Towards the end of each term, just in time for enlistment, the time slots of subjects to be offered for the upcoming term is released. Most Lasallians are eager to create their schedules as soon as the list of course offerings is made available.
Not all students are able to enroll in the classes they originally plan on getting because slots are limited. More often than not, they fail to reserve a slot in certain classes because of the high influx of students enlisting in the same class at the same time. With this, time plays a crucial role in the success rate of enlisting in the best classes. Many Lasallians point out that their designated enlistment schedules coincide with lectures, forcing them to defer the online reservation of slots in classes.
This instance leaves many with no other choice but to resort to cutting their classes, just to be able to enlist in their desired class schedules. Allison del Rosario (II, AB-OSDM) shares that the current enlistment schedule at De La Salle University (DLSU) is inefficient and counterproductive. It attracts students to miss classes and deadlines.
“The enlistment schedule causes hassle. The chances of getting a good schedule are close to zero, since the enlistment schedule is inconvenient. For one, we seldom get to enroll in the subjects we need because we often have class during enlistment [resulting to having to petition for new classes], and second, we have to worry whether we’ll be allowed to form another class. Some of my friends even considered taking a leave of absence instead, since they were only able to enlist in two or three classes,” del Rosario explains, highlighting the need for the University to reevaluate enlistment schedules and processes currently in place.
Kevin Clemente (II, MSPSYIO), thinks that the number of classes available to students is more important than the actual enlistment schedule. He is coming from the insight that it is now easier for him to enlist in graduate classes compared with his undergraduate experience, since there is a lower demand for subjects in his Masters classes.
Clemente defends that he works an 8 am to 5 pm shift and his classes end at 9 pm. He could still enlist in the classes he wishes to take despite the conflicts in schedule.
The LaSallian was able to gather information on how students from University of the Philippines (UP), University of Santo Tomas (UST), and Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) go about their enlistment. DLSU’s peers’ policies on enlistment could shed light on what the University is currently doing well in and what it could still improve on.
Gabrielli Cruz, a Nursing sophomore from UST, imparts that in their course, the subjects are already fixed per semester or per year. “In our first year, there are still several Nursing sections. By the end of our freshman year, students who didn’t make it to the general weighted average (GWA) cutoff have to shift out to another course. By our second year, all who qualified in the cutoff are placed in one block until our final year.”
At AdMU, Dianne Tan, a Management freshman, says that they enlist either online or manually. The online enlistment goes first, followed by manual enlistment. During their online enlistment, they are randomly divided into two batches. She explains further that if a student was part of the first batch during the first semester, there will be a high probability that he or she will be part of the second batch who will enlist during their last semester.
Similar to DLSU, manual enlistments are done to address glitches experienced during online enlistment. Tan explains that reservations are guaranteed when done online.
Kristina Alvarez, a Community Development student from UP Diliman who transferred from DLSU this academic year, was able to experience how different the enlistment system is between the two universities. The pre-enlistment at UP-Diliman runs for a week or two. Students could pre-enlist in up to 20 subjects, however, there is no assurance that they will get all pre-enlisted subjects.
“During our first semester, I only got six units during the first round,” she shares. The class sizes could reach up to 500 students at UP-Dilimian. “Everyone’s equal at UP. There is no schedule by college or priority given to Dean’s Listers. A student only gets prioritized if her or she is freshman or a graduating students,” Alvarez adds, taking note that even graduating students still have a difficult time enlisting despite the supposed preferential treatment.
A second round of enlistment is opened for students to add more classes to their schedules. If they still lack in units by the end of enlistment, they are required to approach their respective academic departments for additional classes. In addition, freshmen students enlist their classes on their own, unlike at DLSU, where froshies receive predetermined schedules for their first two terms.
No way to go but online
The enrollment council is composed of the Office of the University Registrar (OUR), University Student Government (USG), and the academic assistants per college. On behalf of the council, USG President Carlo Inocencio explains that the enlistment process is a project endorsed by all the members of the council. The OUR opens the classes and does the adjustments, while the USG voices out student concerns.
“I’d like to believe that the current schedule is efficient enough,” Innocencio shares, adding that in his point of view, the current enlistment schedule and policy encounters only minimal problems. Addressing the issue regarding the enlistment schedule coinciding with class hours, Innocencio defends that there is no way a student would be able to miss enlistment, since the online system is open until 8 pm runs for a week. In addition, he shares that the different USG units have laptop lending initiatives that could aid students to enlist even during class hours.
“We’re on the right track in terms of the University adapting to a system which could cater to the growing number of students [this is evident in the decreasing number of server overloads experienced during enlistment],” Innocencio states, going technical into the enlistment system currently being used, Animo.sys.
With regards to the possibility of a manual enlistment, Inocencio rejects the idea explaining that, “There’s a reason why the University has invested so much in this system, and there’s a reason that we aren’t reverting back to the manual system.”