Invest in your future: Be prepared for pre-registration

By Emily Salvatori, Assistant Editor
Pre-registration is almost upon us, and as the whole process can seem daunting and stressful, it does not have to be. Preparation is the key to successful registration.  The easiest way to register for classes is to have a plan before you meet with your adviser. That way, you can easily get advice, have your questions answered, and get your alternate pin to register for classes. Having a plan beforehand not only makes it easier for you, but for your academic adviser as well.
Course catalogs are available online for students to access at any time. In the catalogs, students can see exactly what courses they need to take to fulfill requirements. Although you cannot register for classes yet, fall 2017 classes are now available to be viewed on WINS, letting students prepare for pre-registration with plenty of time.
WINS plays an important role in both the pre-registration and registration processes. Information such as your adviser’s name is on WINS, and the site can also be used to access DegreeWorks. Most importantly, the course schedule is on WINS, which contains the classes that will be offered. When selecting courses, make sure you write down the correct CRN numbers. Having classes mapped out and having CRN numbers ready makes the registration as painless as possible.
Academic advisers are a key part of the pre-registration process. You must schedule a meeting with your adviser. Students have to meet with their academic adviser in order to receive an alternate pin, which is used to register for classes in WINS. You cannot register for classes without your alternate pin. If you don’t know who your academic advisor is, you can find out by logging into WINS, clicking onto “Student Services,” then “Student Records” and “View Student Information.”
DegreeWorks is also a good tool to use when getting ready for pre-registration. It can show how far you are in your major, what classes you have taken and what classes you still need to take. In my opinion, one of the best features of DegreeWorks is the “What If” button. This feature allows students to see what would happen if they change majors or add a minor. It can be very useful if you are deciding on a major or minor, and even if you’re just curious. 
Blank schedules are also available on the university website, so it is easier to lay out classes and make sure times are not overlapping. This may not seem like a big deal, but this simple form and preparing a mock schedule can make the process simpler when figuring out what classes you need to take and at what times.
Preparation early on makes it easier to register for classes when pre-registration opens. This also allows you to figure out a schedule that balances classes you need and want to take. Taking advantage of resources and getting prepared early will help make the pre-registration process much easier. With a good game plan, preparation and organization, the pre-registration and registration processes can be stress-free and uncomplicated. 
Pre-registration begins on Monday, April 3.