|Kelli Curtis and Darla Cloward assist Becky Park and Melanie Owen with preparing to register to attend College of Eastern Utah.The process has changed significantly in the school's 65-year history. Students may complete the process via mail-in and on-line options, but many prefer signing up for classes in person.|
It was a different world 65 years ago when College of Eastern Utah opened its doors to students for the first time.
College students frequently complain about not getting the classes they need and the registration process at the school. But for those attending institutions of higher education, the whole process is much easier for both students and registrars than it used to be.
"When I first started with CEU 22 years ago, the job of registering students was just as important, but a lot more complicated," stated registrar, Jan Young. "We actually had these big trays of cards for students and their classes and we had to pull those cards. Then the cards were sent upstairs in the old building and they had to be keypunched into the registration system. But we didn't own the system, Weber State did."
It used to take 15 to 20 minutes to register a student for a class, explained Young. Weber State would generate the student's schedule and send it back to the college.
Students at CEU currently have several options for registration. The options range from walking into the registrar's office to completing the process via the Internet.
"It used to be much harder in the years before I came to work here," noted Young. "I still have trays of cards in the vault from decades before the 80s and all of them were hand written rather than typed or even key punched."
CEU opened the school's doors in fall 1938 as Carbon College. It began its first year as a small two-year school.
Halfway through the year, Carbon High students joined the campus. CEU was a combination of college and high school up through the late 1950s, when the present high school building was constructed.
In spring 1939, the school had between 500 and 600 students. The majority of the students were enrolled in the public school system.
The early years were a struggle for many local residents, including the college staff.
Two new buildings made up the college campus. These included the Main Building (the old Reeves Building as it is known today) and the Mechanical Arts Building (now called the SAC) were the two original buildings along with the old gymnasium stood. This is where the new Student Center is today.
The new college in town generated great enthusiasm and the Sun Advocate at the time had numerous articles about the boon the college would provide in the area.
Ultimately the college would become a large economic force in the community. This proved true with the institute being one of the biggest and most stable employers in the area today.
In the early days the school operated on a quarter system, as all state colleges did until the mid-1990s.
In September 1938, just before registration began, it was projected by the Sun Advocate that the school could have up to 150 students register for classes.
Housing for out-of-town students was also a problem. There were no organized dorms in the beginning. The school turned to the community for housing options.
The college asked for local residents to provide housing for students. Despite the effort, there still wasn't enough room for the projected amount of attendees.
After the registration process was completed however, school officials discovered that projected numbers were less. However, registration was still taking place after classes began.
Even with the advanced registration options available today, many students still wait to the last minute to choose their courses.
Even with a much larger student body and many more options in terms of registration currently offered, classs interest hasn't changed much either indicated college officials.
It was reported in that first year that general courses were the most popular, with shop classes a close second, which is still the case today.
"The finest possible equipment is being secured for the shop building," indicated Fox at the time. "When completely installed, facilities for giving practical instruction in auto mechanics, carpentry and wood working, machine shop and welding will be among the best in the state."
Obviously it was the only year since the college opened that first year classes were the singular offering. No one had previous college experience and for everyone involved, it was brand new.
The differences today are dramatic. Registration can still be a hassle for some students. For officials however, it is the sheer number of students that want to go to school that create the increased amount of work.
But the newness hasn't worn off for incoming freshmen, who can be seen walking around campus trying to figure out where things are in the multiple buildings.
And even old veterans will be taken back by the new Main Building with its extensive computer rooms and modern science labs.