Students Lost Navigating Help Desk Services

By Denali Norton



As City College transfers back to in-person learning, Help Desk registration services for students are offered both virtually and in-person, but some students still slip through the cracks.


In-person enrollment and registration services are being offered at all of the campuses across City College during varying hours. In the virtual world there are Zoom assistance services offered in the form of a virtual help desk found on City College’s website from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.


The new students weaving their way through the City College registration system over the summer have run into a few problems. With all sections of English 1A filling up two weeks before the semester even begins, students have been facing challenges and confusion while trying to register for the class.


First time City College student Ruby Huff said, “I had registered online for three classes, two online and one in person, though once the semester started it seemed that my two online ones didn’t exist, they never showed up on my Canvas page.”


When visiting the in-person registration center at the Ocean Campus a week into the semester, it was very quiet with only two or three people in line waiting to register.  It seemed the business of registration has died down for the semester.


Although in-person services were quiet, a portion of City College’s classes were still online as well as their outreach services such as the Help Desk that seemed to be under some very heavy traffic, possibly because of the virtual convenience of calling from home.


“I’ve seen the virtual Help Desk get more use from credit students than our in-person services,” said Dean of Enrollment Services Meg Hudson.


For students who live further away from City College campus and utilize online classes, virtual services are vital to their success. Along with being able to use virtual features in Zoom such as screen sharing, virtual help desks seem to be the preferred option for many  City College students.


“On the phone it tells you if you’re the next one, but on zoom it’s kind of like the waiting game. But they do answer eventually as long as you’re calling within the times where they’re open,” said first time City College student Eldrige Allen Camacho.


Students expressed their frustration around the confusion of registering for classes with the slow response time from virtual services making it even more difficult. Some help came after the start of classes. For Huff that meant missing the first day of classes because of not understanding the Ram Portal system and how to access help.


“I went in person to try and get some help with registration, but it was so confusing and then it took a week for someone to get back to me when I emailed with questions about registration,” said Huff.

As City College has not completely gone back to in-person classes its student support services are in an in-person, virtual limbo as well. Some students are getting the help they need, but not all as some are left with questions about classes as the fall semester begins.


“We do have outreach for our registration services that help get students registered for classes and connect them to other helpful student services,” said Hudson.

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