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Two classes short for Spring graduation... what I can do?

ConfusedBugConfusedBug Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
edited March 2017 in Parents Forum
I am studying at a community college for my Graphic Design associate. I met with my adviser every quarter to makes sure things go on track and he came up with an academic plan for me for the last two quarter and I followed the plan.
Last month, I applied for graduation only to get denied with a note that I am missing two classes:

1. These two classes were NOT listed by my adviser (who is also my instructor for most classes I took for the past two years) and last year, if I remember correctly, the graduation office did not list them as required either.

2. I must graduation with a degree in Spring because I am on F-1 Visa and cannot pay to stay for another one year just to complete two classes. I am required to take at least 12 credits a quarter and these two classes are only offered in one quarter. I cannot take two quarters off in a row.

3. This puts a pause to my OPT process and my job searching and soooo... many other plans.

4. I addressed my degree checklist twice to my adviser and he signed on it.

5. My credits number is over 100 by spring so number is not the matter.

Replies to: Two classes short for Spring graduation... what I can do?

  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 15,095 Senior Member
    You need to set up a meeting with the advisor and the department denying your graduation. Find out what the problem is as maybe the advisor was counting other classes as meeting the requirements for the ones missing, maybe there was a change to the requirements and you are under the old system? Maybe you can take these course online? Maybe they can figure out a way to get them in by the end of this semester?

    There is no one answer to solve this problem, but it is unlikely they are going to give you a diploma if you haven't completed the requirements. A friend applied for graduation and like you got a denial (over a weekend, so panic was extended). Turns out she applied as a recreation major (BS) and a history major (BA). She hadn't completed the requirements for the BA so he just received the BS.
  • inthegardeninthegarden Registered User Posts: 675 Member
    Have you talked to your adviser about this problem since you were notified? I wonder, since this person bears a good deal of responsibility, if he/she can negotiate a solution with the college (however, I don't know if this is possible.) But by all means, notify the advisor ASAP!

    Were the missing classes clearly spelled out in writing in some form by your college? Are they new requirements, and you and the advisor somehow missed the communication?

    Could you somehow take the classes this summer and extend the visa for a couple of months (I admit, I have no idea how the visa works...)
  • inthegardeninthegarden Registered User Posts: 675 Member
    ^ Oh, now I see that these classes are not offered in the summer.

    Do you have any documentation of the plans you made with your advisor...anything the advisor signed off on or e-mailed to you...perhaps these can be used to negotiate a solution with the school. Can you talk to the dean as well?

    Anyone else (more knowledgeable than me) have anything to offer here?
  • ConfusedBugConfusedBug Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    Hello, yes, i do have the academic plan he came up for me as well as the degree checklist complete and signed by him. Visa is not the problem but I can't pay for another one year in college right now. Nothing is really spelled out unfortunately. We have the curriculum guide which seems to change every time I look at it online. I notified my adviser right away and set up an appointment. He seemed to be confused. We met every quarter so it's kinda hard to believe such miscommunication is possible.
  • inthegardeninthegarden Registered User Posts: 675 Member
    edited March 2017
    I imagine the advisor is really feeling it now . I hope (if the curriculum is really that changeable) something can be worked out. Just brainstorming...but as @twoinanddone said, maybe an online course could satisfy the requirement? Or is there another comparable course in the summer (or from another school...either in the U.S. or your own country) that the school would accept? (After all, many college students do study-abroad programs or exchanges with other schools.) Are the courses in graphic design, or are they general ed courses?
  • my-3-sonsmy-3-sons Registered User Posts: 2,802 Senior Member
    Can any of the classes be satisfied by passing a CLEP test?
  • ConfusedBugConfusedBug Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    @my-3-sons No, sadly, these are Graphic design classes :<
  • ConfusedBugConfusedBug Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    @inthegarden I worked with closely as my fund is tight and im already struggling to pay for one last quarter. I couldnt believe we could make this type of mistake and they took one whole month to notify me. There is no comparable class. I did take other two graphic design classes that are not required, one of them is an internship. This mistake costs me dearly :((
  • inthegardeninthegarden Registered User Posts: 675 Member
    I am so sorry this happened. In the worst case scenario, could you go home, get any job to save money, come back to the US in a year (or whenever the courses are offered ) to finish your degree? I know that would mean taking twelve credit-hours, though...maybe you could take some additional classes that would be practical to you (like business or programming classes, for example?)
  • blprofblprof Registered User Posts: 743 Member
    It may be possible for you to change your major to a general liberal arts major and just get your degree. What you get your associate's degree in is not always significant. (Sometimes it is, but usually not). You can then pick up the two graphic design classes if you continue with a bachelor's or perhaps while you are working. Or maybe you won't need them at all in your career.

    Aside from that I echo the advice above that you need to sit down with your department chair. The chair often has the ability to substitute certain classes for others. If you have documentation of what your advisor has beeen telling you, make sure you bring it with you.
  • ConfusedBugConfusedBug Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    I do intend to transfer to a university after an one year internship. I have a scholarship there so finishing things here is crucial. And I cannot understand how my adviser could (if he did) make such a mistake. Going home and coming back is not really an option as it's extremely hard to nowadays. I am hoping that there was a change in the requirement recently and I should not be affected or the school can bypass the classes as there are other unused graphic design class. I will talk to my adviser on Monday :(( and I do have all the documentation also. I dont mind staying for one more year taking other classes but my wallet doesn't allow it. :((
  • inthegardeninthegarden Registered User Posts: 675 Member
    edited March 2017
    Is your scholarship back home contingent on your getting the AA degree?
  • ConfusedBugConfusedBug Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    @inthegarden It's actually a university in Washington and yes they do require it so. I have a one year of OPT (optionl practical training) which requires my completion and it takes 3 months to process.
  • inthegardeninthegarden Registered User Posts: 675 Member
    This really is a predicament. I do so hope that the requirement is a very recent change, that the college will judge that you were given inadequate information and you can be cleared to graduate. (Was the new info about graduation requirements communicated to each student somehow, in a letter, email, and on the college website/catalogue? If the advisor didn't know about his own department, it seems any communication about the change was quite obscure...or else the advisor is pretty disorganized. I would think (from a commonsense stand point, I have no experience in this) that could strengthen your case.

    Is there no way you could begin the OPT while concurrently doing the equivalent classes online or at a different school ...with some help and recommendations from your current school ? I hope the advisor will own some accountability for the mistake and also have the power (along with the dept chair/dean) to negotiate something for you. I know you will not want to come across as whiny or immature, but it might be good to find a dignified way to let them know the facts about the OPT, scholarship, etc. and how much is riding on resolving this. I would think the school would not want to risk a bad reputation for misguiding a student unless the school insists that the final responsibility for scheduling the right coursework lies only with the student. That would be a harsh life lesson...please let us know how it goes!

  • ConfusedBugConfusedBug Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    @inthegarden I really think that is the case here and no, there is no formal information handed to the students. Even the degree audit site on our school website says it's not accurate, the degree guide is a little bit different from whenI first enrolled.

    I am constantly advised to work closely with an adviser since the start and there is only one adviser from my major. I meet with him every quarter for different reasons making sure everything is going on track. OPT requires the graduation confirmation which I was denied and it also requires the degree therefore i really cannot. I meant to take those two classes anyway since I got waived for two other classes but when I went to his office asking him which class I have to take to graduate on time. He did not list the two classes. The lady from the graduation office did not either. When I applied for my graduation last month, one of 2 appeared as required from her email and now both of them.

    So I believe it's either a recent change as they are also working on the degree audit site OR I was given wrong information. I am strongly advised to work with an adviser who gave the plan and signed the checklist.

    I will keep on updating!

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