ESS 205: What’s Next
This week on the (Not So) Secret Guide to Being a Berkeley Engineer we are talking about What’s Next. You’ve finished Golden Bear Advising and you’re registering for courses beginning this week! ESS Advisers, Chaniqua Butscher and Olivia Chan, join us to talk about what it means if you are on waitlists, what the swap function will do and how to make sure your schedule is the best for you as you wait for classes to start in August.
- Contact your adviser or make an appointment: engineering.berkeley.edu/ess
LAURA VOGT: Hello and and thank you for tuning in to The Not So Secret Guide to Being a Berkeley Engineer. My name is Laura Vogt, and I’m the Communications and Events Manager for Engineering Student Services. You’ve finished Golden Bear Advising, went over your schedule with your ESS Adviser and this week all of you will be registering! So what’s next? This week I am delighted to have two ESS advisers here to talk about what you should be doing now that you have registered. First, Chaniqua Butscher, please introduce yourself to all our new students.
CHANIQUA BUTSCHER: Well hello everyone. I’m happy to be here. Congratulations and welcome. I am Chaniqua Butscher and I am the ESS adviser for Mechanical Engineers with last names through O, nuclear engineers as well as energy engineers. So welcome to you all.
LV: And how long have you been on campus?
CB: I’ve been on campus a whole 12 years now in a variety of capacities. This is by far my favorite and I thoroughly enjoyed working with engineering students.
LV: And welcome to the podcast. We’re excited to have you here. And Olivia please introduce yourself.
OLIVIA CHAN: Hi welcome. Congratulations as well. My name is Olivia Chan. I’m also one of the engineering student services advisors. I advise Electrical Engineering Computer Science, last name P- Z, environmental engineering science, and engineering math and statistics And I’ve been on campus for five years.
LV: Thank you both so much for coming today and going over a few things that students should keep in mind over the next few weeks before they’re on campus.
CB: All right. So I think I’ll start off talking about the fact that you all have phase one coming up I know that’s very exciting for you. You’re going to have the opportunity to sign up for up to 17 and a half units during that phase once that period is over. You won’t be able to make any changes to your schedule until what’s called the adjustment period comes up and that’s going to happen on August 13th at that time you’ll be able to go back and make any changes that you feel necessary or even add up to 20 and a half units
LV: And the 20 and a half unit is a big thing because we talked with Kathy Barrett earlier about shopping and dropping.
OC: So we don’t necessarily want them to take twenty point five units through the semester.
CB: Right. So the 20 and a half is potentially if you were going to maybe shop some HSF classes to give yourself the first week or two to decide hey let me just see which one of these classes I’d like to keep on my schedule. Once I kind of go to a couple of those classes decide this is the one that really suits my interests best and I can drop down to a more reasonable unit load especially given that this is my first semester. So anywhere from 12 to 16 units
LV: And Olivia can you tell us a little bit more about the waitlist?
OC: Yes so waitlist enrollment once enrollment opens waitlist will be processed four times daily. So wait lists are processed in sequential order according to Reserve caps associated with each course. Students are who are further down the wait list and meet the reserve cap requirements will be enrolled assuming there’s space in the section before students higher on the wait list who do not meet the reserve cap requirements. So if you aren’t moving up on the wait list you’ll want to check for the following. Make sure that you are exceeding unit limit. So again during phase one you’ll be enrolling in up to seventeen point five units. And then during the adjustment period you can roll in up to twenty point five. So if you aren’t moving up and you if you’re trying to add a class and it is exceeding one of those unit capacities then that’s one of the reasons why you aren’t moving up on the wait list. The other thing you will want to check for is are there any enrollment holds on your CAL Central. So if there are enrollment holds you’ll want to go ahead and contact that department to get it removed.
LV: And one of the enrollment holds that I think some of our students might see is if they haven’t finished their Golden Bear advising so to do that you just need to contact your ESS adviser and figure out why it’s not registering or why we put that hold on you. And speaking of contacting your ESS advisers. What other reasons would you want to have contact with your advisers?
CB: Well for those of you that have actually finished my module 4 of golden bear advising you actually are able to sign up for an appointment with your ESS adviser and a reason why you might do that would be say you took a course at another institution you want to see if it counts as one of your requirements here. You could contact your ESS adviser to talk about with that course evaluation process looks like you might also contact them to get any clarification on policy to understand what you probably can wait for would be like a four year plan certainly that can be addressed in the fall when you when you arrive on campus or if you are considering changing a major thinking about figuring out what that process looks like you could certainly hold those questions for a later time when you’re actually on campus.
LV: Do students actually have to come in for appointments or do they have other options.
CB: So students we understand that you’re not all here in Berkeley at this time so you can certainly sign up for an appointment and indicate that you’d like phone appointment leaving your phone number in the notes section. For those of you that are locals certainly you can come in for an in person appointment and you can always e-mail your adviser. I’m understanding that we certainly are busy right now replying to all 500 plus freshmen that are coming in and transfer students that are coming in at this point. So it may be a little bit delayed but you can contact your adviser in a variety of ways.
OC: So just as a reminder appointments are 20 minute blocks and we expect students to arrive within five minutes. If after five minutes you would have to reschedule your appointment.
LV: OK. And to make the appointment it’s engineering dot berkeley dot edu slash ESS and we’ve got a big blue box on there for you to click on to schedule that appointment. And if you’re wanting to do a phone appointment it has a notes section so you can specifically write in that note section if it’s a phone appointment
CB: And please include your phone number.
LV: Oh yes that would be good. And so going back to the registration process that we’ve got going on one of the things that I know a lot of students might have questions about is the swap function and what’s the reason behind that. And I think I figured out the best way to explain how to use the swap function is if there is a class that you really want to take. But you can’t get into it because it’s full and there’s another class at the same time that kind of fulfills the same requirements but it’s just the second class that you want to take it’s not the number one choice. Sign up for the class that you can get into. And depending on where you are on your unit limit sign up for all your classes that you can register for first and then go back and do the swap function because if you do the swap function before you’re at your limit it counts towards your unit limit. So sign up for all your courses first and then go back in and do a swap function for that B choice class that you signed up for and do the swap for the A choice class. So that puts you on the waitlist for the Class A. And as soon as it becomes available it automatically swaps you out B into A. You don’t have to do anything for it. This does make a difference when school actually starts and you’re here on campus because you might get swapped out if you haven’t gotten rid of that function and it doesn’t tell you there’s no nothing tells you that you’ve been swapped. So make sure you’re checking your schedule regularly to see if that swap function actually kicked in for you.
OC: So just as a follow up in terms of why you should wait list a class versus why you should swap a class. So you should wait list a class if you feel like you have a chance of actually enrolling in getting into it. You should swap if you are afraid of not being able to enroll in the class but you do have a backup class that’s at the same time. So also kind of going back on wait lists. Another thing just to add is if you can get into a course in terms of looking where you are on the wait list if there is an open spot in the section that would get you enrolled in the class. You should take that over enrolling in or wait listing in a class or in a section that you may or may not get in.
So if there is a spot available if you can get into a section you’ll want to go ahead and roll that because there’s never any guarantee that you’ll move up on the waitlist and out of the waitlist to get into the class.
CB: So yes this does mean that 8am sections. that nobody’s signing up for to go ahead and jump in on that. And you can switch things around later. Just get in the class to start.
LV: It’s all about flexibility. Most of these students had been going to school pretty early anyways. I think most high schools started like 7:30.
CB: It’s amazing how soon that gets forgotten.
LV: Or just the idea that I don’t have to do it anymore. And the other thing I was wondering about the waitlist is is there a way to judge what’s a good number if you were doing a wait list like if there’s one person on the waitlist it seems pretty safe if you’re going to end up being like number two on the wait list doesn’t like that seems a little bit safer. But is there something that you can you should look for that you’re like oh no that’s just way too many people on the wait list it’s not worth it
OC: So the wait list or process depending on the department and again depending on reserve capacity. So for example you may actually move down. You may start off being on wait list number two and then move to waitlist number seven. And it’s because let’s say this is designed for seniors and so seniors will have priority in rolling into the class which then may push you further down the wait list.
LV: So that’s a good to know if for some reason you’re like I thought it was number one and now I’m number 12.
OC: Right. So if you have a concern about it check the reserve capacity see what the enrollment reservations are.
And if you still have questions go ahead and just contact the department
LV: For a lot of the humanities courses I know the classes are usually a lot smaller.
CB: So I mean generally there’s about a 20 percent attrition rate when it comes to dropping classes. So if you’re in a class where there are 100 students then you can bet that if you’re maybe between number one to number 20 on the wait list you have a pretty good chance of getting into that class. Anything beyond that you may have a less of a chance. And also with smaller classes just generally of course your position is just that much more critical. Larger classes you tend to have a better shot at getting into off of the wait list.
OC: But again this is why and we also asked students to have backup classes because there are some classes that definitely are more popular in terms of students trying to get into it.
So we want to make sure that that you have options.
CB: And I don’t know if this is worth mentioning but I will since we’re talking about it classes like the 61 that are webcast and there are these massive enrollment numbers. Traditionally historically they have been able to accommodate all students because it is a webcast course and they’re not depending on physical space to accommodate all students. So you may show up as in the hundreds you might be number 200 on a wait list but it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a shot getting into the class it just means that they’re waiting to see how the enrollment sorts out. And once they know what numbers are they’re dealing with in the end they go out and let everybody else into the class.
LV: And so since our podcast is what’s next. I think one of the big things of what next is that you’re going to be doing Golden Bear prep which is a U.C. wide program similar to what you were doing with golden bear advising. So to complete the Golden Bear prep you’ll be invited to a task in Cal central to complete that part of your Golden Bear experience so the Golden Bear experience it seems like there’s three parts to it you’ve got the advising the prep and orientation. And I’m excited. Next time we’re actually going to get to meet everyone during Golden Bear orientation we have a full day planned and then a half day plan so we get quite a bit of time with our new students.
CB: So another good way that you can utilize your time this summer to prepare for when you arrive in the fall is to go back and listen to episode 2-0-3 Preparing for Berkeley engineering this summer by Tiffany Reardon. It’s my understanding that she she goes over things like refreshing your math skills and accessing free online coding sources
OC: Like code academy dot org for all of you EECS students out there.
LV: And all of our will all of our students have to take a coding class of some kind right.
LV: So if you haven’t ever done coding before she’s got some resources that are fantastic just to get you introduced to the idea of what exactly coding is
CB: And also another pretty basic topic like preparing your resume for LinkedIn.
LV: Yeah. Our first career fairs are that first week of school. I mean this career stuff starts right off the bat
CB: Starts right away for sure.
LV: Well thank you both for coming. Is there anything that we miss that we want to talk about?
CB: No I think we’ve covered it all of those questions in our appointments.
LV: Well thank you so much anyone for coming in today and doing the podcast with us and give a little bit more about what’s next and what to think about this week as you doing registrations and the adjustment period. I know students are constantly, I mean the scheduling it’s just going to change through the whole summer until you get to that final drop deadline which is the fourth week of school.
CB: Right. Right. So be flexible. Understand that things are probably not going to go exactly according to the plan that you have and it will work out just fine because everybody else is in the exact same situation.
OC: And we are here to support you. That is part of our job.
LV: And we want students to finish in four years so our freshman will finish in four years. We want transfers to finish in their two years. We make the plans and we have the classes to support that as well. So don’t be concerned that you’re not going to be able to get the classes that you need.
LV: And thank you everyone for tuning in today. I really like having this chance to get to talk to you a little bit more and give you a little more insight into the College of Engineering.
And we’ll talk to you again next week. Thank you.