Social media provides students a way to share their thoughts, feelings and opinions with the Mason community. The twitter handle and hashtag GMU problems has a pulse on the students and the problem they face on campus each day. Broadside is looking into whether each problem is one specific to Mason and whether any solutions are available.

What’s the problem?

Between navigating PatriotWeb, understanding complex major requirements and managing account holds, registering for classes can be a stressful experience.

In addition, the mad dash to find the perfect harmony of class times and desired professors can quickly become a headache.

The most effective way of avoiding registration woes is to think ahead and be prepared.

Anderson notes that it is just a matter of taking some time.

“If you’re waiting until nine o’clock on Tuesday to search through the schedule and figure out what class you’re going to take, what time of day you’re going to take the course, which instructor you want; if you’re trying to find those kinds of things at the moment your time ticket comes, then you’re going to have difficulties, “ said Dawn Anderson, Associate Registrar of Operations and Registration. “Preparation is key.”

Check for holds

Holds are listed under the Student Record link in PatriotWeb. Oftentimes, holds are the last resort in an attempt to communicate with the student about a problem with the student’s record.

There are a variety of reasons why a student account may have a hold, including financial obligations, non-academic or academic suspen- sion and admissions discrepancies.

If a hold is present on an account,

PatriotWeb will often list the reason for the hold a number to call in order to get rid of the hold.

Being proactive

The schedule of classes is posted on PatriotWeb at least a month before registration starts. Students have time to find the information about classes and research professors, times and class sizes that would best suit their needs.

Some external resources such as provide students an easy way to choose the class and fit their classes together.

Scheduling conflict

Some classes necessary for graduation are only available during specific time slots or semester blocks.

Poor planning can lead to delayed gradution if necessary classes are not available during specific time slots or if they are only offered every other semester.

Seeing an advisor each semester can avoid this problem from occurring in the first place.

In case the problem does arise, an advisor may be able to arrange an opportunity to accommodate for the problem.

Degree Evaluation

Anderson suggests running a degree evaluation each semester before registration.

In PatriotWeb, the Degree Evaluations link is available under the Student Records link. From there, click on What-If Analysis, and it will sort the classes registered for into the requirements for the major, concentration and minor selected.

The Degree Evaluation program updates real time. So, Anderson suggests running the degree evaluation after registering for classes and looking at what those classes do or do not fulfill.

Meet with advisor

Having a face-to-face discussion is vital in figuring when to take the classes required for a major. Anderson suggests for students to meet with an advisor each semester before registration opens.

“I think the most difficulty that students have is that they are not speaking to someone else,” Anderson said. “They are doing it on their own. And when you do it on your own you can have issues.”

The schedule of classes is posted at least a month before registration begins. So that time frame would be the best time to see an advisor to help scheduling classes.

The advisor will also notify students of classes that are or are not available during each semester.

“Using the tools that are available to you is really the best way to succeed here,” Anderson said.