Ongoing course registration offers students flexibility, support

Just one hour after course registration opened for incoming Brock University students in the early hours of Monday, July 13, more than 2,500 students had already finished mapping out their courses for the upcoming Fall and Winter Term.

Registration, which opened last week for graduate and Teacher Education students, is continuing to roll out to students who can select from a menu of engaging and informative classes that will help shape their education and experience at Brock.

A variety of resources and support, such as details on when and how to register for courses, has been provided by various areas of the Brock community, including the Office of the Registrar, Information Technology Services and University Marketing and Communications to alleviate any barriers students may face during the process.

“Registration is always an exciting time for students and staff alike,” said Sue Guenther, Associate Registrar, Enrolment Supports in the Office of the Registrar. “For students, it is the start of something new. For staff, it is the culmination of months of work from units all across campus.”

Guenther notes that while the COVID-19 pandemic presented a series of challenges in developing this year’s academic plan, her confidence in the University community’s ability to work together to ensure incoming and returning students alike have a positive year at Brock never wavered.

“This year, we have had even more changes with the move to Fall being primarily online,” she says. “Everyone has readily adapted to the changes. I am always impressed by the Brock community’s ability to collaborate to create the best experience possible.”

Flexible options and resources were developed and curated to ensure students have access to not just the schedules they want, but the schedules they may need due to other commitments and priorities. This may include caring for children or other family members, work or the need to take classes in breaks as opposed to throughout the day or vice versa.

One key resource available to students has been the Smart Start team, which serves to provide incoming students with exclusive access to content designed to make the transition to Brock a successful one.

In addition to course registration, Smart Start’s programming — led by current Brock students both near and far from campus, including in Barbados, Mexico and Kenya — provides answers to fellow students’ questions in areas such as academic success, finance, getting involved, residence and off-campus living, student wellness, preparing for university and obtaining a Brock Card.

“We have provided a number of resources to support incoming students in course registration, including a detailed video with tips for registration, links to course registration FAQs and the opportunity for live chat or virtual appointments to ask questions,” says Courtney Keogh, Recruitment Officer, Smart Start/School Groups in the Office of the Registrar.

“Additionally, students can submit a ‘course registration review’ request, which allows our team to verify that a student has registered correctly for their major, or to connect with the student to remedy any issues.”

She adds that throughout May and June, the team received training from academic advisors across all Faculties to ensure they were fully informed and prepared to assist first-year students.

“By providing support to incoming students through Smart Start, academic advisors can focus on supporting returning students and direct new students to the Smart Start program.”

In May, Brock announced that the majority of courses will be online during Fall 2020, with some in-person classes being held for some graduate-level courses and labs. These classes have been identified as being either synchronous (courses with a set time when students are expected to ‘attend’) or asynchronous (courses that do not require that you attend at a specific time, but still have deadlines that need to be adhered to), which is indicated under the room location as either SYNC or ASYNC.

While a decision has not yet been made regarding in-person classes for the Winter Term, the University continues to work closely with public health officials and will communicate details at a future date.

All registrations will be completed by July 31, which will allow students time to proceed with OSAP and RESP funding for Fall.

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