said Holloway. In the meantime, students can get acclimated with NLC, attend student orientation or financial literacy classes, take placement tests or purchase textbooks.

Overall, the policy change was made with students in mind.

“We are an open-access community college,” said Slejko. “But we are trying to help students [develop] better planning habits because we know they will do better.

“Hopefully, the new policy will not affect students trying to enroll.”