Registration restrictions create setback for upperclassmen

UPDATE (6:45 p.m.): A planned student protest and strong reactions from the student body played a part in the reversal of the restriction on 100 and 200-level courses authorized by Dean of College of Arts and Sciences Lawrence Potter.

In response to the growing undergraduate enrollment and fewer available lower division courses, the restriction gave registration priority to first and second-year students. This was later rescinded by the order of the Provost.

“There was a learning opportunity here,” Potter said. “The administration heard ASULV’s concerns, and I think we responded appropriately.”

Potter said he was part of a group conversation with Director of La Verne Experience Kat Weaver, the Registrar’s Office, the Dean’s Office and Associate Dean of Academic Support and Retention Services Carlos Cervantes.

The restriction revolved around looking at retention rate of first and second-year students and providing upperclassmen with the courses they need to graduate, Potter said.

A concern that they had was because first and second-year students are the last to register, they would be unable to enroll in lower division courses that were filled and would be forced into higher division courses with upperclassmen.

“That can become extraordinarily uncomfortable (for first and second-year students),” Potter said. “If you don’t have (the class) and you are forced, because there are no additional sections at the 100 or 200-level, then you struggle and leave. That’s not good for our institution’s retention.”

Potter stressed that two caveats were included with the original restriction: all students would be able to register for lower division courses Dec. 7, and graduating seniors would be able to request an exception.

“People thought about it, it wasn’t a linear decision,” Potter said. “It was a collective decision around the table, looking at data, trying to project and making sure that we have enough sections to accommodate first and second-year students, while being sensitive to our continuing students so that they would have the courses they need.”

Other approaches to tackling the situation, such as providing a waitlist and opening more course sections, were looked at, but the concern of not having enough students enroll for a course was also considered.

“These decisions were made based on data, and also based on the fact that we were still going to allow enrollment for those students needing graduation,” Potter said.

Instead of offering course schedules by semester, Potter said the University will be engaged in a year-long planning program, where students will be able to look at courses for both semesters.

—Emily Lau

UPDATE (4:25 p.m.): The course level restriction has been rescinded by the order of the Provost. All students can now enroll in lower division courses freely. The student protest scheduled for 7 p.m. at the University House in Claremont has also been cancelled. More updates to follow.

—Kat Simonelli


Registration restrictions prevented many upperclassmen students from signing up for lower division courses for the spring semester on the first day of registration Monday.

Dean of College of Arts and Sciences Lawrence Potter authorized the Registrar’s Office to place restrictions on 100 and 200-level courses to give priority to first and second-year students.

However, students who plan to graduate in Spring 2016 can receive an exception, and the courses will later be open to all students starting Dec. 7.

In a letter sent to faculty Friday, Potter said this restriction is meant to prevent the fall-to-spring retention rate from falling because of insufficient classes for first and second-year students.

According to the letter, the number of lower division courses has decreased from 485 in the fall to 385 in the spring, which poses a problem for the increasing undergraduate enrollment.

The Associated Students of University of La Verne is welcoming students to discuss the registration restrictions at its meeting Monday at 3 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom.

There will also be a student protest Monday at 7 p.m. at the University House in Claremont.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

—Emily Lau

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