So, what does a registrar do?

September 23, 2014
  • AACRAO Connect
  • AACRAO Consulting
  • Records and Academic Services

How many times have you been asked, “So what does a registrar do?” According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, higher education administrators who work in the registrar’s office maintain student and course records (if only it was this simple and straight forward). Although responsibilities and functions may vary between institutions, registrars typically do the following (not an exhaustive list):

  • Schedule and register students for classes
  • Schedule space and times for classes
  • Ensure that students meet graduation requirements
  • Plan commencement ceremonies
  • Process grades and prepare transcripts and diplomas for students
  • Produce data about students and classes
  • Maintain the academic records of the institution
  • Ensure student data privacy requirements are met

Whether you are just entering the profession or have moved on to the next level, AACRAO offers registrar workshops suited to your needs. Registrar 101 & FERPA will address many of the “what” and “how” questions that make up the work of the registrar’s office. A significant portion of the workshop will focus on understanding and applying FERPA. Attendees will leave the workshop with a greater understanding of the depth and breadth of the work of the registrar and where to find information and answers.

According to participants in last year's workshop, the course is "a great jumping off point for the world of the Registrar and as a way to gain structure for further learning about the field." The workshop also offers helpful reading materials that can serve as excellent resources for future reference and case studies that give examples and potential ways to handle issues.

One new registrar said the workshop gave "perspective."

"Being new to the position," the attendee wrote, "it is nice to know that many of the obstacles I have observed are universal and that solutions (or shared frustration) abound. Also, the resources and information provided have given me a nice foundational knowledge of the role of the Registrar and how that role is evolving."

Another attended noted, "I appreciated the policy and FERPA modules the most. As a new registrar, these made the biggest impact. I thought, as a whole, the course was very well developed and presented. I appreciated the discussion forums and gained many ideas on how to improve myself and my institution as a result. The faculty gave valuable feedback and helped shape the discussions to keep us all on track."

Agreed another: "Especially as a new Registrar, [understanding FERPA is ] essential to my role and I am much more confident in my capabilities."

Beyond 101

For those with a minimum of five years of experience in the profession, Registrar 201 will explore how the work of the registrar is evolving and increasingly crossing boundaries into other campus departments. Learn about leadership and management, budgeting, technology, FERPA beyond the basics, and future issues. You will be given tools and insights for successfully navigating this changing landscape. 

Both two-day workshops will be held on Monday, October 27 and Tuesday, October 28 at the J.W. Marriott Los Angeles LA Live.  Pricing, presenter information, and registration is available online.



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