“You’re a person!” exclaimed a surprised student when first meeting with me. Most students, and some families, don’t realize a Registrar is a person’s role and not just the name of an office. While there is a head Registrar, the Registrar’s Office, including our Advising Suite, is first and foremost a team. Our team consists of dedicated staff and advisors that are happy and eager to help students navigate their academic journey.
It isn’t always easy to describe the exact role and function of a Registrar and the Registrar’s Office because our team sits in the center hub of a very large, multi-spoke wheel. The spokes are our students, departments, divisions, administrators, and other offices around campus; and without our spokes we simply wouldn’t be what we are. We have a broad scope of responsibility within Hope College ranging from implementing the college’s academic regulations, maintaining the academic record of all students, building the class schedule, implementing the registration process for classes, determining students’ graduation eligibility, awarding degrees, collecting and distributing grades, and enforcing rules for entering and leaving classes. These are just a few of the ongoing tasks of Hope’s Registrar’s Office that keeps the wheel turning properly.
Because a Registrar is charged with enforcing the college’s academic policy, our perception can be rather intimidating or scary. Yet, I diligently strive to be as friendly and welcoming as I can – and have actually been told by several students that I am very approachable. I believe part of what has made me so approachable and open-minded is that I, myself, am a parent of two sons that attended Hope. Reflecting on my thirty years at Hope College, I think I learned the most about the college, and myself as a parent, through the experiences of having my sons attend and graduate from Hope, ’09 and ’10.
I pride myself in being approachable for one of the most enjoyable parts of my job is my personal interaction with students, getting to know them and their talents, and helping them successfully navigate their college career. The highlight of my year is very early May, when my office lines-up students for commencement and assists them with their procession into the ceremony. I get to see the faces of students who have worked so hard to accomplish their goals and it makes me excited for their future.
Carol DeJong, Dean for Academic Services and Registrar