How far ahead can students plan? West Hills Community College District in California will let spring registrants sign up for summer, fall and spring 2015 classes too, reports the Chronicle of Higher Education. Those who wait may find high-demand classes already filled.
“It’s going to put a little bit of pressure on all students to try to decide what they want to do sooner,” says Sandy McGlothlin, who is vice president for student services at West Hills College Coalinga. “Classes will be filling up.”
“For the good students, it’s going to be a great plan,” says Ms. McGlothlin, who spent 18 years as an academic counselor. What about those who may not be as prepared or as organized? “It will be an eye-opener for them to see that they may need more than two years to finish their degree,” she says.
Reg 365 students will need to pay or arrange for financial aid within 24 hours of registering for the summer and fall courses, and by Nov. 1 for spring of 2015.
The district hopes to improve completion rates by encouraging students to commit to a course of study. Students who make academic plans are more likely to be successful, research has shown.
But community colleges tend to be short on counselors. Some fear early registration will help well-organized students who tend to do well anyhow.
If students’ self-commitments become self-fulfilling, the policy will help, writes Matt Reed, the community college dean. He predicts few students will sign up that far in advance, but thinks the policy is worth a try.