This tutorial aims to familiarize students with the documents and procedures that are necessary for course registration at RMC. Please follow the directions and links on this website to prepare yourself for your meeting with your academic advisor prior to course registration.
Table of Contents
- Getting Started
- Preparing for the Meeting: Choosing Courses
- Registering for Classes
Each fall the College publishes a new version of its primary academic document, the course catalog. The catalog contains nearly all of the academic information that a student will need during his or her tenure at Rocky Mountain College, including academic policies, requirements to graduate, and descriptions of the courses that the College offers. Each year's version of the catalog dictates the academic policies and requirements for any student who enters the College during that year and does so for as long as the student remains at the College. That is, any student who completes the requirements set by the catalog published in his or her first year is guaranteed to graduate – the College may not change requirements during the student's tenure. As such, students are encouraged to download the appropriate version of the catalog and become familiar with its contents. Further, if the College releases a subsequent version of the catalog that better suits a student's academic interests, the student may formally change catalogs using the Change Catalog Form on the Academic Forms and Policies webpage.
Unlike the course catalog, which contains the College's more permanent policies, requirements, and course descriptions, the course schedule contains information about courses being offered in any single term. Released weeks prior to registration for the upcoming semester, the schedule dictates which of the College's courses will be offered, as well as on which days of the week, at which time, at which location, and by which instructor. Prior to meeting with his or her advisor to discuss registration for the upcoming term (see below), students should have consulted not only the course schedule for which courses will be offered, but also the course catalog for descriptions of those courses.
Because the course schedule is a complex, real-time database with up-to-the-minute information regarding course times and locations (as well as who is signed up for the course at any given moment), navigating it can be cumbersome. For this reason, the College releases a simpler, more manageable version of each course schedule called course offerings. This more convenient document contains the upcoming semester's courses, including their days, times, locations, and instructors, but does not track changes once registration opens (i.e. which classes are full). Most students find the course offerings document useful when building their tentative schedule in order to meet with their advisors before registration, but they trade it for the similar but more complex course schedule as registration nears in order to determine whether their desired classes are still available.
In addition to consulting the course catalog and course schedule when choosing classes for an upcoming term, students also reference two lists of courses: the general education requirements and their appropriate program requirements.
The core liberal arts curriculum at Rocky Mountain College includes courses in writing, mathematics, communication studies, fine arts, humanities, and the social and natural sciences. Only particular courses fulfill requirements in each area, and those select courses are highlighted in a dedicated section of the course catalog. However, those courses are also listed in a simple two-page document, the General Education Requirements sheet, to aid students during registration. As the catalog changes every year, the courses that fulfill the general education requirements also change – students should take care to download the requirements sheet that matches their catalog year. This document also contains other information important for graduation (e.g. how many upper-division (300- or 400-level) credits a student must earn).
Requirements to graduate from any particular program (i.e. with any particular major) are listed in the course catalog, but, like the general education requirements, these requirements have been condensed into simpler documents in order to aid registration. These program requirements, which are also called "advising sheets," outline the required courses for each program/major for any given catalog year. As with the general education requirements, students should download only the document corresponding to the appropriate catalog.
In addition to these simple lists of courses required to graduate, most departments within the College have prepared documents that outline the order in which the courses might, or should, be taken. These documents, called graduation plans (or four-year plans), are specific to each program/major and merely suggest how courses might be spaced throughout a student's college career. Unlike the general education requirements and program requirements documents, which are simply condensed copies of requirements in the course catalog, the graduation plans are intended as guidelines and are not policy documents. In cases of discrepancies between documents, the graduation plans always defer to the other documents already described on this page and ultimately to the course catalog and course schedule.
Upon arrival on campus, each student at the College is assigned a faculty member who will serve as an academic advisor. This title is an apt one: advisors merely advise students regarding course selection and other academic decisions. As such, students are ultimately responsible for all academic decisions throughout their college careers.
Each student at the College must meet with his or her academic advisor in order to register for the upcoming term. Most students choose to meet with their advisors the week before registration opens. During this meeting, the student and the advisor discuss the courses that the student has chosen after perusing the course schedule, the course catalog, the general education requirements document, the program requirements document, and perhaps the graduation plan (see above). (Other resources, such as a blank schedule template, are also available to help students build their schedules prior to meeting with their advisors.) In addition to reviewing the student's tentative schedule, advisors and students typically discuss other relevant topics, such as academic progress, timeline to graduation, and post-graduation plans.
At the conclusion of the advising meeting, if the student has demonstrated a sound academic plan for the upcoming term, the advisor may release the "hold" on the student's record, allowing the student to register at the appropriate time. It is the student's responsibility to schedule a meeting with his or her academic advisor prior to registration; failure to do so will result simply in maintenance of the "hold" on the student's record past the student's first-available registration time.
As stated above, most students choose to meet with their advisors and get their "hold" removed the week before registration opens. The opening of registration is listed on the College's academic calendar – registration for the upcoming semester typically occurs during a week following the current semester's mid-term break (i.e. in late October for the upcoming spring or in late March for the upcoming fall). In general, registration opens to students in descending order of academic class, starting with seniors on the first day, juniors on the second, etc. New students must register at one of the pre-scheduled registration dates.
All registration at RMC utilizes the online CampusPortal management system; students will become familiar with this system as part of their orientation and Campus Compass courses. Also, some students find online tutorials within the system helpful. If a student finds that a required course is unavailable or that another problem has occurred with his or her registration within CampusPortal, the student is encouraged to contact his or her advisor, the instructor of the course, or the Office of Student Records, as appropriate, with questions.