This semester, NJIT and Rutgers-Newark administration decided to synchronize their academic calendars. In theory, this solves a slew of issues. Students of one institution can more easily register for courses at the other, students no longer have conflicts between a final exam and class period, and days with schedule changes are consistent between both schools. “This is a project that has been talked about for quite some time,” said Michael Maysilles, NJIT Registrar. “When registration is off by a week or two… this causes far more confusion than we really need.”
With the schedule change, NJIT registration now occurs earlier than usual, making the first day of registration coincide with the last day to withdraw from courses. This overlap caused unforeseen issues on the NJIT front. In the current Pipeline system, students cannot manually withdraw from courses online if any academic hold is placed on their account. This hold, which is added on each semester so students will check in with their academic advisors to make sure they are on track for graduation, prevents adding or dropping classes across all semesters of registration. For these reasons, holds were unable to be placed on student accounts less they hinder the course withdrawal process. However, this meant that when the hold became effective at 8am on November 4th, some unfortunate students realized that they now had a hold despite being unable to see one before. Even more confusing to some seniors was the ability to register for courses between midnight and 8am, when the hold came into effect, then finding that they could no longer alter their registrations.
Maysilles said that at the very least, there will be “better communication with student to let them know exactly how it will look on Pipeline, and what they need to do to ensure they’ll be able to register on the date they’re supposed to.” Aside from that, the department is looking into ways of adding academic holds that do not affect the current semester of registration. “We are investigating the capacity of the system to do such things.” Any changes to Pipeline are expected to be ready by next semester’s cycle of registration.
“We’re always open to comments and suggestions if something is not working properly,” said Maysilles. Registration, he says, is among the most important administrative things students do, which drives every action they take on campus. “We do everything we can to make the process less confusing, easier and as seamless as possible.”