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Saturday, October 31, 2020

Antiquated add slips are an annoyance

NICK PART - ED TOON - add slips

People in the modern world communicate electronically. However, Pierce College students still add classes during the semester the old fashioned way – they turn in professor-signed, paper add slips in-person to the Admissions and Records office.

Pierce College should have updated its late-period, class-adding system a long time ago.

The problem with bringing paper add slips to the Admissions and Records office is that it takes a long time. Wait times during the first two weeks of the semester were typically more than one hour. Lines wrapped around the building like it was the premier of the year’s most anticipated movie.

However, the line was anything but entertaining. It was like waiting in a security line at the airport, but without the exotic destination on the other end.

The solution to the long lines is an electronic class-adding system. 

Other Los Angeles-area community colleges, such as Santa Monica College and Glendale Community College, already have electronic class-adding systems. Cal. State Northridge (CSUN) does, as well.

Their systems let students get a code from the professor and use it to add the class online.

Pierce could also bring back its wait list system. Students used to put themselves on waitlists if the class they were trying to add was filled up before the semester started. If a spot in the class opened up in the first two weeks of the semester, the students on the waitlist were automatically added to the class without a visit to the Admissions and Records office.

But a new system is the best solution.

Pierce has a brand-new Student Information System (SIS) in the works which will modernize its class-adding process, according to Dean of Student Services Marco De La Garza. However, current students will not be able to use it until spring, 2016.

But for most Pierce students, the modern world is now. We communicate on miniature computers that fit inside our pockets, and we want to use that technology to add classes after the semester has started.

The people in Admissions and Records did their best, but the system was set up for them to fail. There simply weren’t enough people behind the counter to expedite the process in a timely manner.

But if students had the option to use a professor-obtained code that they could use top add the class online themselves, the cumulative hours wasted by students waiting in line would have been reduced completely.

Other LA area community colleges, such as Santa Monica College and Glendale Community College, already have electronic class-adding systems. Cal. State Northridge (CSUN) also offers an electronic system.

Pierce does have a new Student Information System (SIS) coming in the future which will update the class-adding process, but current students won’t be able to use it until spring, 2016.

For most of us that’s too little, too late, as we’ll be in either a four-year university or the real world, where administrative paperwork is already a thing of the past.

The Roundup News
The Roundup is the student-run news outlet at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif.

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