Thursday, April 16, 2015

Brian's Tip of the Week: Getting into closed classes

Today is the big day. 

You've fought so hard to finally make it to this day: the day of your enrollment appointment. You've sat through long hours of academic advising, crumpled hundreds of notebook pages, and clicked through page after page on SPIRE trying to create the perfect, flawless schedule for Fall 2015. Alas, all of the time and stress has finally paid off. Only a few hours until you can finally click "enroll," and your pristine schedule will be officially permanent. Just to be sure, why not check out SPIRE now?

What? No! It can't be!! How is this possible?! The one class that brings the perfect schedule all together has filled? But you just checked it yesterday! Everything fit so well together! You've been sucker-punched right in the gut. Your fall is ruined. Your life is ruined. No schedule could replace what you had; it was too perfect. It was the only one for you.

Alright, STOP.

Yes, course enrollment is an ugly process, and classes are going to close on you. It happens to every student, every year. Fortunately, this does not mean the end of your schedule, or your college career, or your life. Despite what SPIRE says, there are actually many methods to getting yourself into these "closed" classes. Here are some tips on how to salvage the perfect schedule:

1. Backup Plan

First and foremost: always have a backup plan. You should already have one before enrollment. If you don't, make one! Course enrollment will rarely be peachy, so it's best to have a second class/schedule ready to go. Use your backup plan to enroll in your second choice classes while you work out how to get back into your original favorites.

2. Learn to Love SPIRE

All hope is not lost. For the next few days, SPIRE should be your best friend. Make it your favorite website. Make it your favorite thing to browse on your phone. Be on SPIRE as much as possible. If the class is closed, it doesn't mean it's closed for good. Keep in mind that many other students on campus are simultaneously adding/dropping courses to create their own perfect schedules, so it's very likely that a spot or two could open up. If that happens, you want to be ready to snag that seat.

3. Keep it in the Shopping Cart

Don't remove it from your cart because you couldn't enroll at the time of your appointment. Have it ready for when a spot opens up. Click the "Add" tab, then check the box, and enroll to make it quick and painless. Voila!

4. Communicate

Find the professor of the desired course and contact him or her via email. Depending on the class size and class restrictions, some professors have the ability to override SPIRE and give you a spot in the course. It's very important to be in constant contact up until you've gained access. Sometimes professors will extend the class size, or open it to all majors, weeks after it has been closed.

5. Go to that Class

Whether or not you have already talked to the professor (you should have at least tried by this point), attend the class once the semester starts. Even though you aren't officially enrolled, go sit in the lectures and talk to the professor after classes. If you aren't at the first class meeting, it's very unlikely the professor will go out of his or her way to let you into the class.

To wrap it up simply: expect setbacks, be ready on SPIRE, contact your professors, and don't fall behind! Good luck this year, and may the odds be ever in your favor!

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