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September 02, 2011

Registering for Classes

Twenty-first century students would not recognize registration as experienced by their parents and grandparents. Until 1999 registration meant standing in line.

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Students registering for classes in the 1930s and 1970s.

Students met with their adviser or dean to select courses which were recorded on a paper registration form. Students took the completed registration form to the designated registration location (Adelbert Gym and Crawford Hall were often used). Students were assigned registration dates. For example, for Fall 1981 Western Reserve College students with last names ending A-E registered 4/20 and 4/27; F-J registered 4/21 and 4/28; K-O registered 4/22 and 4/29; P-S registered 4/23 and 4/30; T-Z registered 4/24 and 5/1.

Efforts to streamline registration have been continuous. For instance, in 1948 at CIT, mail registration was available for all currently enrolled graduate students. Students completed a registration form sent by the school (along with the roster of classes) and mailed it back to the Registrar. “The student schedule will be mailed back to you and if there is any complication due to conflict, failed courses, etc., you will be notified. Otherwise, all you need to do is to report to the classes as scheduled, beginning the week of September 20.”[1]

By the 1960s both CIT and WRU were using mainframe computers. In 1964 WRU explained, “Heretofore, each one of our students who has enrolled has had to fill out as many as seven different cards for each semester or summer session he attends. This year we tried a new mailing procedure for freshmen in which they had to fill out only one sheet of paper containing twenty-one questions. From these data on that sheet...the data processing unit can then make all the necessary cards and gather all the required information automatically.” [2]

The first on-line registration system (SOLAR - Student On-Line Academic Registration System) was implemented at CWRU for Fall 1999. Students first met with their adviser or dean to select their courses, complete a registration form, and obtain a PIN number. Students had the option to register in-person or online.

Today’s process still requires meeting with the adviser or dean for course selection. However, long lines are a thing of the past.

[1] W. E. Nudd, Registrar to all Graduate students presently attending the Day or Evening Divisions of Case Institute of Technology, 8/1/1948
[2] 4DB1 1:14 William Heston to John Millis, 11/3/1965

Posted by hxy2 at September 2, 2011 04:07 PM

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