How registration times are set

How registration times are set

By Destiny Caster and Jazzminn Morecraft 

Even as students are preparing to finish this semester, it is also time to consider what the fall 2021 semester will look like for each individual. This means registering for classes. However, one thing that remains a mystery too many students is how their registration times are determined. Why are students assigned the day and time they are too register? 

The CI View asked Colleen Forest, Associate Registrar, and Mary Laurence, Manager of Academic Space Planning, about registration times and what factors determine a student’s time and day to begin registering for classes.  

The order of registration is typically determined by the Academic Senate. “Our campus has an Academic Senate policy that determines registration priority and ordering of registration,” Forest stated. This policy, known as SP 16-10 Policy on Priority Registration, can be found on the Academic Senates policy webpage on the CI website.  

This policy shows that students are put into one of six groups, and given what group they are put into determines how early they register. The six groups are as follows: 

  • Group 1 are priority students. According to the policy, “Students who are required to receive priority registration by external agencies, by law or by University exception,” and “Students who have historically received priority registration at Channel Islands.” 
  • Group 2 are “Graduating Students – continuing students who will register immediately after priority students.” 
  • Group 3 are “Pledge Program Students – students who are participating in a California Promise pledge program will receive the first available enrollment time for their student level.” 
  • Group 4 are “All other undergraduate students – Appointments days and times for this group are assigned by the number of units a student has completed.” 
  • Group 5 are “Post Baccalaureate Credential and Pre-requisite Credential Students; Graduate Students; Second Baccalaureate; and transitory students.” 
  • Group 6 are “Students who are obligated to register after all regular students have registered based on participation in specific programs … or due to not meeting other campus policy requirements.” 

Additionally, there are many factors that go into why certain times are used, many of which are to aid students. “We also keep registration appointment times during our business hours so there are staff available to answer any registration related questions or issues,” stated Forest. “Some factors we consider include: When the Schedule of Classes is released … allowing enough time between the Schedule of Classes getting released and registration appointments so students can meet with advisors; and not pushing registration appointments into dead week and/or finals week.” 

And while registration for fall 2021 continued the same, a lot of thought was given. “It was extremely challenging.  We have had to plan for all contingencies.  We planned optimistically, with additional plans in place for how to add safety nets in case the trend reverses and there is an additional surge of cases,” stated Laurence. “Even as I was part way through finalizing the schedule, the guidance kept changing as the situation was looking better and better.” 

Lastly, the registration process starts as soon as the semester begins. Program chairs need to create their program schedules, which then are approved by their dean and entered into the system. But that is not all! Classrooms then need to be checked to ensure there is enough space and room for all classes. “That was especially challenging for the Fall semester, because we needed to determine what the room capacities would be with our tier and guidelines constantly changing,” stated Laurence. Once all this is done, students then have access to the schedule.  

For any questions that any student might have, visit the registrar webpage on the CI website at or email them at 

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