Revised priority registration may hurt sophomores


Incoming students will have first pick if priority registration guidelines are finalized for classes in fall 2014.

Incoming students will have first pick if priority registration guidelines are finalized for classes in fall 2014.

The current eligibility for priority registration at Citrus College is veterans, people with disabilities, foster care, honor students, and athletes.  But all that will change for many students who meet these requirements in the fall of 2014, as the Community College Board of Governors is revising eligibility requirements to exclude some students.

In a March 27 briefing, California Community College Chancellor’s Office vice chancellor of student services and special programs Linda Michalowski announced students who have 100 units or are under academic probation for two consecutive semesters will lose priority registration.

Veterans, foster students, and students with disabilities will still receive priority registration statewide. In addition, continuing students who have completed a freshman orientation, assessment, and maintain a cumulative grade point average 2.0 will follow.

According to Michalowski, who spoke via teleconference, this represents a change in the previous institution policy of the California community colleges.

“We are not saying that any of these students can no longer be served by the colleges, but we’re only saying that the priority has to go to students who are coming in for a purpose and who are willing to stay on track and make progress towards achieving that purpose,” she said.

According to californiacommunitycolleges.edu, 24 percent of classes have been cut since 2009. Since community college is the largest provider on workforce training in the state and nation, the new priority registration will be beneficial for students who want to pass their classes and be a full-time student rather than the students who have taken the same class before and are taking less than 12 units.

“It isn’t fair for incoming students who are brand new and can’t get any classes because those students get first pick,” said Arvid Spor, Citrus College vice president of student services. “We have students with 100 units that haven’t moved on and the idea is to get those students to move on and to go to whatever is next in their lives. This will help new students get the classes they need to move forward.”

20-year-old nursing major Savannah Caro stated “People who have been here longer should get priority registration rather than someone who is new. The priority registration should stay the same because it’s only fair.”

On the other hand, Jesse Villanueva, 19, undecided major, felt “changing priority registration is good for some people because it’s a great way to get started rather than getting at the bottom. If students get started with the classes they want, it can motivate them to finish college quicker.”

If you are a returning student with at least 70 units, you will be receiving a letter about this new registration policy indicating they will be in the back of the line for classes.

Spor suggested students meet with a counselor and discuss an educational plan to prepare for these new changes, if approved in Sacramento by the Board of Governors.

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