A plurality of sophomores have declared concentrations in Economics, according to preliminary data from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Registrar’s office.
Following the rollout of an online student information system designed to streamline the process for submitting study cards and add/drop course forms, among other academic forms, this semester sophomores for the first time declared their concentrations electronically.
“Before, a lot of students waited, and we wouldn’t know right up until the deadline today,” said Maggie Welsh, the associate registrar for enrollment services. She wrote in an email that, as of Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m., out of “the 1,667 sophomores expected to submit declarations, 1,389 have done so.”
213 of those submissions are declarations in Economics, Welsh wrote.
In addition, out of the 1,389 students who have declared, 1,257 are pursuing Bachelor of Arts degrees, 49 are pursuing Bachelor of Sciences, and 83 are pursuing joint concentrations, she added
Sophomores first met with advisers, filled out plans of study—indicating the courses they will take in their remaining time at the College—and imported those plans into the declaration form on the new my.harvard website. Both sophomore advisers and advisers from the College’s 49 concentrations had to approve the form online for students to be declared officially by the Nov. 12 deadline.
Filling out their forms online, many sophomores this year submitted their declaration forms earlier than in previous years when students used paper forms and had to obtain signatures from several advisers, Welsh said.
In an interview, Welsh said the traffic in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Registrar’s office on Thursday was much slower than during past fall semesters, when students had to drop off paper forms for academic transactions.
“I haven’t heard a lot from students that they were experiencing technical difficulties. They have seemed to figure it out,” Welsh said. “The numbers show that it is working.”
The new electronic tool component of sophomores’ concentration declaration, however, is not the most important part of the process, she said.
“I hope that students and concentration advisers know that the purpose of a tool like this is to make the bureaucracy part of it easier,” Welsh said. “Because...while it’s satisfying to hit submit and see that concentration on your record, what it’s really about is the conversation.”—Staff writer Melissa C. Rodman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @melissa_rodman
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