Course selection is a daunting, bi-annual event for many students. For those who opt into summer courses, this experience happens three times a year. Without a definitive guide into what it is that I should do when enrolment opens on ACORN, I have relied on the advice of peers and my course planner tool to decide which courses I need to graduate, and which I can take for fun. I hope this experience will help you (especially if you are new to the university) think about how to organize your timetable.
First of all, when you enroll in courses, you can see a schedule tab in your ACORN that will display where each course stands. To plan your schedule ahead of course enrolment day, try griddy.org. You can select your campus, and then you will be able to add the courses offered into a prototypical schedule. Keep in mind that you cannot enrol in courses through Griddy, it is just for you to gauge what kinds of courses you want to add to your course enrolment basket.
Before the date of enrolment, you can also add desired courses into your basket. I like to add only the courses I know I want to take, so that I have no question as to which course to instant-enrol myself into once it is time to do so (you can do this by clicking the ‘enrol’ button on the upper right corner of each course category, see photo below). Having them in your basket means you can enroll with just a click instead of another manual search. This can make all the difference if your courses fill up their spots really quickly.
As a political science major, there are a couple of courses I am required to enrol in before I graduate. I have consulted both the undergraduate assistant via email and the pages on our department site to decide how to slot each course into my schedule over my academic year. But as for electives, I have relied on the suggestions of my professors and my classmates. I like to also Google course titles in hopes of stumbling across a past syllabus for the same course. This gives me an idea of the grading scheme and the readings required. As well, I also email professors teaching the course for any clarification. In the past, some of them have emailed me the syllabi they are planning to use ahead of course enrolment.
I didn’t enroll in any summer courses this year. But last year, I wanted to try my hand at art history. And so, I enrolled myself in two first-year-level courses in the Daniels visual studies department. Though I had chosen not to minor in visual studies, I am thankful for the explanations of famous artworks I had learned about, and for the realization that visual studies just isn’t for me. This is okay: you can’t possibly enjoy every academic field. Taking electives is a great way to realize which academic disciplines appeal most to you.
Course enrolment can be daunting and tricky! If you have any questions, make sure to set up an appointment with your Registrar’s office (this will depend on which college you are part of). Email is your best friend, and don’t forget to follow up if you haven’t received a reply in a couple of days. People miss emails all the time! If you have any questions for me, feel free to leave them in the comments section below, and I will reply as soon as I can. Good luck!