TCC pushes back fall registration awaiting states policy changes

By Kenney Kost/editor-in-chief

Fall registration has been delayed until July 15 because of mandates from the state regarding developmental coursework and changes in Accuplacer scoring policy

However, some TCC officials do not believe the change will have a major  impact on students, faculty or staff.

NE vice president of academic affairs Gary Smith said data collected from previous fall registration numbers show that only about 15-20 percent of students register in the first month after registration opens. NE registrar Brian Barrett backed up those findings.

“Most people don’t come until the end of July or beginning of August,” Barrett said. “That’s why we have all the lines and commotion those two weeks leading up to the beginning of the semester. Everyone waits until the last minute. It’s just the nature of the game.”

The move was made to prevent confusion because students registering for class may be taken out of the developmental curriculum altogether, Barrett said.  Also, since changes in Accuplacer scoring criteria have not yet been released by the state, advisors have no way of knowing what classes students are eligible to take at this time.

“Scores, courses and placement are all changing, which is changing enrollment, and we want to make sure everything is in place,” he said.

The most affected area of the developmental curriculum is going to be math, said NE academic advisor Randy Saleh. The state is expected to release an official document around the first week of July stating the specifics of the new changes and the placement criteria for Accuplacer.

“We’re going down from three to two developmental math courses,” Saleh said. “The [TCC] math council is working on the specifics of that now. Also, if a student has made it to 350 [intermediate algebra, MATH 0350] or were exempt, go straight into college algebra. It’s the state’s way of saying, ‘Let’s consolidate developmental education. Let’s speed up the process.’”

On the financial aid side, the move will have a positive effect for students, said TR director of financial aid Bill McMullen.

“It opens up an extra month for us to be able to process and grant awards to students,” he said. “This allows more students to register on time without having to come out of pocket and wait for reimbursement or having to wait for an award and register late. So in that way, I think it is going to have an overall positive effect on our end.”