Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Panic, The Board, and The Spin (Part 1)

The Panic of November 2009

Faced with 25% fewer class offerings, SWC students and hopefuls rushed Spring registration with unprecedented fervor.

Registration opened on Monday, Nov. 9, by appointment. Students were given a specific date and time register and could do so any time at or after their appointment--or so they thought.

Unfortunately, even those with priority registration status were greeted with one of the following messages when they tried to log in to Web Advisor, the college's online registration system: "Too many sessions. Try again later" or "System Error Detected," ironically framed with the words "Enroll Today. Succeed Tomorrow."

Students tried frantically to register for classes, waiting up to ten hours to access the system. Many missed classes as they stayed at their computers while others recruited friends and family to stand by should Web Advisor become available. Some students gave up on Web Advisor altogether and traveled to the typically deserted Otay campus to register. Others braved long lines at Admissions on the main campus to register the old-fashioned way.

These newly-registered students' collective sigh of relief was cut short, however, when Web Advisor began churning out "you've been dropped" notices over the weekend. Traditionally given five working days to pay fees, hundreds of students were caught off-guard by a new five calendar day policy--and this in a week with a mid-week holiday.

Worse, the system was set up to count the five calendar days to include the day of registration. Students accustomed to a (rarely enforced) five working day deadline were then broadsided with just four days to pay, including days that the cashier wasn't even open.

The college now admits that the day count was a technical error, and in an email addressed to the college's deans, Vice President of Student Affairs Angelica Suarez writes,"The system was corrected yesterday [Wednesday] to ensure that students have a full, five calendar days before being dropped for non-payment (120 hours). As a result of this issue, Student Services staff has been working with students who may have been dropped prior to the five days."

However, to our knowledge no statement has gone out to students informing them of this error or the possibility of remedy. There is no mention in Web Advisor, nothing on the college's home page.

Students: If you were among the hundreds dropped in error, go to the One Stop Center and ask to see Angelica Suarez (office: S105A; phone: 619-421-6700 X6315) to get your classes reinstated.

Coming up next: Full House at the Board


  1. SOSWC Student BloggerNovember 22, 2009 at 8:28 PM

    It only took me 10 minutes to register for my classes even though I had priority registration....I feel sorry to the rest of those who got dropped unexpectedly...

    sigh, once again the school has FAILED in letting students know of what the hell is going on

  2. SOSSWC Student BloggerNovember 22, 2009 at 8:30 PM

    and I got those messages too and I had to keep refreshing the page for 5 minutes...I also got a message that said that payment is due in 3 working day then when I refreshed the page AGAIN it said 5...I MEAN COMMON, MAKE UP YOUR MIND ALREADY >_>

  3. Back in August, on the first day of classes, when a couple of hundred faculty members needed to print out class rosters, we discovered that WebAdvisor couldn't handle the demand.

    Months later, when thousands of students are trying to access WebAdvisor, it's somehow a SURPRISE that the same system doesn't work?

    Don't any of the myriad of administrators at SWC have a memory?