Wait Lists in SSOL

Wait Lists

Wait Lists are used by instructors and departments to manage enrollment in courses. Some instructors or departments require students to join a Wait List before the cap is reached. In these cases, the instructor or department will manage entry to the course over the registration period. Please check departmental websites for additional information about Wait List management.

On the day an instructor admits a student from a Wait List, the student will see a status of "Approved" in SSOL. The student will then be automatically enrolled overnight. The Wait List tool will close on Thursday evening before the end of the Change of Program period in the fall and spring semesters.

Auto-fill Wait List: Allows students to enroll into a course as seats become available, and students can see their position number on Auto-fill Wait Lists in SSOL.

Self-managed Wait Lists: Allows instructors to manually add students to a course, and students will not see a position number in SSOL. Faculty are not able to accept students from a Wait List once the cap is reached.

  • Instructors and departments can set a course to self-managed in SSOL. This SSOL setting will allow students to add the course until the cap is reached. After the cap is reached, the Wait List will then be self-managed.
  • If the instructor or department wants to set up a self-managed Wait List that prevents students from freely adding the course before the cap is reached, please send a request to registrar@columbia.edu asking that the course be blocked to adds on SSOL.

We have developed the following reference documents:

Faculty Tips and Tricks

Wait Lists and what to request…
  1. If an instructor wants to allow students to register freely until the cap is reached and then have a self-managed Wait List:
    1. INSTRUCTIONS: Instructor can log into SSOL prior to registration and toggle the Wait List to self-managed. Information is located here: http://registrar.columbia.edu/content/wait-lists-ssol. Alternatively, if you are managing the Wait List for your department, you can log into SSOL and toggle the setting according to the posted instructions.
  2. If an instructor wants the course to look open in the DOC and force students to join a Wait List even before the cap is reached:
    1. INSTRUCTIONS: Contact your department administrator and ask that the course is blocked to adds on SSOL.
  3. If an instructor wants the course to look full in the DOC and force students to join a Wait List even before the cap is reached:
    1. INSTRUCTIONS: Contact your department administrator

Toggling Between Auto-Fill and Self-Managed Wait Lists

In general, instructors (in accordance with academic departmental procedures) have discretion to manage their own Wait Lists.

For example, to ensure a particular student is admitted to a course, the best option for an instructor using an auto-fill Wait List would be to temporarily change to a self-managed Wait List, using the following steps:

  • Day 1:
    • Switch the Wait List to self-managed.
    • Admit the student from the Wait List.
    • Wait overnight, so that the system captures the changes during the nightly update.
  • Day 2:
    • Check your class roster to confirm the student you admitted is enrolled.
    • If the student is on your roster, you may then change the Wait List back to auto-fill.

Keep in Mind: You can admit specific students to your course without doing anything to the other students on the Wait List. In other words, there’s  no need to use the “deny” option in this case. The “Deny” option is for instructors who want to let students know that there is no possibility that they will be admitted to the course and don’t want to keep them waiting unnecessarily.

The Wait List feature for course registration in SSOL went live for participating schools on the first day of classes of Fall 2013, Tuesday, September 3.