Different Options for Priority Registration

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Jonathan Caballeros, El Vaquero Staff Writer
April 4, 2012
Filed under Features

Priority registration is awarded to those who give priority to education, and that doesn’t just include seniority and a high GPA.

There are many factors involved in calculating a student’s registration date, such as having an active role on campus, which can be the difference between getting a first or second week registration date.
Andranik Dertsakyn, a second semester ASGCC member, enjoys his priority position by being a member of student government.

“It feels like a perk for being in government,” said Dertsakyn, “Being part of student government is a lot of work though, and you got to be able to handle it.”

A high GPA and seniority in school will help students get an earlier registration date, but there are more factors involved in the equation.

According to Michelle Mora, director of Admissions and Records, the student body is divided into 14 groups, each of which has its own rank and registration date.

Students may belong to more than one of these groups, but they are represented by the higher rank of their qualifying student groups.

Four of these 14 groups are mandated to receive priority registration. The athletic student group is one of the four state-mandated groups to enjoy priority registration.

“The athletes have to be mandated for priority registration,” said John Aque, counselor for student athletes. “They only have two years to complete or transfer, or else they don’t qualify for scholarships.”

The other student groups mandated by the state are the disabled, veterans and foster youth groups.

The lowest among the rankings are newly enrolled students. New students can receive priority registration by taking a student development class and signing up for the online orientation.

New students can achieve early registration dates if they are in the four mandated student groups, join the Scholars’ Program, are international students or join the Associated Student Board (ASB).

“People get a better seat on priority registration by how many units they take and their GPA,” said Britteney Guinhawa, 19, a sophomore majoring in nursing, “However, if you’re in the Scholars’ Program, you can get better seat.”

“The scholars program has classes that are exclusive to them during priority registration,” said Mora, “this gives an advantage to continuing and new students.”

To be able to apply for the Scholars’ Program, new students and continuing students must have a 3.5 GPA or better and must be approved by the student board.

There is still hope for students who do not fit into the four mandated groups or have a high GPA.

“Seeing your counselor is one of the easiest ways to bump up your standing,” said Mora, “[The counselors] are always here to help students.”

Students can also become more active and achieve a good standing in school if they join clubs such as VOICES, the Environmental Club, Kiwanis, Circle K and the Marketing Association, to name a few.

Clubs not only help students by giving them better priority registration date, but can also help students who wish to transfer by having extracurricular activities in their transcripts.

Priority registration dates can be the difference between having the classes and having to become a “less-than-full time” student.

One idea to remember is that students cannot have priority registration without making education and school a priority.

“Get involved. That’s the bottom line,” said Mora.

Students can go to AD 139, left of the admissions window, to learn more about priority registration and student group rankings.

If a student wishes to apply to the Scholars’ Program, they can visit the GCC website, click on the Programs & Degrees tab and then click on the Scholars’ Program link.

Academic counselors can be seen in the second floor of the San Rafael building in the Student Services section.

Students can make appointments Mondays to Thursdays from 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

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