Office of the Registrar details new registration features, history of process

Joe Zerilli, Campus Editor

As the time for registration draws closer, the Office of the Registrar offers advice and new information while reflecting on some of the history of registration.

Registration for Summer 2023, Fall 2023 and Winter 2024 will begin March 20, and as per usual will go in order of class standing. Students can access this through the Registrar’s website or through the student services tab in SAIL.

This year, students will be able to see and sort instructional methods when registering, including in-person, hybrid and flex options. The flex options include HyFlex and Flex, and while not relatively new, they are newly defined.

The HyFlex option includes a course where students can choose how they want to participate, whether being fully online, fully in-person or some mix of both. On the other hand, Flex allows students some flexibility to pick and choose what class sessions they want to attend, though a professor may require specific in-person meetings.

“I think that’s one of the things we’ve learned over the last few years, is students want flexibility, and so I think it’s helpful for students to be able to have these definitions and to be able to look for the courses that they want,” Registrar Tricia Westergaard said.

One of the goals with showcasing the instructional methods is to help students build a more balanced schedule consisting of all types of methods. Westergaard said the updates were made to provide students with more transparency and allow them to access more in-depth information of how classes will be taught. 

With the construction of South Foundation Hall (SFH), it has been a main force in the continued use of online and hybrid teaching as it hosts roughly a third of general purpose classrooms. In a typical fall semester, around 400 sections of classes get scheduled in SFH.

Even with the proposed completion in 2024, Westergaard said she expects the variety of classes to continue as everyone adjusts to the flexibility.

“Never before have we been so prepared to offer so many courses in a variety of instructional methods to meet student needs,” she said.

She wanted to reiterate the office is there to assist students through the process, and to make sure to additionally reach out to advisors.

Aaron Schlenkert, a student who works in registrar services, offered some tips for the registration process as a whole.

  • Register as early as possible.
  • When requesting an override, state the exact error message you want to override.
  • When swapping courses, utilize the conditional add dropbox to avoid accidentally dropping a course without adding a replacement.
  • Use the Plan Ahead feature to build registration plans ahead of time. On registration day, you will be able select your plan and quickly add those courses to your schedule. 
  • If on registration day you need to contact an instructor, you can get their contact information by clicking their name on the course listing.

One last tip Westergaard provided was to register as early as possible, as this can help ensure a class doesn’t get canceled due to low enrollment or another class gets added if demand is high.

When discussing the new changes to the registration process, Westergaard also reflected on the history of registration at Oakland University. The Office of the Registrar will be moving to North Foundation Hall, and during the move she found notes regarding registration in the 80’s.

Attending OU in the 80’s and 90’s, she saw the growth firsthand — from class schedules printed like newspapers to how it is now.

“You’d look at a piece of paper — you had, like, a newspaper that had all the classes — you’d see which ones are closed or canceled, you fill out and then you’d wind through to the different stations and register,” she said.

Afterwards it moved to phone registration, where students would call in and enter in codes to specify which classes they wanted to take during their set time frame.