By Evan Nikas
With the fall semester ending, students are now being tasked with thinking about the courses they would like to take next semester here at Cape Cod Community College. The process is the same as it has been in years past, with the only change being face-to-face meetings with advisors have turned into the Zoom meetings we have all become accustomed to.
For those who may be new to 4C’s and its process of registering for classes, it can become a confusing search when it comes to creating their schedule. Arthur Esposito, the director of advising here at 4C’s, explains the process.
“The fastest way goes as follows,” said Esposito. “Login to CampusWeb, find your way to either the ‘Course Search’ function or your ‘Degree Progress’ page and you can add your classes from there. If you’re unsure about which to select, you can login to our zoom meeting (https://capecod.zoom.us/my/remote.advising Passcode: AcAdv) and we’ll help you figure it out. If you know what your plan is, though, you should just login and do it, checking in with your advisor by email after the fact to make certain you didn’t overlook anything.”
To those wondering, there are a certain number of credits needed for a student to be considered a full-time student at 4C’s. But more is not always better.
“Full-time enrollment is 12 credits per semester,” said Esposito. “Students can take as many as 18 credits in any fall or spring semester and as many as nine in any summer session. We recommend caution when selecting courses and taking on semesters with many credits—it may get you through fast, but you shouldn’t confuse efficiency with effectiveness. I’ve been on hundreds of job interviews in my life and I’ve never been asked how fast I earned my degree—just how high my GPA was while I was doing it.”
If students are still confused and would like a meeting with an advisor so they can be walked through the process in real time, the Academic Advising office created a Zoom meeting ID for those seeking that real time walkthrough.
“Since having gone remote, the most efficient means of communication with faculty and professional staff advisors has been email,” said Esposito. “The Academic Advising Office, established remote advising functionality in June, creating a Zoom Meeting ID for the sole purpose of making ourselves available to students. Students enter the meeting and are connected with an advisor in a separate breakout room, encouraged to login to the CampusWeb portal, and share their screen with the advisor. By the end of the advising session, students will have registered for their classes, in real-time, with the advisor guiding their course selections at each click of the mouse.”
Although the college has moved to a more remote setting when it comes to most courses and meetings, this hasn’t stopped advisors from helping students register for courses. In fact, some may find it more efficient than before. And although the manner of meetings has changed, the goals advisors have for the students has not.
“We had to adapt our skills, for sure, but I think most of us find it more efficient to advise in a Zoom meeting with student’s sharing their screens,” said Esposito. “The approach we started to take this summer is one that I refer to as teaching and learning-centered advising. Our goal is to teach students to understand their academic pathways, know which courses come next, know when to register, and know how to do it on their own. Our goal is to empower students to become the primary actor in their own learning opportunities and that includes the act of registering for classes. In all of the research that I’ve read on academic success and student development, I’ve seen that a student’s academic success does not become real and predictable until they become the primary architect and executor of their own plan for degree completion.”
The end of a semester starts the process for the next one. For more information regarding the process of registering for classes, Esposito created a video for the college’s Sharepoint blog for just that. It can be found at the following link: https://capecodcc.sharepoint.com/sites/AcademicAdvisingat4Cs within the “How To” column.