As I prepare for my final term (hopefully) of college, I find myself in a situation I never thought I would face. Throughout college, every student faces the arduous task of signing up for classes. We fret over whether we or not the classes we need will have space for us and what are options are for the long run. Thankfully in the end we seem to work things out and manage to get the classes we want and need to graduate. But this year has been the most difficult for me to get into a certain class that will be one of the final two I need to graduate. The funny thing is it is not a major class with limited seating reserved for seniors, it is a 100 level general science class from PCC.
In order to graduate, I need to take ASTR 123 to fulfill block requirments. Being in Portland for the PDX Senior Experience, I thought I would take this class from PCC. I figured I would sign up, get accepted, take the class and be done. Oh how wrong I was. At PCC, transfer students hold very little priority in registration. No matter the number of credits you take at another university, transfer students are among the very last to sign up for classes at PCC. I found this out the hard way as I attempted to register for the 100 level science class this past Fall. Not only was there no room left in the class, but each class had around 10 to 15 people on the wait list. Keeping a cool head I decided it would not hurt to stay one more term in college, after all, whats the rush? Here is where I become extremely frustrated. Since I could not get into the class last term, I am still considered a transfer student with no credits at PCC, which of course means I am among the last to sign up again. This means that the probability of me getting into that class are slim to none this winter term making me have to wait another term just to get into a 100 level ASTR class!
After speaking to multiple advisors at PCC, they recommended that I pay $82 for a 1-credit P.E. class this Winter term so I can register earlier for Spring 2011. I don’t want to take a P.E. class, I don’t need to take a P.E. class, why must I take a P.E. class if all I need is a general science class?! This is completely absurd and it leaves me to question how students entering PCC get into the classes they need when entering from high school or transfering. You mean to tell me that in order to register for the classes you need you must first take any classes that are available (like a PE class that costs $82) for a whole term BEFORE you can officially register THE NEXT TERM for the classes you actually want and need? This is a terrible system that should be reevaluated by PCC, or at the least offer more classes in a subject that repeatedly fills up with 10 to 15 people on the wait list for each class.
What I thought would be an easy process has become a year long nightmare…who knew Astronomy was of such high demand?! My recommendation for all future PDXSX students in the future, talk to an advisor at PCC more than a term before you need to get in (if you are taking an extra class from PCC of course) because when registering for any class, it is never a easy as it seems.