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New registration structure worries honors students

Belmont announced new plans for course registration Wednesday morning, including groupings based on earned credit hours and the elimination of priority registration for honors and nursing students.

Previously, student registration times depended on the student’s grade level, with seniors registering on the first day and freshmen on the last.

However, after registration sites crashed for two days in a row in April, Ellucian — the third-party provider of Belmont’s student information systems — recommended that Belmont modify its registration process so less students register at once.

As a result, students registering for spring courses will be divided into smaller groupings, based on the number of credit hours they have earned prior to the current semester.

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Another part of the registration restructuring — removing priority registration from honors and nursing students — will give students more of an equal opportunity to get into the classes they need, said Belmont Provost Dr. Thomas Burns.

Honors and nursing students will now register for spring semester classes along with the rest of the student body.

This loss of priority registration was a major concern for honors students after hearing of the possible change in the spring.

To address those concerns, Burns scheduled an open meeting with honors students and Honors Program Director Dr. Jonathan Thorndike.

“One of the challenges of my job is that I have to love all my children equally,” Burns said in the meeting Wednesday morning.

Attendees expressed concern that their honors core requirements — which are less flexible than BELL Core requirements — will make it difficult to get into necessary classes.

However, Burns said he does not think the new system will cause problems and promised to work with honors students one-on-one to make sure they get the classes they need — but not necessarily the classes they want.

“It’s not like we’re out to get you. What I’m trying to do is offer you an opportunity to work with me, work with Dr. Thorndike. We’re here to help you, but we’re not going to do it through creating some false sense of security through priority registration,” Burns said. “We’re going to take it even more seriously and not throw you to the wolves.”

“If it doesn’t work out for your registration, we will fix it.”

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