Handling Course Action, OverEnrollment, and Waiting List Requests


Almost as soon as pre-enrollment ends, you might start receiving e-mails from students who want to enroll in your section. They'll want to add your section for various reasons:

* they mistakenly think your section is full
* they are interested in your section because it is offered at an attractive time
* they are particularly interested in your theme
* they want any section of the course, and they are spamming instructors
* they've heard wonderful things about you

All (well, many) of these reasons can be compelling, and the temptation may be to simply allow an extra student or two into your section. Whatever you do, please do not promise to start waiting lists or to sign course action forms to over-enroll your section.

Here's why:

Our goal is to get students into classes as soon as possible, and to defend the course cap so that no one teaches 20-24 students per section (bad for you, bad for the students, bad for your fellow instructors).

Both these goals are best met if we only use ISIS. Because course action forms are invisible to ISIS and take 3-4 days to process, using ISIS and course action forms together leads to confusion and overenrollments.

Don't sign course action forms:

Students sometimes attend fully enrolled classes in the hope that either they can course action into the class or that someone will drop. If someone does drop the class, long before a course action form can be processed for the student who has waited for the space, the spot is liable to be taken by another student via ISIS.
Don't overenroll your course:

Even if you don't mind the extra student, don't mind being (further) overworked, don't mind a crowded classroom, please do not overenroll your class. Having even one section of ENWR overenrolled makes it harder for other instructors to defend the enrollment caps in their sections.
Don't start waiting lists until classes begin:

Students who are on waiting lists tend not to enroll in and attend other sections. If a space doesn't open up in your section during the add/drop period, the student will be left without a section. At best, she'll have to scramble to catch up in another section at the last minute. Far better for students to be egisteredfor a section of ENWR before the semester starts than to be waiting for a spot that might or might not materialize in your section.

Once classes start, take these steps if you want to begin a waiting list of particularly worthy students:

* First, let the Writing Program Staff know so that we can put a "permission of instructor" restriction on your section. (This will keep any fresh spot from being gobbled up by random students via ISIS, thereby leaving your waiting list students in the cold.)

* Tell students on your waiting list that they should register for and attend a section that fits their schedule.

* If a space opens in your section, contact the students on your waiting list until you find a taker. (Often, students will become attached to the section in which they're enrolled, and they will no longer want to switch into your section.)

* If / when you find a taker, send the lucky soul to see us in Bryan Hall 322B, and we'll take care of the registration details.