Uncertainty provides challenges for fall 2020 registration


The Schedule Explorer on the Pace Portal is where students can find all the course offerings for the following semester.

Katie Walsh, Managing Editor

Registration season typically piles on extra stress for students right before finals. Perhaps this registration season might have a slight edge above the rest with the unknown situation of the fall. 

President Marvin Krislov ensures the hope of the university is to be back with in-person classes in the fall. The reality is that the decision being made will depend on recommendations and guidelines from the government, as well as the CDC. In a town hall, Krislov stated that the university’s priority will remain to be the health and safety of the students, staff and faculty. 

Students saw other colleges and universities already display their plans to return to remote learning in the fall. Boston University revealed that there was a large possibility, while California State University – Fullerton, already announced that the plan is to begin their fall semester virtually.  

Despite Pace’s hope to return back to normal, the university is preparing multiple contingency plans for various scenarios. Some of these may be looking at class sizes, requiring masks in the classroom, or result in remote learning for the semester. These are just some of the potential looks the fall academic semester could look.

For many college students, this encourages them to do their own scenario planning for the classes they are looking towards taking. Students are striving to submit a schedule that best fits their academic and personal needs, pending the situation. 

Sophomore criminal justice major Kiersten Mcgovern is a commuter student, who is fearing the worst for the semester. Mcgovern would like to return at some point in the fall, however since the majority of summer activities have already been cancelled she feels as if the campus won’t be back. 

Mcgovern explains the difficulty of registering as a commuter.

“I don’t want to have huge gaps in my schedule just in case we go back in the fall,” she said.

Mcgovern explained that if the fall semester is online, she plans on adding another class in her schedule to make it 18 credits versus the 15 she registered for.  

In addition she is expecting there will be an adjustment to get back to the in-person class atmosphere which led her to take easier classes.

One of the classes that she is planning to take is a chemistry class, which leaves another level of concern. 

“When I met with my advisor the first week of March she recommended me taking chemistry with a lab, a civic engagement class, an art class and two major requirement classes. If we don’t go back in the fall how would a science with a lab work?  How would I get my community service hours? How would I follow an art class online?” exclaimed the sophomore. 

Furthermore, the criminal justice student had recently switched her major prior to the semester start and feels that remote learning is causing her to miss out on experiences. 

“I’m not so sure what I want to do yet and these classes this semester were really helping me figure it out. Now that we are online, I feel like I’m not learning much and I’m missing out on figuring out what I want to do in life,” stated Mcgovern. 

In fact, one of the classes she is currently enrolled in is the criminal justice Crime and Public Policy course. Evidently, students had their experiences cut short, since they cannot work alongside the inmates in the jail.. Mcgovern signed up for a similar experiential course for the fall, called Parenting Pubs and Prison. 

  “I fear I won’t be able to do it and miss out on another great experience,” revealed Mcgovern.

Despite the registration difficulties, Mcgovern commended the Pace faculty and staff on their assistance to students and continually checking in on them personally as well as academically. 

“There are a lot of professors cutting down on [our] workload, checking in on us frequently, and reassuring us that they are here for us. There are some professors though that think because we are online it’s okay to give us more work and that’s been stressful,” she expressed.