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Sunday, October 25, 2020

There’s no line for online



That is the best word to describe Pierce College’s late class-adding system.

Three weeks have passed since the fall semester started, and the dust has settled. For the majority of students, the scrambling of adding and dropping classes is now over, and they can focus on course material.

But, in order to get to that point, many of us had to wait in ungodly long lines at the infamous office of Admissions and Records.

The day a new semester begins, a student no longer has the opportunity to add classes using the online Student Information System (SIS).

Instead, prospective students need to have passed whatever arbitrary guidelines instructors have in place when they distribute an antiquated, hand-written and easily misplaced “add-slip.”

The form is then to be taken to the student services building, next to the student drop-off, both of which are not near many classrooms. A trip down there must be intentional and well planned. If you do not have all the proper materials with you, or if the professor forgets to sign the actual slip, you have effectively wasted an hour, maybe more, of your life in line only to have the over-worked, very stressed clerk at the window tell you to come back when everything is in order.

A better alternative is to thrust Pierce College into the modern age by following in the footsteps of Santa Monica College, Glendale College and Cal. State Northridge (CSUN), and provide students with online access codes to classes.

For fear of fraud, the access codes can even be made single-use with a unique digital signature, thus ensuring a virtual “admit one” ticket for certain sections.

Digitizing the adding process will eliminate gargantuan lines and make space for people with other important business. Students will no longer have to trek to the

far-and-away office; instead, they can submit the code moments after receiving it, right from their phone, to ensure enrollment.

Another alternative to the current broken system is to revamp the waitlist method, which currently consists of showing up during class times and actually physically waiting for students to drop the class weeks after the semester starts. A digital waitlist would consist of students adding the section online, as they would before the semester starts, and having their names appear in an online pool where an instructor can see and add students from there.

Upgrading the school’s adding process has no foreseeable downsides. A professor doesn’t have to cut class short to physically write out multiple slips. A student from the Art Hill or the Village doesn’t have to lather on sunscreen or find a walking stick for the long trip and the clerks at the Admissions and Records office don’t have to waste their time with literally thousands of students desperately trying to add their much needed classes.

Please, take a note from Nike and just do it.    

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

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