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View Full Version : Where to enroll in a class when on the campus?



Mark Moore
05-18-2014, 06:22 AM
I realize such things might possibly be done online, but I've got a WIP where a university archaeology teacher has three open spots in her class and tells the three MCs to enroll (this is three days before the class starts), so the university will allow them access to old papers and other relics in the library for research purposes (would this be a reasonable explanation?). Since they're already on the campus, what's the name of the place that would handle something like that?

On a related note, LibreOffice Writer insists I'm incorrectly spelling archaeology. Why is that?

wendymarlowe
05-18-2014, 06:25 AM
Most likely, the computer lab/library to do it online. Most universities aren't set up for students to just walk in and change things like this anymore. (Smaller colleges might be.)

melindamusil
05-18-2014, 06:31 AM
At my university, IIRC, you would go to the admin building, shorthand for administrative building. That was also where the financial offices were located.

Other universities might stick those offices in the student union, the library, or in another building. And remember that universities LOVE to name their buildings after people... So they might be in the "Martin-Thompson building", or the "Taylor administrative building", or the "jackson student union". (All those are just made up surnames.)

benbradley
05-18-2014, 06:34 AM
I realize such things might possibly be done online, but I've got a WIP where a university archaeology teacher has three open spots in her class and tells the three MCs to enroll (this is three days before the class starts), so the university will allow them access to old papers and other relics in the library for research purposes (would this be a reasonable explanation?). Since they're already on the campus, what's the name of the place that would handle something like that?
When I went to school back in the pre-Internet Dark Ages it was the admissions office in the administration building.

On a related note, LibreOffice Writer insists I'm incorrectly spelling archaeology. Why is that?
Apparently, the word (or "that" spelling of it) isn't in the dictionary. My Firefox browser, inside this edit window, says archaeology is fine,but LibreOffice is underlined - when I right-click on it, it suggests Interoffice.

I'm thinking LibreOffice should have a function where you can right-click on a word it thinks is misspelled, and "add to dictionary." That's what Firefox has, and I don't tend to think of browsers as having dictionaries. But computers are so powerful and software is so ... bloated? ... that most everything has everything and the kitchen sink.

badwolf.usmc
05-18-2014, 06:37 AM
My school called it the Registrar Office, but they would direct everyone to do it online, there is no way to do it offline anymore.

shadowwalker
05-18-2014, 06:39 AM
Around here the student would go to the registrar's office to register for class. Most offer either online, paper, or in-person registration. If a class is closed to 'open' enrollment, the professor would have to approve any additional students, so your scenario is quite commonplace.

J.Emerson
05-18-2014, 06:40 AM
I was last on a physical campus from 96-00, and even then it was either done online, or on the phone. I doubt most places can do it in person anymore. The registrar is where you can access academic records, and the bursar is where you might make a payment for those classes. But to my knowledge you wouldn't register for classes in either place. At least not the way my university worked. And yeah, most schools you have to be a currently registered student to remove anything from the library, so that makes sense.

HappyWriter
05-18-2014, 07:17 AM
I went to a smaller college, but the option existed to either register online or in-person at the registrar's office. At my college, the administration building held all the offices for the president of the college and other bigwigs, and on the very top floor there was the registrar and the financial aid office. After a certain point in the add/ drop period, the professor would have to sign an add/ drop form to give you permission to add the class, even if there was technically room in the class. That would be a reason I remember going to the Registrar's office rather than adding the class online. Maybe that could work for your story?

Best of luck!

WeaselFire
05-18-2014, 08:39 AM
Since they're already on the campus, what's the name of the place that would handle something like that?

Admissions. Though if a student on campus can't find the place, whatever they may call it, they probably won't be a student for long. :)


On a related note, LibreOffice Writer insists I'm incorrectly spelling archaeology. Why is that?

It's a commie-socialist plot. So is cauliflower.

Jeff

WriterTrek
05-18-2014, 11:10 AM
These days it's mostly done online, but even these days you can still do it in person in the Registrar's Office. This will sometimes be in the Admin Building and sometimes not. The building could potentially be named after someone instead of having a purposeful name.

chompers
05-18-2014, 06:41 PM
I realize such things might possibly be done online, but I've got a WIP where a university archaeology teacher has three open spots in her class and tells the three MCs to enroll (this is three days before the class starts), so the university will allow them access to old papers and other relics in the library for research purposes (would this be a reasonable explanation?). Since they're already on the campus, what's the name of the place that would handle something like that?

It's usually done online now, even if you have to use one of the computers on campus. But as mentioned, it would be the registrar's office that handle courses. Also, yes, the buildings are usually named after someone, because that someone donated the money to build that building. The older buildings will probably have the names of important figures related to the school (like the person who opened the school back in the 1800s, or whatever date it started), but the new buildings are generally named after donors. Usually both the name of the person and the purpose of the building will be labeled, such as Moore Hall - Admissions.

You don't need to be in a class to access things in the library, just be a student, regardless of the class/major. And even if you're not a student at the school, you can use Interlibrary Loans, although I am not sure about relics. You can also access the library as a visitor even if you're not a student anymore. You just have to sign in.

I don't know of a teacher that would tell their students to sign up for the class. Students would be advised what courses are needed for graduation, but it is the student's responsibility to keep on top of it, not the professor having to track them down and keep an eye for them.

Also, if a class is full already, but is required for the major/minor, then the student can go to the department chair to get approval to add into the class still.

BDSEmpire
05-18-2014, 06:52 PM
They wouldn't register for the class at all.

Send them to the library with a note from the professor that gives them access to the Special Collections area. Ta-da, now they can see all the weird old books and papers that the library is holding. It's not likely that they'd get access to that just by being in a class.

NDoyle
05-18-2014, 07:09 PM
If having them be required to enroll in the class is an important plot point, have the department possess its own (small) library or archive to which access is usually given only to department members and enrolled students. Or create an organization on campus with such a limited-access library; for example, perhaps the university has an archaeological expedition. They might have a separate office and library. (Ours does. I work in it.)

juniper
05-18-2014, 08:57 PM
At the local college here it's the "Student Services" area that would handle that. It has the financial aid, the cashiers (to pay your bill), and student advisors all in the same general place.

And enrollment is all done online. There are computers in that area and also the library that can be used. If someone isn't computer literate enough to do it, then a student advisor would do it for him.

Ketzel
05-18-2014, 09:34 PM
At most universities, it would make a difference whether your MCs are already admitted to the school, and are trying to add a class to their schedule, or whether they are not admitted and are trying to audit a class at the professor's suggestion. If they are already students there, they (at least at my university) have the option of on-line registration, over-the-phone registration, or in-person registration at the office of the Registrar. (But some of that depends on when they are registering in the rolling open-enrollment calendar. They would have been given a calendar of the dates they would be able to choose classes, depending on their year and their major. It's not just a free-for-all, because students have to complete the courses required for their major to graduate, and also have to take the pre-requisites for advanced courses in their field, so certain options are available only at certain times to the student body as a whole.) However, if it is late in the open enrollment schedule and this professor still has three spaces open in the class, that shouldn't be an issue for your MCs.

If they are not admitted and want to audit a course without getting academic credit for taking it, they would have to get written approval from the professor and would have to go to the Admissions office to have a file opened for them, (which gives them access to a student ID card) and then to the Registrar to be placed on the class roll. (And then to the Bursar's office to pay for the course.) They could only do it in person, because they wouldn't have access to the on-line systems available to enrolled students.

kuwisdelu
05-19-2014, 02:19 AM
I realize such things might possibly be done online, but I've got a WIP where a university archaeology teacher has three open spots in her class and tells the three MCs to enroll (this is three days before the class starts), so the university will allow them access to old papers and other relics in the library for research purposes (would this be a reasonable explanation?).


If having them be required to enroll in the class is an important plot point, have the department possess its own (small) library or archive to which access is usually given only to department members and enrolled students. Or create an organization on campus with such a limited-access library; for example, perhaps the university has an archaeological expedition. They might have a separate office and library. (Ours does. I work in it.)

I'm seconding this. If these papers are off-limits to most students, I doubt the library would be responsible for them. More likely they'd be property of the department.

RN Hill
05-19-2014, 03:34 AM
To answer your second question first: archeology is also a common spelling, though incorrect, IMO. I grew up with archaeology. One is more common in the US, the other, in Europe, if I remember right.

To answer your other question: are your MCs already students at the university? If so, they would find it faster and easier to enroll online, and would already be familiar with that process. If not, it gets sketchier. Are they auditing the course (taking it, but not for credit)? Or are they going to be students? I teach for three colleges and all require you be admitted to the college before enrolling in any classes.

Why do they need access to these items? A college doesn't really care why you're taking the course, as long as you pay the tuition. No reason is needed.

Mark Moore
05-19-2014, 06:15 AM
Thanks for the responses, everyone. :)

I guess I should clarify some things. These girls are enrolled in the university (which is large). Their majors don't require the archaeology course. I'd like them to take it, because it provides convenient interaction with the doctor that teaches the course, who is a strong secondary character, and she and my three MCs would have moments where they'd need to exchange info and ask questions (not related to the course). This would be more convenient than having them have to track each other down.

Would having them audit the course be sufficient for the archaeology department to allow them access to these materials? (I like the idea of the department having its own library, btw.)

Also, regarding the registration/audit, there's no reason to show it. I'd just like to have the doctor drop an authentic line or two of what needs to be done.

The reason that these girls need access to these materials is because they're going to be scanning, transcribing, and sorting them into a database. This is for a secretive purpose that's separate from any official studies, but it was asked of them by an archaeology professor (the mentor of the doctor that's teaching the course). There's stuff regarding a secret society and ancient lost knowledge that's been rediscovered, and this digitalization project is being done for the purposes of quick searching and cross-referencing that will lead to greater revelations down the road. Basically, these girls are at the start of a journey that will lead them to things that they'd never imagined nor are prepared for, but first I need to make sure that they can touch this stuff. :)

kuwisdelu
05-19-2014, 06:51 AM
Would having them audit the course be sufficient for the archaeology department to allow them access to these materials?

What they'd really need is just the professor's approval. For accessing its private resources, a department isn't really going to care what classes you're enrolled in, but if you're working with a professor and have his or her blessing, that's going to carry more weight than what courses you're taking.


(I like the idea of the department having its own library, btw.)

Lots of departments have their own library, but that's not what I meant. If these are valuable primary resources, they wouldn't really be part of their library either, which would still be open to students. They would likely be kept under lock and key by whatever professors and research groups are using them.


this digitalization project is being done for the purposes of quick searching and cross-referencing that will lead to greater revelations down the road.

Is the digitization project part of the course, or something only these girls are doing? Such a thing might well be part of a course, and then it might be simpler for them to enroll than the professor explain why these undergraduates are working for him.

DancingMaenid
05-19-2014, 09:16 AM
The only experience I have with a school library having resources for students in particular classes was when I attended a community college that had a large nursing program. The library had some small anatomical models on hand for nursing students to study. However, I don't know if you had to prove you were in an anatomy class to check them out or not. The models may have been a bit pricey, I'm sure, but they weren't rare or anything.

Also, sometimes professors will put books or DVDs on reserve so that students in their class can access them for assignments. When I had to check something out that was on reserve, I don't think my university's library required any proof that I was in the class aside from my ability to tell them the professor's name and the course number.

With materials that are rare and/or old, I think most schools would be much more careful about who they let handle them. They would probably be kept in a special department, and to be honest, I'm not sure what the criteria would be for being allowed to handle such stuff.

jaksen
05-19-2014, 08:57 PM
You could walk into the Registrar's office and they would do it online for you, or they would direct you to a computer where you could do it yourself.

Also the professor him or herself could make a call to the Registrar and say hey when so and so walks in...

cruellae
05-19-2014, 11:27 PM
There's no reason they'd need to audit the course, that's not usually done unless they have already graduated. I took several courses outside my major just because I was interested in them. That's generally expected and University credit requirements have room for that. They should just be able to register for it regularly, online. Maybe if they were late and missed the registration deadline, they would have to go to a physical office.

NDoyle
05-20-2014, 02:50 AM
I have worked somewhere where historically (but not monetarily) important original primary sources were kept in a part of the building that was not locked during office hours. It was also nowhere near any offices and was frequently unstaffed. Anyone could have walked in there and made off with many books, original manuscripts, field notes, etc.

It's pretty common to hire undergraduates to scan original documents and even specimens using money from, say, a federal grant.

atthebeach
05-20-2014, 05:24 AM
Most everything above works.

It would be possible for a non-student to enter a university library and look around the bookshelves. At least during regular hours where I live (US).

But, my university students do need to have a current university ID to enter the library after regular hours (for safely reasons, as the library is sometimes open all night). This is like a key card, so is only supposed to be active for current term students. You might need your students to access the dimly lit halls late at night, when most of the library is empty (but not all of it, believe it or not).

And, many students just do online research, not physically entering the library, and you need a login for that (as a current student) to "check out" material online.

For your needs, there are also a few other options. Do they have to check the materials out? I think I remember you said they just need to scan them (perhaps take pics with an iPad? - this can be as good or better than most conventional "scanners" can be, although probably not for old faded documents, or with bad lighting). Could they do that in a corner of the library, with books hidden in some rarely-touched shelves? (some of the shelves even have dust on them now, because so many research online instead).

However, you might consider that most special items, old or valuable books, items out of circulation, etc are kept in a contained place in a library (and sometimes only open during certain hours).

As a professor, I can also have a set of items on "reserve" under my name, as someone else mentioned above. So, if the people were students, they could go to the library and view these items just by asking for professor xyz's reserves (but often they are not checked out, just made available for viewing in the library- but it is possible that the professor could allow them to be checked our for a very short time too).

On enrolling them as students, this is usually done online now, as mentioned above. I should add, however, that most universities still help out students who need help, but students often have to wait in a long line at the admissions office (or registrar's) for such general help.

Also, if it is a class that has prerequisites, and they want to bypass them, or need to be "cleared" to register, they often will meet with their department academic advisor, and sometimes the professor has to approve it as well (even in early registration). I have had to do this teaching at two different universities before, approving students, or enrolling them during a meeting when I was their academic advisor). Some departments make students get cleared first to know they are on track for their major (then they can go finish registration after that). So perhaps your professor has that access and can add them then, or give them clearance.

Also, as mentioned above, they could be added after start of class and need the professor signature to be added.

But what about an independent study course? That could be one credit, working directly with the professor, and give them full access to the library? I have seen this done too, but it usually needs approval by the department chair (perhaps that could be arranged in your story?) This could be explained as a student assisting the professor in research as the student also learns as they work.

Lots of options :)

Mark Moore
05-20-2014, 06:29 AM
Wow, lots of options indeed. Thanks. :)

I might drop the aspect where the girls enroll in or audit the doctor's class, since whatever is covered there would have no bearing on the girls' primary task regarding the documents. I could just have them memorize the doctor's schedule and show up at her door when class lets out whenever they need to talk with her. :)

Besides, while two of the girls are obscenely wealthy, the third one comes from a working-class family, and I imagine an 11th-hour enrollment (or even audit) in a class unrelated to her major would not be covered by her grant.

atthebeach
05-20-2014, 06:56 AM
Whatever works for your story :)

But just for future reference, I agree that an audit would not count toward a grant (at least not any I have seen). But, she still could take the course for credit towards an unrelated major, depending on several factors (which major, how far along she is, etc).

In the US at least, your first two years of college are general studies in most cases, and your last two years focus on your major field of study. This is a huge generalization, as many majors add specific requirements for those first two years, but I will give you an example.

If say, your girl wanted a business degree, she would eventually settle into all business related courses, but would first (unless otherwise specified differently) need to take some basic courses in science, history, math, and other requirements, which could include your class as an option. Or, archaeology could count as an elective course, which many majors offer ("choose from two electives in the humanities" for example).

However, if she wanted to be an elementary teacher, or a doctor, she may have very specific basic courses she must take (math for elementary teachers, or philosophy and ethics in medicine, respectively). This is just an example, but letting you know that there are definitely viable options.

And if you decide they are not students, and it were a one time appearance, I could see the professor talking with them. But if they are to appear regularly to see him, you might want to consider making sure it is believable. Is he offering them help they seek, or them offering him help? If so, why are they willing to help each other? In my experience, professors usually have very busy schedules, but are intrigued by the unknown which is why we research, so your mysterious element is interesting.

Also, just as an aside, parking to visit is very expensive, such as parking garages close with up to a $10 charge depending on how long you stay. Or, for the free route, if finding a visitor spot to park, it usually requires a long walk to wherever you are going, and can be hard to get (in case you decide they are not students, you might want to consider who is willing/able to pay to visit as a non-student, or who is willing to walk a longer way and get free visitor parking).