ice of the Registrar

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First-Year Drop/Add Instructions

Before you meet with your academic advisor and before online registration opens Tuesday afternoon, September 6.

  • Check for holds in the Student Center.  If you have registration holds, you must contact the appropriate office first to have the hold cleared. If you have an honor code hold, you need to sign the Honor Code online in PeopleSoft.
  • Research courses you may be interested in adding - some courses may be closed and/or instructor or department consent required.
    • To see if a course is available:
    • The easiest way to check a course status is in the online catalog. Drill down on a subject and then on Fall course offerings. The open(green circle icon) /closed (blue square icon) status displays to the right of the course section listings. If the course is Instructor or Department consent, 'Inst' or 'Dept' will display in the right most column.
    • If you are in PeopleSoft, you can also check the course status through the class search.
      • Navigate to Self Service>Student Center, and click Search for Classes.
      • Select Fall 2016 for the term if it is not defaulted.
      • Enter the course subject and number and click Search . In the search results, check the open (green circle icon)/closed (blue square icon) status.  To check instructor consent, click the section link section linkand check for ‘Instructor Consent Required’ or ‘Department Consent Required’ under the Enrollment Information section.

During your advising meeting on Tuesday, September 6
Discuss a variety of courses, especially if courses you want to add are closed or instructor consent.  Have a backup plan in case you are not able to add a closed or instructor consent course, or a course you’ve enrolled in does not turn out to be what you want. After meeting with your advisor, you may need to follow up with contacts with instructors in closed or consent courses, and you may need to make changes to your schedule in PeopleSoft.

To supplement discussions with your academic advisor

  • Use free time on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday to visit academic department offices or instructors to sort out questions on prerequisites or placement, to seek advice on available courses, to pursue permission to add an instructor consent course.
    • Departments can advise you on what courses are available to first-year students.  Some 100-level courses that are instructor consent are holding spaces for first-years and many 200-level and some 300-level courses are open to first-years.
    • Discuss any placement or prerequisite questions with the departments.  If you think you may have the equivalent of a prerequisite in non-Williams coursework, you should discuss this with the department.
  • Attend the pre-Professional meetings appropriate to your interests, Wednesday, September 7.
  • Attend the Academic Expo, Wednesday afternoon, September 7 (see the First Days Schedule)

Once online registration opens in PeopleSoft

  • Update your class schedule in PeopleSoft as much as you can.
    • Drop any courses you don’t intend to take – open up a space for another student
    • Add any courses you can online.  For closed or instructor consent courses you will need to contact the instructor.  Look for the instructor in their office Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday, or e-mail them, to describe your interest in the class or attend the first class meeting to see if you can add.  Note that organizational meetings are first class meetings.
    • Course closed/No Instructor Consent Flag - very few courses are like this.  It’s worthwhile to check again later - as other students drop, the course may open. 
    • Instructor Consent Flagthese courses may already have a waitlist – Is it worth your time to pursue these courses? 
      • Definitely yes for 100-level courses – priority for open spaces will go to first-year students.
      • Maybe for 200-level courses – check the catalog description to see who has priority for spaces.
      • Maybe not for 300-level courses, but check the catalog description if you are really interested.
      • Please keep in mind that space may not open up in some of these courses and you should have a back-up plan. If the course was also closed, it may be worthwhile to check SELFREG again before the class meets to see if any spaces have opened.
    • Department Consent Flag these courses may already have a waitlist – the department office is coordinating adds to these class sections.  Check with the department office to see if spaces are available.
    • How do you add a closed or Instructor Consent course once the instructor says yes?  Most instructors will e-mail adds to the Registrar’s Office.  Check your class schedule before the next class meeting to make sure you have been added.  If not, check with the instructor again.

First class meetings are important. Any courses that do not have a regular meeting on Thursday or Friday have a first meeting scheduled on Thursday evening, 9/8, or Friday, 9/10. These are included on your class schedule or the class search in PeopleSoft, in the online catalog and on the website classroom directory. For any course in which you are currently enrolled, if you do not attend the first class meeting, the instructor may drop you and give your space to another student. Instructors may also refuse permission to add a course if you have not attended the first class meeting. If you add a course online for which you did not attend the first class meeting, make sure that you have the instructor's approval to do so.

What is a Virtual Section? Some of the large multi-sectioned lab and conference courses which need to limit enrollments per section have ‘virtual’ sections to accommodate section changes.  These virtual sections are indicated in the class hour directory and have a ‘V’ section number.  How to use the virtual section?  If you are adding the course, or need to swap sections to accommodate another course add, try first to add or swap in to the section you want.  Checking the course status for open sections will be helpful.  If you can’t add into any open section, add the virtual section.  This at least gets you into or keeps you in the course.  As other students drop/add, closed sections may open; it will be worthwhile to check later to see if a space has opened up in a section you want.  Don’t be afraid to use the virtual section; if nobody moves, the section changes will gridlock. If you can’t get out of the virtual section into a real section:

  • ARTH 101 conferences - conferences begin meeting the first full week of class.  If you are still in the virtual section by then, attend a conference during the first week, even if it may not be the section you’ll end up in.
  • BIOL 101 lecture and labs - For lecture section A1 or A2, you should register for lab section A3-A6 or the virtual lab "V1".  For lecture section B1 or B2, you should register for lab section B3-B6 or the virtual lab "V2". If the lecture section you need is closed, you should attend the first class meeting you wish to be in and talk to the instructor about adding.
  • Other Labs or conferences - lab assignments will be sorted out during the first full week of classes.  Instructors may ask you to change sections to accommodate other students and to keep the sections balanced.

Multi-Sectioned Courses without Virtual Sections.
Smaller multi-sectioned courses also need to keep a reasonable enrollment balance between sections.  If a section you need to add is closed but others are open, check with the instructor about adding.   Instructors may ask you to change sections if your schedule allows and the section you are in has become overenrolled.  Instructors will sort this out during the first few class meetings.

Placement and Prerequisites - Please check the course catalog descriptions for prerequisite requirements.  If you think you may have the equivalent of a prerequisite in non-Williams coursework, you should discuss this with the course instructor or department chair.  Possible use of Advanced Placement test results is indicated on the Academic Progress Report.

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