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December 14, 2011
By Misha Ray
For the past few years the University of Nevada, Reno has offered a "Course Concierge" Service for students experiencing difficulty getting into a course required for graduation or degree progress. The motivation behind the service is keeping students on track toward a timely graduation. The concierge service is available as a last resort to help students get into the course they need, which could include a co-requisite or pre-requisite course, and which might differ from the course they want.
Nancy Markee, director of the Advising Center on campus, recommends that students having trouble enrolling in a required class to first review options with their academic advisor.
"I can't emphasize enough how important it is for students to have regular contact with advisors," Markee said. "Even if talking to an advisor before registering for classes isn't mandatory, these individuals are the best resource for students to talk to initially."
If students are not able to resolve the issue on their own or with their academic advisor, they are encouraged to contact the Course Concierge Service.
Where previously the responsibilities of the course concierge were performed by the core curriculum director, the Course Concierge Service is now divided between various staff reporting to the Office of the Provost. Currently, three University staff members are directly involved in providing the Course Concierge Service - Audrey Casey and Katy Schleef in the Office of the Provost, and Markee.
Students begin contacting the service as registration for classes progresses. "Occasionally, we hear from a significant number of students about the same required course," Schleef said. "In those situations, we work with departments to explore a variety of alternatives including increasing the cap for the course, arranging for increased capacity in the course through a room change, or establishing if a new section of a class is possible, especially if there is an unmet need for it."
"Even as the concierge service explores alternatives, we recommend that students also be persistent in checking the enrollment of a class in MyNEVADA, especially as the beginning of a term gets closer," added Schleef. "The registration process is quite fluid, and you never know when a spot is going to open up."
There are limitations as to what the concierge service can offer, according to Markee.
"We can't promise a student will be able to get into a specific class section with a specific instructor or at a specific time of day," Markee said. "If we find a spot open in a class on MyNEVADA and the class time does not conflict with other classes on the student's schedule, then that will be the solution we are able to provide. Also, we can't account for a student's work schedule when putting them into a class, especially when we're trying to make sure they graduate on time."
The process begins with completion of a request form. This form and more information on the concierge service are found on Academic Central.