Each university or college in the IHETS consortium has individual enrollment processes that work best for its own student-support systems. Ball State University and Vincennes University use continuing studies areas to enroll and then support students at a distance. Indiana State University is working on a model enrollment center where on-campus and off-campus enrollment and support will be the same for both students. Other institutions have students enroll in class sections that are clearly identified as distance classes.

Online registration process

Since ICN is Indiana’s virtual university, we are moving towards a paperless process. To that end, the coordinator should encourage students to pre-register for ICN courses online. The online process is quick and easy with immediate feedback upon submission of the form. Upon receipt of the pre-registration online form, the SSC verifies for accuracy, and then emails the form to both the home institution and the originating institution.

Diagram illustration of this process (Adobe PDF file)

The new student enrolling in distance classes

The enrollment of a new student in distance classes is more controversial than we may want to know. Many on-campus people wonder whether new students should begin college in distance classes, and while this is an interesting topic for discussion, adult students come with so many varied backgrounds, it would be hard to rule out Internet courses for a first-timer. Then again, those learning centers in rural areas where on-site classes are not available or where disabled students seek local services because they are unable to go to campus should support new students who seek courses and services available at the center.

Its important to establish a distance relationship at the time of enrollment with an on-campus academic adviser through the home institution coordinator.

Be prepared to use the resources of the student services center and the campus coordinators from the home institution for supportive service for both the student and you, the coordinator. If at all possible, suggest a one-toe-in-the water approach with a single class the first semester.

After reviewing on-campus procedures, you will understand that a new student enrolling at a distance class is dependent on the student-support services available to her through the home institution. Your assistance and guidance is extremely important, and establishing good communication with the campus coordinators is vital. Let them get to know you!

The returning student enrolling in classes at a distance

The returning student may remember the names of staff in the admissions office of his home institution, but procedures may have changed radically in student-support. Making sure his records are updated is vitally important to this student, requiring that he talk with an adviser as he enrolls for a class. All it takes is one old outstanding parking ticket to bring the process to a screeching halt! And if addresses are not updated, the student may not learn about any problems.

Todays universities and colleges are incorporating systems that allow students to review their own records on-line, but its important that old records be updated. In many ways, the student returning to the same school after several years and the student who has never attended college before are quite similar. The systems they both face are new and must be navigated.

The continuing student taking classes at a distance

The student who is already enrolled at a university or college and seeks to take classes through your center would seem to be at a great advantage. She is already familiar with how to register for a class and probably already has a university computer account that allows registrations at a distance or understands how to register at a distance from the institution.

Campus coordinators have asked that continuing students go through their offices rather than through other coordinators, but copies of the registration must still be made available to the student services center for reporting purposes.