Computer Science Enrollments – Top 5 Tips for F19


Congratulations and welcome to UC
Berkeley. We’re glad you’re here. My name is Cindy Conners and I’m the Computer
Science Enrollment Manager in the EECS department (that’s Electrical Engineering
and Computer Science). Today I’m going to tell you the top five tips to
successfully enroll in the Computer Science classes you need. And if you’re
wondering about this photo, that’s Professor DeNero teaching CS 61 a
couple years ago. As you can see our classes are quite popular. The first couple of tips are about error
messages you may see when you try to enroll in a class. Tip one: Department
consent really means that the class is temporarily closed. This one is unique to the Computer Science department – other departments
don’t use the setting that way but with Computer Science, when we intend offer
a class but we’re unable to open it for some reason right now, we will set it for
Department Consent and you’ll see that setting either on www.classes.berkeley.edu, or you could also see it within Cal Central if you go to enroll in the class
and it kicks up an error message. The recommended action when you see this message is simply to be patient and periodically check back to see the
classes been opened for enrollment. When we’re able to open the class we will
remove this setting and post to the EECS 101 section of www.piazza.com Tip number two: Stay within the unit
limit. Hopefully you’ve already learned that enrollments are handled in three
phases that UC Berkeley. During phase 1, undergraduate students
have access to 13.5 units. During phase 2, this bumps up to
17.5 units, and during the adjustment period all the units
become available to students. It varies by college, but for the College of
Engineering that’s 20.5 units for the semester. The thing that
trips most people up is that students forget that wait-listed classes count
towards these upper unit limits, and so I get a lot of questions in the Fall with
students saying, ” oh I can’t enroll in this class, why not?”, and the reason often
can be that you have a wait-listed class you’ve forgotten about and it’s using some
of the units for that particular phase. If this happens to you, the best course
of action is either be patient and wait for the next enrollment phase to start
so that more units become available to you. However if you’re concerned about
getting into the class or giving yourself the best position on a waitlist
possible, and you want to enroll in the current enrollment phase, you might
consider dropping a different class or a class that you’re wait-listed for to
free up enough units that you’re able to enroll into the particular class that
you want to get into. Tip number 3: Understand 999 Sections.
This tip is also unique to EECS classes. As you’ve probably figured out, most
classes at UC Berkeley consist of a lecture and related lab and/or
discussion sections. By default, the enrollment system will only enroll you
if there are open seats and all components of the class. So I have
students contact me often and there’ll be lecture seats available but they
can’t figure out why they can’t get into the class. It may be that the discussion
or lab section you’ve selected has no space available for you and that’s why
it pushes you to a waitlist even though you can see open seats of the lecture
level. In order to simplify enrollment for most Computer Science classes, we’ve
created placeholder sections and we call 999 sections. You’ll notice that
these sections do not have any location associated with them, they all take
place on Sundays around midnight, and the duration is about a minute. Now some
students are confused by the fact that they can see the actual discussion or
lab sections in addition to 999 sections. The reason that we make the actual
sections visible to you is for planning purposes. So while the enrollment system
will force you to enroll into the 999 sections and the lecture, you’ll still be
able to see the other sections for planning purposes. Often students
will ask me, “Well how do I get into the actual sections?” During the first week of
classes, the teaching staff will reach out to you. It really varies from class
to class – some teaching staff don’t care which section you go to as long as there
are seats available; other classes do care and the teaching staff will send
out links to online sign up web app, or sometimes they use Google Forms so it just varies from class to class. So, if you’re signing
up for a 999 section class, just be patient. Someone will
reach out to you with more information about how to actually get into the
section that you want to get into. Tip 4: Know where you stand with reserved
seating During enrollment phases 1 and 2, we set aside reserved seats for certain
student populations. So what does that mean? Well for most Computer Science
classes, that means that we save seats for our declared majors to give them
access to the seats they need to complete their classes on time so they
can graduate on schedule. Once the adjustment period begins, the reserved
seating caps come down and then the system will move people into any
available seat based on the waitlist position. So, what does this mean to you? It means that you should go to www.classes.berkeley.edu and look at the actual
page for the class you want to enroll into. You can read the reserved seating
rules on the left side of the screen under Current Enrollments. And if that’s
not so easy for you to read, you can also look at the Reserved Seat section in the
middle of the page. It’s the same information, as just a bar chart to make
it a little more user-friendly. If you really want to get into a class, even if
you don’t meet the reserved seat capacity in phases 1 & 2, you might
consider using phase 1 units or phase 2 units to put yourself on the waitlist
earl. This will give you the best position possible so that when the
reserve caps come down…let’s see for Fall 2019 that’s going to be August 19th…
at that point, you will have given yourself the highest possible position
on the waitlist that you can have and when the enrollment system automatically
starts moving people into the seats, then you stand the best chance of getting
access to space in the class. Tip 5 – Monitor the Waitlist: Computer
Science classes are so impacted, the odds of you ending up on a waitlist at some
point are pretty great. So, let’s look at some tips to make sure that you can get
into the class if possible. First, always have a back-up plan! Don’t worry about
past experience – that the class gets expanded. Every semester the
circumstances are different. If you find yourself on a waitlist, there are no
guarantees that the instructor will necessarily expand enrollment so I
strongly recommend you have a back-up plan! If you need help making a back-up
plan, feel free to reach out to your advisor or to a Computer Science advisor
who can help you with that. If you’re on the wait list and it’s phase 1 or phase
2, just be patient. The adjustment period for Fall 2019 begins on August 19th and at that point the reserved seating
requirements come down. That’s when you’ll probably start to notice movement
on the waitlist so if it’s Phase 2 and you’re listening to this and you’re not
noticing much change in your waitlist position be patient and check it again
on August 20th. The third tip is pretty handy if you’re not already familiar with it.
It’s the ten percent rule. So again, no guarantees that you’ll get into a class –
however, generally speaking, ten percent of enrolled students will drop by the
add/drop deadline. People always are coming
to me asking, “What are my chances of getting into a class?” I recommend going to
www.classes.berkeley.edu to check the total enrollment capacity and calculate ten
percent of that. Then check your waitlist position and compared to that
number. If you fall within the ten percent range… you’re going to have to be
patient because the remember not everyone drops before the classes begin…
so if you’re within that 10% range, the odds are pretty good that you’ll get in but
it might be during week four (of the semester). If you fall outside of that range,
your chances are less likely but you still might get into the class if the
instructor decides to expand enrollment. And just a side note because I’m making
this recording for incoming students who may not know; yes – if you are a
wait-listed for a class you still should go to the class because you will be
expected to make up any homework assignments or any missed lectures
during that that time period!! When you’re still wait-listed, so we do try to clear
the waitlist and expand enrollment as soon as we can, but sometimes we go right up until the add/drop deadline that’s during week four of the
semester. At this point just please continue to go to the classes and
act as if you were getting in so you don’t fall too far behind.
Okay another good hint for you is about time conflicts. Understand that most
Computer Science classes are set up to allow time conflicts, but sometimes we
have classes that do not and here’s what happens if you have a time conflict and
it’s not permitted for a particular class. You’ll end up on the waitlist
where you will stay indefinitely! Even if seats are available you will remain
stuck on the waitlist. So my best recommendation there is go to the EECS 101section of www.piazza.com. That’s where we post information about the classes. You can go there and see if time conflicts are permitted. I think actually
you might be able to see that by looking at the class detail information
through the enrollment process on CalCentral as well. I don’t see screens like
you see screens when you do enrollments, but I think you can see that same
information there as well. Okay, last but not least, if you change your mind while
you’re on a waitlist and you decide, “Oh I don’t want this class,”, remember to drop
the class!! I’ve had this happen every semester and fortunately it’s only a few
students each time,but don’t let this be you! Students decide they don’t want to
take a class and they forget to drop themselves from the waitlist. The night
before the add/drop deadline, the instructor kindly says,”Oh I’m going to expand enrollment and take everyone who’s wait-listed into the class.” And students get sucked into the class and then the add/drop deadline passes and they (students)trapped there unable to drop the class (maybe not drop it at all) or they certainly cannot drop it easily. So my last reminder for you is that if you’re not going to take the class, drop off the waitlist! All right, that’s all we have. Thank you so
much for watching these top five tips for getting into CS classes!
If you would like more information about enrollments to Computer Science classes, again I recommend you visit the EECS 101 section of www.piazza.com. That is our primary method
of communicating; both from the Enrollment Managers and the Advisers. So
you get up-to-date information there. The other place I would recommend is you
can go to the Getting into CS Classes webpage on the www.eecs.berkeley.edu website. If you’re not sure, ” why did I get put on the waitlist?”, there’s some really good information
there about our enrollment rules. Thank you for watching!

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