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Career Story: Assistant Registrar At A University

Assistant Registrar At A University

Job Title: Assistant Registrar

Type of Company: I work at a university

Education: BA in Biblical Studies from Azusa Pacific University, Master of Divinity from Azusa Pacific University, MA in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary

Previous Experience: Registration and Commencement Coordinator at a university for a couple of years. Data Systems Administrator at a university for several years.

Job Tasks: I program a system that helps students figure out if they are on track to complete their requirements for graduation. This includes their general university requirements as well as their major and minor requirements. Part of this process includes working with the major and minor departments to be sure I understand the requirements so that I can program them into the system and meeting with students who are having trouble meeting the requirements or who, upon graduation time, have failed to meet them and need to make alternate arrangements to complete them after their four years of college have passed.

A large part of my job is enforcing the university requirements, to the dismay of some students, but then trying to help them figure out what it will take for them to meet those requirements given their circumstances. I also spend much of my time dealing with technical problems in our computer system. So when people in my office or students have problems with the system, I help them troubleshoot the problem and resolve it. I also coordinate most of the academic elements of commencement such as completing of requirement for graduation, honors for degrees, granting degrees, ordering diplomas, making sure that diplomas get to students at commencement.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: My job involves a lot of interaction with angry students, parents and faculty. You have to be prepared for that because it is difficult to deal with. Telling students that they will not graduate is also very difficult. I am often dealing with students in crises and who are having trouble handling their own circumstances. It is hard to talk them through productive ways to handle their situation.

When I'm not dealing with crises, I often get to spend my time working on the technical parts of the system like coding degree requirements or system set-up. That technical work is definitely the best part of the job.

Job Tips:
1. If you don't like working with students, don't take a job in the Registrar's Office.

2. If you don't have the patience for customer service, don't take a job in the Registrar's Office.

3. If you are interested in a real technical position, you probably won't find it in a Registrar's Office. You should look in an IT office.

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