It seems like fall semester just started, but it will soon be time to start thinking about your courses for next semester already. Registration for spring 2019 begins in October. Students register for courses using LionPATH, which features a variety of planning and registration tools to make the process easier—if you take advantage of them. Reviewing the steps now can help you complete your registration more quickly when it’s time to schedule your courses.
To help guide your way, we’ve outlined the key steps.
Step 1: Find Your Enrollment Appointment Date
You’ll begin preparing to register by logging into LionPATH and identifying when you can enroll in classes. Your Enrollment Appointment Date is the first date that you can schedule courses for the upcoming semester. You can find this date in the “Enrollment Dates” section in your Student Center in LionPATH. Your Enrollment Appointment Date is based on the registration timetable, which outlines when students can schedule courses according to their degree status and the number of credits they have already earned.
Note that you will need to complete the LionPATH Pre-Registration Activity Guide, which includes reviewing your personal information and accepting Penn State’s Financial Responsibility Agreement, before you can schedule courses.
Tip: the Schedule of Courses for spring 2019 is available now, so even if it’s not time for you to start registering yet, you can still browse the courses and make a tentative list of those in which you might be interested.
Step 2: Search for Classes
Next, identify the classes you want to enroll in. From the Student Center in LionPATH, you can search for classes using the “Search for Classes” link. This option allows you to enter search criteria for the type of class you’re looking for, and then displays classes that meet those criteria. From here, you can add classes to your shopping cart, just as you would with an online store. You’ll “check out” with the classes in your shopping cart when you are ready to enroll for the semester. While you don’t need a “full” cart before you enroll, placing classes in your shopping cart from the Search for Classes tool can help you and your adviser plan the best schedule for your degree plan and lifestyle.
Step 3: Fill Your Shopping Cart and Contact Your Adviser
As we mentioned, your LionPATH shopping cart allows you to temporarily save a selection of classes you wish to take, and then go ahead and enroll in those classes, if space is available, on your Enrollment Appointment Date. Even if you log out of LionPATH, these classes will remain in your shopping cart. You can also validate the classes in your shopping cart to make sure you have not selected any classes you may not actually be able to take, such as classes you have already taken or classes with required prerequisites you have not completed. Once you’ve added classes to your shopping cart, ask your adviser to review the selected classes. They can help you consider your graduation requirements, your course load for that semester, and other considerations that will help you succeed. Working with your adviser early means that you can have a good chance at getting a seat in the courses you need.
Step 4: Enroll on Your Enrollment Appointment Date
With a shopping cart of classes ready to go on your Enrollment Appointment Date, enrollment should be quick and easy. If a class you are planning to take is full, LionPATH provides an automated wait list system. When you are searching for classes, you will see the class status, which indicates if the class is open, closed, or accepting students on the wait list. You can choose to add yourself to the wait list if the class is full. If space becomes available in the class, you will be added automatically to the class in the order in which you joined the wait list. You will receive an email notification if you are added to a class from a wait list.
Not all classes will have a wait list, and if you decide you are no longer interested in a class, you will need to remove yourself from the wait list in order to avoid being added to the class if a space becomes available.
Step 5: Consider Using Class Swaps
If you’ve added classes to a wait list, you may also be interested in class swaps. Swapping a class allows you to drop a class and try to add a new one simultaneously, so that you can keep your space in the class you are enrolled in until you know that your swap and enrollment in the new class are successful. You can also set up a swap so that if you are added to a class from the wait list, you will automatically drop another class from your registration. Note that you may not be automatically added to a class if you have a hold on your registration or if the class has controls or prerequisite requirements that you have not met.
Other Important LionPATH Tools
With the LionPATH Planner, you can think ahead to courses you might want to take in future semesters. This may help you think about your degree program and which courses you want to take when, to meet requirements, and to manage your workload and fit in with other personal commitments you may have. After you and your adviser look at the classes in your shopping cart, you can add these courses to your LionPATH Planner to see how they affect your degree progression.
The Schedule Builder is a great tool for students who plan to take a combination of online and face-to-face classes. With the Schedule Builder, you can see where different class sections would fit into your days and weeks, and compare schedule options with different sections. You can also enter break times when you would not want to be in classes, and search for class sections that meet at other times.
The Schedule Builder may not be as helpful for students who plan to take all of their classes online, but it may be useful if some of your classes have a specific meeting schedule.
We hope this guide to enrolling in spring 2019 courses in LionPATH will help your enrollment process go smoothly. Feel free to contact your academic adviser for help with planning your classes, and contact other Penn State World Campus offices if you need technical support or assistance with billing, financial aid, or other concerns.