The Student Newspaper of Highline College

Resources offered for students struggling with new registration system

Samuel Watson Staff Reporter Feb 25, 2021

Amid Highline’s recent transition to ctcLink, students are trying to familiarize themselves with the new registration process for Spring Quarter.

The official switch to the new system on Feb. 16 was fraught with confusion, with a few students not even aware of ctcLink until several weeks ago.

With the new system now in full swing, students must quickly learn how to navigate the site and figure out new ways of completing formerly familiar tasks, like registering for classes or viewing their registration access time. (The latter has been renamed and is now called an “enrollment date.”)

Highline student Mary Belay said she thinks the system change was unnecessary, and only increased the stress of being a full-time college student during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s frustrating that we’ve had to transition to an entirely new system because I was already comfortable with the old one,” she said. “I’ve been at Highline for two years now, and never had an issue with the old system. It’s even worse that we’re having to make this transition during a pandemic, because it’s just another issue we need to worry about while already undergoing so much stress.”

To try to make the transition easier, college officials spent the weeks leading up to the launch scrambling to provide students with video tutorials and detailed instructions for navigating ctcLink.

Though she hasn’t been able to register yet, Belay said that her attempts to understand the process haven’t been successful.

“It’s been confusing,” she said. “With all the additional steps and new and unfamiliar terms, registration has become a hassle. It’s more complex than before. The last process was very straightforward and easy to figure out, while this new system makes it difficult for even the most experienced students.”

More advance notice about the transition would’ve been nice too, she said.

“Instead of having students rush to figure everything out right before Spring Quarter class registration, they could have started sharing information during the beginning of the school year,” Belay said. “That way, at least we would’ve had more time to become comfortable with this new system.”

Highline did send all students an email last November alerting them of the upcoming change to ctcLink, though it didn’t include any explanation of how registration would work or what the system would look like.

Though she would’ve liked more time to learn the ins and outs of ctcLink, Belay said she appreciates all the resources Highline is offering students now.

At a “Get ctcLinked! – Registration Demo” Zoom session on Feb. 18, college officials explained the process students should take when registering.

First, they said, students should activate their ctcLink account. This will need to happen before you can do anything else. A video tutorial for how to do this can be found here

After this, students should check their enrollment date, formerly known as a registration access time.

To do this, students should log in to their ctcLink account, go to their student homepage, click on the “Manage Classes” tile, and then click the left tab titled “Enrollment Dates.” More detailed instructions can be found in a video tutorial here.

Once you’ve figured out your enrollment date, you can begin browsing classes. This is best done on the mobile-friendly version of ctcLink, college officials said, located at 

Upon visiting this site, students should click the “ctcLink Login” tile, log in, then navigate to the tab labeled “Enrollment.” 

There will be several options that pop up, but you’ll want to click the option titled “Shopping Cart.” This will allow you to view the courses offered for the quarter, and narrow your search by department, class time, type, and many other things.

Step-by-step video tutorials for this, as well as how to register for classes once you’ve decided on the ones you want to take, can be found here.

Registration for Spring Quarter begins today, Feb. 25 for international students, veterans, students in the TRiO program, and several other groups. More current students will be able to register as of March 1. 

To view a list of FAQs about ctcLink, click here.

For technical support with ctcLink, email or call the ITS Help Desk at or 206-592-4357.

If you are still experiencing any confusion when attempting to register for Spring Quarter, contact or click here.