What’s the Best Use of the APR System?

APR stands for “academic planning and registration.” Most students learn to use it as a registration system pretty quickly. Only a small proportion, though, have really learned to use it as an academic planning tool. At any time, and from anywhere, a St. Lawrence student can look at her or his APR. This means that you can check your course selections (both active and saved) during registration periods, of course, but more than this you can look at your transcript, check your grades (both midterm and final grades are posted there), and see if transfer credit has been recorded. You can save documents—like the letter of introduction now often required in first-year colleges, academic planning forms, essays, or draft résumés—which your advisor can see only when you give the okay. That way you can work on things like this and, when you are ready, share them with your advisor. APR is also a portal for a wide variety of academic planning forms. The better a student knows APR, the better that student will be able to map a precise academic trajectory.

You should also understand as your register for each semester that although APR is a very effective system and one that, well used, should meet most students’ needs, it is often only the first step since some courses and courses of study are in high demand. If you do not at first get the courses you are seeking, the best advice is to register on APR for a full schedule—usually four courses—anyway so that you do not have a partial schedule. Then personally visit the instructor of the course you seek and see what is possible about getting into the class you want. Many teachers of oversubscribed courses keep waiting lists and try to insure that stated interests are met in a fair and equitable way. Note that emailing a teacher without following up with a personal conversation seldom works for classes with high demand—teachers respond to personal and clear expressions of real interest. However convenient for the student, emails just asking to get in are not that and are often ignored. Students should realize that once a class is closed—once it has reached its capacity—only the teacher can let a student in. Talk face-to-face with the teacher.