University of Minnesota Office of Classroom Management
Office of Undergraduate Education
http://classroom.umn.edu

Guidelines for the Management of Reserved Group Seats

Background

The reserved seat process allows departments or colleges to set aside seats in specific undergraduate courses for a designated student group.  Seats are reserved through individual requests by colleges, departments, collegiate programs, departmental programs, and University programs and initiatives.  Reserved seats are entered into the Electronic Course Scheduling (ECS) system for a particular term.  These reserved seats automatically repeat in the schedules for subsequent semesters, whether or not the seats are needed.  Many of the reserved seats remain unfilled, and unless there is a specific release date, the reserved seats are unavailable for general student enrollment.  Additionally, if a student drops registration from a reserved seat, that specific seat can only be filled by another student in the same reserved group.  In other words, reserved seats cannot be recycled, they must be released.

These guidelines are not designed to limit a college or department in reserving seats as appropriate, but rather are intended to be management tools for insuring course access to the largest number of students and maximizing the efficient use of staff and departmental resources. 

Guidelines

Departments have the authority to reserve seats within their departmental courses for department priorities, i.e., declared majors.  Reserved seats should not be used to address issues such as pre-requisites, but instead should be used for specifically identified student groups.

Approval for requests of reserved seats initiated by specific colleges, departments, and/or programs outside the home college/department of the course (e.g., CLA request for seats in CHEM 1101 or SEAM, FIGS, and ATS seats) is at the discretion of the individual college and/or departmental home of the course.

Areas that have requested and received reserve seats for their student groups are responsible for (a) monitoring and projecting enrollments for their student group, in order to request only the number of seats reasonably expected to be needed for a given academic term, (b) monitoring enrollments throughout the term of those students in those courses, and (c) working with the departmental home of the course to release seats that will not be needed, as early as possible.  

All reserved seats, including those held for departmental priorities, must have a start date and release date.  Recommended release dates are:

  Seats held for Release date
  Freshmen end of freshmen orientation in August
  SEAM, FIG, etc. end of freshmen orientation in August
  CCE and PSEO end of registration queue

If reserved seats have not been previously released by departments, Academic Support Resources will release all reserved seats on the Friday before the first day of class each semester.

Departments are strongly encouraged to indicate the release date for reserved seats in the class schedule using the ECS notes function.  A standard template for these notes will be created to provide a consistent message.