Pin Numbers and Registration

Editor in Chief

During the first week of the semester, I decided to change my schedule.  Though not advisable, the university allows students to drop and add classes about a week after the first day of classes.

On the academic calendar for East Stroudsburg University, February 2 is the last day to drop a class and receive no grade, and February 3 is the last day to add a class.

That gives students six days to drop classes, and 7 to add; a student has about one week to edit his schedule.  On the surface, this seems fair.  In fact, it is a fair amount of time, in a situation where the student is able to get onto his or her ESU Portal account and register.

After realizing that I would like to stay another semester and adequately finish my major, I wished to change my schedule on Friday, February first.  While late in the week, I still had a fair amount of time to change my schedule, especially considering that I had the potential ability to edit everything online.

And so, I sent emails to the respective professors to make sure it was okay.  I went into my schedule and found classes with openings.  I hit the registration option on Portal, only to be hit with a request for my verification pin number.

I had already scheduled and gotten approval from my advising professor.  Sure, I was changing my schedule, but I did not have enough time to meet with my advisor.  I had about two days or less to get things switched, and weeks after to explain my plan. Yet, I was blocked by a short numeric code.

There are numbers to call and help if you no longer have your pin number, but those offices did not answer phones, as it was late afternoon Friday.  My advisor was out of the office.  Enrollment services had shut down for the weekend.  I had no way to retrieve my pin number, and yet, about two days to change my schedule.

It would not be fair to blame the offices for not having weekend hours, or the professors, or even the limitations of the academic calendar.  I am partially at blame for trying to do this so late, but I was not aware of extraneous circumstances that would affect my schedule until that Friday night.  The only true block at the end was the pin number that I had once scribbled on a Post-It note.

I understand the argued importance of pin numbers.  I understand that they are in place to make sure students get ample advising, but I do not agree that students need to be forced into advising sessions.  Students are mature enough, hopefully, to go to their advisor when they need help and to schedule classes effectively.  The university should not have to hover over the shoulders of students to assure productivity.  What are systems like DegreeWorks being put in place for, if not to assist students in planning their semesters?

As well, once the pin number has been entered, the system should not lock a student out until after the last day to add or drop classes. There is no reason, in that last crucial period, that a student should be blocked.

The pin number has effectively stopped me from changing my schedule when I needed to adapt.  I am sure others have suffered.  Too often have students in priority registration lost the early benefit when an advisor was too busy to meet for a week or two.  Every semester I hear students complain about an advisor who is unresponsive to requests for pin numbers or schedule dates.  Too often have students been forced to succumb to a small line of digits.

Every semester, I have diligently gone to my advisor’s office, read off the classes I wished to take, only so the professor could smile and give me the number.   Now, all I want is the ability to change my schedule within the university’s limits.

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