Changes coming to Priority Registration

Michael Grennell

California community colleges announce priority registration changes.

On Wednesday morning, California Community Colleges Vice Chancellor for Student Services and Special Programs Linda Michalowski spoke to members of the community college student newspapers on the new changes to enrollment priority registration that are set to take effect beginning with the fall 2014 semester.

Passed during the Board of Governors meeting last September, the proposed changes to the Title 5 regulations in the California Education Code are focused on moving students through the system, allowing students to quickly finish their requirements to move on in their education, while freeing up room for more students who are committed to their academics.

Currently, priority registration is given to veterans and active duty members of the military, current and former foster youth and then students that are a part of the school’s Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) or Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS).

With the new changes, first-time students, who have completed orientation and have made student education plans, as well as continuing students who have not been on academic probation for two consecutive terms, will also be eligible for priority registration.

The changes to priority registration will also affect some students negatively. Under the new regulations, students who have spent two consecutive terms on academic probation or students with 100 or more degree-applicable classes will be denied priority registration. “We are saying it’s time to move to the end of the line,” Michalowski said in the teleconference. In regards to the 100 unit limit, the revisions state that ” … units for non-degree applicable English as a Second Language or basic skills courses … ” will not apply toward the limit.

Along with implementing the new priority registration policies, each district will need to set up an appeals process for students who were denied priority registration. “If a student is in a situation where they are losing enrollment due to extenuating circumstances, that is a basis for appeal,” Michalowski said. 

Michalowski said in the teleconference that one of the major problems for California Community Colleges was that the number of students who wished to enroll in classes has been greater than the number of students that the state could fund. According to a press release issued later that day, budget cuts in the state of California, “…have shut nearly 500,000 students out of community colleges since the 2008-09 academic year,” as well as cutting course offerings by 24 percent.

This spring, students who are near the units cap or are in danger of losing priority registration status will be notified by the community college districts as required by the Board of Governors.

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