Course Enrollment and Registration

Teaching Assistants can access up-to-date class rosters through PAWS and Canvas. Both resources will provide contact information, but Canvas also has built-in communications functions, such as group emails from the course account.

Attendance should be taken at the beginning of the semester. If the student is not on the class roster they likely have not registered or paid for the class and will not receive a grade. Teaching Assistants should inform students not listed on the roster that they might not be properly registered, and invite them to consult UWM’s Office of the Registrar.

It is the student’s responsibility to obtain the required signatures on forms required for enrollment changes (i.e., Registration Change Form) and to submit them to the appropriate offices or advisors. It is also the student’s responsibility to communicate directly with those offices on their own behalf. Very rarely should graduate assistants contact the Registrar’s Office (or the Graduate School) directly for student issues. In rare cases, there may be a need to provide additional support for students. TAs should consult with their supervising faculty member in cases where outreach to external UWM units may be necessary. 

Adding to Closed Classes. Teaching Assistants may have the authority to add students to classes that are already at full capacity, especially when they are the sole instructor. This can lead to some complications. For example, when a class reaches its maximum capacity, students may approach the instructor in person or by email requesting to be added using a Registration Change Form. However, other students may have attempted to register online much earlier, so will be on a ranked waiting list of students waiting to join the class in PAWS. Many programs simply follow the ranking of the PAWS waiting list, but there can be justifications for allowing a student into a class even if they are further down on the waiting list, or not on it at all. For example, a program might give preference to seniors who need the class to graduate, regardless of their position on the waiting list. Whatever the criteria, instructors and programs should ensure that they are fair and consistently applied. Teaching Assistants should consult their supervisor about possible program-level criteria for managing over-enrollment.

Adding After Enrollment Deadline. There are times when students need to register late for a semester, and generally they are permitted to do so until the Add deadline, which is usually about two weeks after the start of the semester. Programs and instructors sometimes have policies for addressing this, and a syllabus might address late adds. For example, in some programs classes will automatically close before the add deadline even if they are under-enrolled, and instructors will not be required to allow additional students into the course. In other programs, students are accustomed to adding courses with open seats up to the add deadline, and instructors are required to respect that right. Teaching Assistants should consult their supervisor when questions about adding students after the start of the semester arise.

Auditing. Occasionally students may ask to audit a class, which generally requires instructor permission. Auditors pay much less tuition or no tuition, and do not typically complete assignments for grades. In general, limited seats in a class should be reserved for students taking the course for credit, and auditors permitted only if the course is below capacity. As a result, auditors are sometimes asked to wait until the Add deadline to ensure that there will be space before the instructor grants approval.