How Waitlists and the Registrar’s Office can help you optimize enrollment in high demand courses!
Author: Registrar's Office
Posted: February 18, 2014

Beginning fall 2012, PSU adopted new automated waitlist notification technology. This functionality sends an email to the student who is first in line on a waitlist for a course within seconds of a spot opening up. The student is given 24 hours to add the course. If this student does not add the course, the next student on the waitlist will be notified that a spot is available in the course. This system has been working incredibly well and has helped many departments determine when demand is high enough to open new sections of classes and keep their existing popular courses full.

The automated messaging continues throughout the priority registration period, but ends 24 hours before the first day of the term. Once the term has begun, no more waitlist notification emails are sent. This decision was made to give instructors more control over the enrollment in their class.

For those of you instructing high demand classes, here are a few things you can do to optimize your enrollment:

  • Publish in your subject header in the Schedule of Classes that students must attend the first class meeting or they may be dropped from the course.
  • Contact your department scheduler to request a “Department Approval” restriction on your course after the first class meeting. This will prevent other students from adding the course online if a currently registered student drops your course. This will ensure that only the students who attended the first class session and obtained permission to add on a Special Registration form will be able to add your class.
  • At the first class meeting, gauge how many seats are available due to non-attendance and sign Special Registration forms for students who are present. Best practice is to sign in students based on waitlist order.
  • After the first class meeting, send an email to each student who did not attend the class telling them that because they missed the first class meeting they will be dropped from the course.
  • Send an email to stating your course CRN, Subject, Course Number and a list of students (with PSU ID) whom you wish to drop for non-attendance. Please confirm that you have notified the students when you make this request.