Preparing for Post-Secondary: Part Two

Have you been accepted to a post-secondary educational institution? Congratulations! Now what? 

Part Two: Registering for Courses 

Transitioning to post-secondary education will be a different experience for everyone. It is important for individuals with diagnosed or suspected learning differences to be proactive in preparing for this new experience.    

The first step in registering for your courses will be to set up your online account with your institution. Doing this will give you access to your online registration platform and your new school email inbox.  

Your institution will usually email you to inform you of your registration date and time. You can also find registration dates within the academic calendar((Academic Calendar: a schedule of all events that happen in an academic calendar year.)). If you notice that you have yet to receive a registration date once registration has opened, reach out to the registration office. 

Before the registration date, go to your institution’s website to find the program((Program: a structure of courses or study leading to completion of an academic degree or certification.)) requirements((Required Courses: courses that are mandatory for the completion of an academic program.)) and course offerings. It may be helpful to schedule a meeting with an academic advisor to discuss this process with you. They can guide you in choosing courses appropriate to your program, interests, or future goals.  

Create a tentative schedule of courses you would like to take. Consider class times, availability, prerequisites((Pre-requisite: a course that must be completed before another course can take place.)), and course conflicts. Balance your schedule with a mix of challenging and manageable courses or electives((Elective: courses that are not mandatory for the completion of an academic program.)). Consider times that you will need breaks, studying and other responsibilities. Avoid creating a schedule that clashes with your daily life; for example, if you know you are not a morning person, there may be a better selection than an 8 am class. 

Once you have your tentative schedule, log in to your institution portal to register for your chosen courses. Make yourself available as soon as your registration date/time opens to maximize the likelihood of getting into the classes you want to register for. Some courses may be full, so check for waitlists and join them. As other students are figuring out their schedules, they may drop their registration, giving someone on the waitlist a space in the class. It is still a good idea to have a backup option if you still need to get into the course(s) you hoped for. 

After registering, double-check your registration status and schedule to ensure you have enrolled in the expected classes and have no schedule conflicts.  

If you encounter any challenges during the registration process, contact your institution’s registration office to help you navigate their system and address any issues you may have.  

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This post is part two of a five-part series on preparing for post-secondary education with a learning difference; Part One: Accessibility Services, Part Three: Transitioning to a New SchedulePart Four: Reading your Program Calendar and Finding ResourcesPart Five: Reading your Syllabus and Talking to your Instructors.

– Becky Bishop, Case Manager and Lead Instructor

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