Late adds get digital makeover

By Jessica Suico, News Editor

Beginning this semester, students familiar with collecting late add codes from instructors and waiting in line to have them validated will have a much easier process to navigate when adding classes.

Instead of paper slips, now the process to add classes is completed by the professor through InSite Portal, all but eliminating the legwork of years past.

Senior Dean of Instruction Tish Young said, “I think this new system will help the faculty manage who they allow in their classes. It will make faculty and students have to pay more attention to the subject they are taking or teaching and who is in the class.”

Young said late registration starts the first day of each class and the last day to add full term classes is Friday.

Generally, at Contra Costa College, enrollment peaks sometime in December, shortly after registration for the spring semester begins in mid-November.

In December, 62 percent of CCC’s full-time students had already registered for classes. After the first day back on Jan. 28, the registration rate rose 7.7 percent, Young said.

For Sydney Smith, who has yet to decide on a major, her second semester at CCC came with some confusion while trying to add some of the classes she needed.

“I feel the way they can improve this new system is to add more visuals in the directory and resource options to better help show the students where exactly to go and what to do when adding classes late,” Smith said.

Smith liked how the new way to add classes shows a calendar schedule of what you’ve signed up for.

“This system is still better than the old way to add classes even with the kinks,” Smith said.

Social science professor Kirsten Olson said, “This new system was sprung on me last minute. I had to help another professor with figuring it out. I just hope there is transparency for the students, so they know what is going on.”

Olson would also like to know what the reasoning is for the abrupt change.

The change can be beneficial to the college and students, if administration and the college make clear to students and faculty the reasoning behind it, she said.

This district-piloted system was proposed at the end of the fall semester and started in the cybersession in January, Young said.

This new way to late add classes is a push for more web-based communication with the students and faculty.

Young said, “With the hiccups and improvements needed for the system there have been some issues with faculty trying to add students or not really knowing their way around the system. Other than that, it has been going pretty smooth for students and faculty.”

She said this new system will make adding classes late easier on students.

“The old way to add late classes seemed to confuse students a lot more than this new way. Previous semesters, I would get about 20 or more students in my office having problems with add codes or confused on how to add classes,” Young said.

Smith suggests more ways to improve the system would be if InSite Portal and the education plan listed for students highlighted classes left to complete to get a degree, “Like a credit tracker.”

If a certain class requires a prerequisite, it should identify which one and then direct students to the class you need to register for.  “I would like to see more hand holding, more help resources for students,” Smith said.