Day 69 Course Registration

online funny

Planning ahead is a big part of my DNA as a faculty member at College of DuPage.  I am constantly thinking of the next book order, prioritizing goals for a class activity, sequencing curriculum, forecasting projects and making goal lists.  Planning gives me a boost of energy and opens feelings of progress and accomplishment. I consider myself organized, prepared and productive.  Do I have an extra pencil in my backpack?  Did I remember to bring extra Kleenex?  Did I pack lunch the night before?  Check, check, check.  Admittedly, sometimes my uber planning drives my family crazy.  Spontaneity is a difficult concept for me.  I thrive on to-do lists, sticky notes and electronic reminders.

My students are also planners to an extent, but one of their biggest hurdles is thinking a semester or two semesters ahead.  “Designing their life” is difficult as they are peppered with questions like, “What is your major?  What are you good at?  What certificate or degree are you planning to pursue?  What is your dream job?” Sometimes our students are undecided, undeclared and uninterested right now.  They need time.  They need guidance.

I introduce them to our College of DuPage Student Planning Worksheet, a planning tool for students who are interested in finding out about specific general education degree requirements for the Associate of Art, Associate of Science, Associate in Engineering Science, Associate of Applied Science and Associate of General Studies degrees. I work with an adviser from Counseling Services, Michael Duggan, who volunteers to come into my classes each semester to talk with students about their future course schedules, internship opportunities and financial aid packages. We work together to help students plan an academic pathway at College of DuPage and beyond.

This formal planning process takes place right after midterm in preparation for the next semester’s course registration.  Again, students are thrown into choosing classes for the following semester when they aren’t yet finished with the current semester.  It can be confusing and daunting, but we’re here to help.

The College of DuPage website, http://www.cod.edu is a great resource to aid in the course registration process:

Summer 2016

Returning Student Registration begins on March 22 at 8 a.m.

  • 60+ College of DuPage Earned Credits: Tuesday, March 22 or later
  • 50+ College of DuPage Earned Credits: Wednesday, March 23 or later
  • 40+ College of DuPage Earned Credits: Thursday, March 24 or later
  • 20+ College of DuPage Earned Credits: Monday, March 28 or later
  • 10+ College of DuPage Earned Credits: Tuesday, March 29 or later
  • .5+ College of DuPage Earned Credits: Wednesday, March 30 or later
  • New and Returning Students with Zero Earned Credits: Friday, April 1 or later

Priority registration does not include transfer credit or demonstrated competency credit.

To check the number of completed College of DuPage credit hours:

  • Go to myACCESS.cod.edu
  • Log in to your account
  • Under “Academic Profile” click on “My Profile”.
  • See Institutional Completed Credits

Fall 2016

Returning Student Registration begins on April 7 at 8 a.m.

  • 60+ College of DuPage Earned Credits: Thursday April 7 or later
  • 50+ College of DuPage Earned Credits: Friday, April 8 or later
  • 40+ College of DuPage Earned Credits:  Monday, April 11 or later
  • 20+ College of DuPage Earned Credits: Wednesday, April 13 or later
  • 10+ College of DuPage Earned Credits: Thursday, April 14 or later
  • .5+ College of DuPage Earned Credits: Friday, April 15 or later
  • New and Returning Students with Zero Earned Credits: Friday, April 22 or later

After I register, when is my payment due date?

All students not receiving financial assistance are required to pay their tuition bill at the time of registration. Students who receive employer reimbursements must pay their tuition first to the College, then obtain repayment from their employer. Students may pay by cash, check or credit card. Students unable to pay in full may take advantage of our convenient “Payment Plans”. Students receiving financial assistance will be able to enroll in a deferred-payment plan.

Day 2 Roster, Registration and Rules

Class Schedule

Checking my class lists today:

English 0492 (16 weeks) has 15 students, but can enroll up to 20. I am expecting some students to enroll late, as this has been a trend in this course for years.

English 1102 (1st 8 weeks) has 22 students and filled several weeks ago (also expected with this research writing course — I often have at least 10-15 requests from students to add them to an already full section).

My other 2 sections (English 0482 and English 0492) start later in the semester (February 15th — 12 weeks).  Today is an intense day of advising students and checking if they are enrolled in the “right” courses based on prerequisites, placement test scores and certificate or degree requirements. We use MyAccess as our database to store student records and I click on links for students’ test scores, unofficial transcripts and additional information in order to get a sense of why they enrolled in my English course.  I send out a flurry of all-class e-mails and “Welcome to College of DuPage!” greetings on the Announcement Board today hoping each student will log in and start looking at the course materials.

One of the challenges in building and launching an online course is timing the assignments and due dates accordingly since I have multiple starting and stopping dates this term. Sometimes it feels like nailing jello to a wall as I try to coordinate all of the courses in a pace that keeps students motivated throughout the semester.

I designed English 0482 and English 1102 myself — building the course materials over several months, choosing textbooks, supplemental materials, YouTube links and producing video vignettes to anchor each unit.  I am a visual learner and believe that online instruction should involve splashes of graphics and color from our collection of virtual paintbrushes.  If online courses only offer text as the main source of information I think students will tune out (even those students who are avid Kindle readers). Online teaching is an opportunity to think outside the box and make the screen come alive.  After all, this is the portal of communication — why not make it as appealing as possible?  As teachers we have the creative freedom to gather our own materials based on our department’s course objectives. I pour a tremendous amount of time into course design and am constantly trying new ways to engage students in an online environment.