Beginning in fall 2022, the School of Industrial and Labor Relations implemented a new form of pre-enrollment where students are automatically enrolled in their core class requirements. The system is part of ILR’s new curriculum that will apply to all students who joined ILR in fall 2022 and beyond, including all current freshmen and sophomore transfer students in the school.
This means that the Office of Student Services chooses lecture and discussion times, as well as the professors that students get. Even if a student would like to make adjustments to these pre-assigned core classes, such as changing their discussion times, students were told by OSS that they are no longer allowed to do so.
Because of this lack of flexibility in choosing the specifics of core classes, some students who planned out their schedules before coming to Cornell dislike the new system.
“Before coming to the school I had a very particular plan on what core classes I would be taking for each semester,” said Adam Senzon ’26. “I had planned it out perfectly; I knew which professors taught better for macroeconomics, but instead I got a different one.”
If students are enrolled in specific lecture or discussion times that overlap with another course they would like to take, they are no longer able to enroll in that alternative course.
“Personally, there have been several elective courses I’ve wanted to take this semester, and sign up for next semester, that I simply haven’t been able to because the time [or] day they are offered intersects with pre-enrolled classes,” said Shoshannah Odinyayeva ’26.
While Sydney Cagner ’26 agrees that the new system doesn’t allow students to craft their own schedules exactly how they want, she sees some benefits of the new pre-enrollment system.
“I do like the ILR pre-enroll process because it makes it easier for students,” Cagner said. “While it can be annoying when I don’t get the class time I want, I am sure that everyone wants similar times and there are just not enough classes for everyone to get the times they want.”
The new system was created to ensure that all ILR students can access their core requirements and graduate on time. This is especially important given that the ILR curriculum now features new required courses such as Introduction to Psychology of Work, Introduction to Sociology of Work and Introduction to Industrial Labor Relations.
“I think the intention of the system was to ensure students can fulfill their core requirements and I think the Office of Student Services has succeeded in doing so. This process alleviates the stress of having to enroll yourself in all your core requirements,” said Claudia Azevedo ’25.
This new pre-enrollment system also differs from other colleges at Cornell, and some ILR students believe that their peers in other schools are better able to make schedules fine-tuned to their individual academic interests.
“I think students in other colleges at Cornell have an easier time making their schedules, which I have seen firsthand through my friends,” Odinyayeva said. “They have lists of requirements they have to meet, just like we do, but they have a lot more autonomy over when to fill those requirements during their four years at Cornell.”
Looking forward, students would like to see some changes that allow for more adaptability based on what courses they want to take. For example, Alexia Uriarte ’26 thinks the school could allow for changes to which sections students are enrolled in instead of getting rid of the system altogether.
“Being able to swap discussion times with other people would be great,” Uriarte said. “We can keep the system, but the school should continue to improve it; we can always improve things to fit the needs of students.”