The Daily Tar Heel

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Tuesday November 30th

Breaking down the changes in UNC's undergraduate class enrollment process

DTH Photo Illustration. Ahead of spring 2022 class registration period, UNC has changed several aspects of its undergraduate class enrollment process.
Buy Photos DTH Photo Illustration. Ahead of spring 2022 class registration period, UNC has changed several aspects of its undergraduate class enrollment process.

In preparation for spring 2022 class registration period, UNC has made changes to its undergraduate class enrollment process.

Operational Excellence, an initiative based in the Office of the Provost, aims to improve teaching, learning and research at UNC. For this project, OE created a design team to rework the University's enrollment process. 

These are the first structural changes to the registration process to be implemented since ConnectCarolina's 2009 rollout, said Maribel Carrion, executive director of student admin applications and enterprise reporting and departmental systems.

“As a division of enrollment, we actually approached Operational Excellence and we said, 'Look, we know this is an area that we all need to work on collectively — it's a big lift,'” Lauren DiGrazia, assistant provost and University registrar, said. 

Mieke Lynch, the initiative's transformation manager, said the project began in October 2019 but was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It serves to fulfill the goals of minimizing frustration and promoting equitability and transparency in the registration process, she said.

The OE team gathered many key stakeholders to discuss the registration process and benchmarked registration systems with peer institutions, Lynch said.

“We kind of did an impact feasibility exercise with our stakeholders to see what could we get done in a 12-week period,” Lynch said. 

The project resulted in major changes for undergraduate students. What’s new? 

  • Students will register in two waves. They can register for up to 12 credit hours in the first wave and for up to 17 credit hours in the second wave. 
  • Waitlists will open during the second registration wave. 
  • Registration appointments will be three hours in length.
  • Students are assigned a registration appointment day based on earned credit hours and a time based on their terms in residence.
  • Students eligible for priority registration will register on the first day of each registration wave. Their registration time slot reflects their terms in residence. 
  • Honors Carolina students will register during the 7 a.m. time slot on their registration day. 

DiGrazia said giving Honors students the  7 a.m. time slot awards them an advantage without equating them with priority-registration students. 

Senior Sam Johnson, a student assistant in the Office of the University Registrar, said this also has the potential to draw more competitive out-of-state students at the national and international level. 

“We think that we have been able to kind of more judiciously help the Honors program, while also maintaining the core hope of making the process more accessible and equitable overall,” he said.

DiGrazia said the changes only represent the first efforts to restructure registration. 

“We recognize there's a myriad of other issues that we want to address, and it's a step-by-step process,” DiGrazia said. 

For the spring enrollment process, an evaluation team made up of OE staff and Undergraduate Student Government members will assess the impacts of these changes through a combination of quantitative and qualitative data, Lynch said.

“We're looking at it for the next couple of years and making sure that we're adjusting as needed,” Lynch said. 

A more in-depth guide to changes can be found here

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