Planning for Uncertainty

by Bella Woodhouse, Contributing Writer

    October has officially arrived at UMF. The leaves are turning, classes have been in session for a month, and pre-registration is creeping up on students. 

    Pre-registration, which started Oct. 5, is a required process every semester that prepares students to sign up for classes for the next semester. Students use Schedule Planner and MaineStreet to plan and put their potential classes on their Wish List before getting approval from their academic advisor. 

    Despite more restricted limits to how many students can be in a class and a lot of classes being online, the process will be essentially the same, but advisor meetings have been and will take place on Zoom. “I think there has been a lot of creative thinking about how to still hold classes,” said a UMF faculty member who wished to remain anonymous. “There are a limited number of traditional, fully face-to-face classes, but there are not fewer classes overall; students still have a variety of classes to choose from. They just need to be flexible about how they are offered.” 

    This year, professors must decide on whether they will offer their class asynchronously (students complete work at their own pace), synchronously (students meet online with professor all at once), or even half in person half asynchronously. 

    Due to the pandemic, the maximum amount of students that can be in a class has decreased, creating more stress than usual for students registering for classes. “As is always the case, I think some students won’t get the classes they most desire because they will fill up,” said the faculty member. “I think some students will struggle to find the courses they need that fit into a good schedule for them…I also imagine that some students who are looking for only one type of instruction (i.e. only face-to-face or only remote or only hybrid) might struggle. I feel like flexibility has to be the name of the game this year for everyone!”  

    Pre-registration is just beginning and students are now concerned about what registration for the upcoming semester will resemble. “When the school year started I didn’t even think about pre-registration and now that it’s here I am worried I won’t be able to get the classes I need,” said Victoria Garand, a sophomore majoring in actuarial science. “I don’t mind online classes, but I miss being in person and my major makes online learning difficult.”