Beware college students - count carefully!

<p>My D, a senior at one of CCs top 20 LACs, was JUST told that she is two classes short for graduation. All through sophomore and junior years she specifically asked several sources and was told that she was on track. It's possible for her to carry one extra class in the spring, but of course the registrar informed her of this problem just past the cutoff for picking up another class for the fall so she will not be able to walk with her class.</p>

<p>My advice to all college students is to find out where you stand, get it in writing each semester and don't depend on any one advisor's "understanding" of the requirements.</p>

<p>I would call the Dean (or have DD talk to the dean of students) and ask if there is a way that she can add a class this late in the semester. They should be able to provide an exception for her in this instance. Get pushy. This shouldn't have happened and someone (your daughter? the regitrar? the advisor?) dropped the ball.</p>

<p>I wouldn't think being one class short would keep her from walking with her class. I was one class short and I walked with my class as 'degree anticipated' and then I took the class at the local public university to get the credit and get the diploma.</p>

<p>Did her advisor sign anything when she asked if she was on track? If so, it should be possible to convince the school to waive the one credit. I would push to find a way to get this credit during the school year. Maybe online from your state U, or some other source cheaper than part-time at a top 20 LAC.</p>

<p>It is not right that the requirements for graduation are so cryptic that a college senior cannot determine on her own where she stands.</p>

<p>Are they allowing her to graduate with the requirements that were in place when she started, or did they change the requirements since she has been there?</p>

<p>Thanks all!</p>

<p>anxiousmom - D spoke with the dean today. She had set up a heavy load for this semester and really feels she would compromise the classes she already is enrolled in to try to have to do start a 5th class this far into the semester. Had she been informed in the spring, when they DID notice the problem, but ASSUMED (their words) she was going to take an extra semester, she would have set up her summer and her senior year completely differently. She may be able to get credit for some summer work she had done (she did a program that she really wanted to do without pre-approving credit for it because she thought she didn't need it) or take a class this summer (with pre-approval, of course) at a school close to home to finish her degree. But you're right - the ball was dropped and bounced a few times.</p>

<p>jude - they'll let her be on stage and participate in all of the other activities throughout the weekend, but won't call her name. I will mention the "degree anticipated" language tho - I like that!</p>

<p>dragon - to my knowledge noone signed off on anything - but the online idea sounds interesting - we will look into that</p>

<p>midwest - indeed - it's cryptic because it's not really a "credit" system, it's a number of classes system and they only counted 2 of her 6 or 7 AP classes. The requirements are the same as when she started, but hearing it frosh year was a long time ago!</p>

<p>Does her school have a intersession, wintersession where she can pick up the credit? </p>

<p>Would hse be able to do an intersession, wintersession, mini session at another school?</p>

<p>is it possible to do the work as an independent study?</p>

<p>Is it possible to take a course at night at the local college/university?</p>

<p>You know, sometimes the credits for graduation are VERY complicated. DS's "Engineering Checklist" is four pages long outlining different categories and subcategories of courses to fulfill degree requirements. </p>

<p>Some are simple:"n" credits in humanities, "m" credits in social sciences. Some are way more complicated wrt Engineering courses of the Select "x" from Column A, "y" from Column B, "z" from Column C; "x-2" from Column A must be Labs; "y-3" from Column B must be Labs; Total of Labs from Columns A, B and C must be greater than "t".... Courses blah blah in Column A can also count for Column B requirements if blah, blah, blah....</p>

<p>You get the idea. It's not rocket science, but it <em>would</em> be easy to misinterpret.</p>

<p>Anyway, at another Engineering School where his bff goes, they perform a "Degree Audit" early in Fall term of Senior Year... to provide, in effect, a second opinion that the student can rely on of where any credit deficits exist.</p>

<p>I wish all schools had this.</p>

<p>Just a rant.</p>

<p>Ha, ha. No, I am not laughing at the situation. Brings back memories. H nearly did not graduate. One lousy credit short. Was able to enroll in a two credit seminar type class mid term really after the add/drops were over. He graduated with honors from a top school, went on to a top MBA program, is a mathematician, and could not count up the credits needed to graduate!</p>

<p>syb - thanks - we've talked up most of those options - D seems to be making lemonade at this point - she's looking forward to taking a class next semester that she wouldn't have otherwise and has made tentative plans with friend at a large university about the summer option (she got a lot done in addition to meeting with registrars and deans and taking her classes during the few business hours between 4 PM Friday and 8 PM Monday)</p>

<p>jmmom - the degree audit makes a lot of sense - and one would think that at a small, expensive LAC something like that would be in place (actually there sort of is - as I said above, the registrar checks in the spring of junior year - but doesn't inform the student). and it's not just a rant - that's how we CCers learn</p>

<p>cpt - love it! these are the stories we'll tell for years</p>

<p>Could she take a community college class online and get the credit transferred in? The class in senior year might be an issue, but maybe they would be willing to work it out since they did not advise as well as they could have and you are paying the big bucks for that advisement.</p>

<p>Really really I am not bragging, but Berkeley girl today found out she could graduate in December if she wanted- she has been so diligent in making sure she followed the rules that she is "done" early- and she took the minmium units required each term and no summer school except to make up a campus req most kids get in HS. So, it can be done, even at the UCs. She is staying in and taking classes for the enjoyment of them, and hoping to bump her BCMP GPA for med school apps</p>

<p>My good friend didn't realize she had not graduated until 6 years after she walked. She figured her diploma had been sent to her parents and never cared to see it. She only realized it when she requested a transcript as she was interested in getting an MBA. She had also been active in the Alumni organization, winning an award.</p>

<p>She took a class at a CC, and got her diploma a year later. None of her previous employers bothered to check.</p>

<p>Whoa, trojanchick99, that sounds like dreams I've had, and I'm 30+ years post Ph.D. Or so I thought.</p>

<p>trojanchick, many colleges consider you an alumni if you were ever enrolled and attended classes. I have a friend who transferred after freshman year; she still gets "alumni" mailings from her frosh year school. But to not realize or be informed that you didn't graduate... wow. </p>

<p>Gusaspara, why would the college registrar bother to do the credit audit and then NOT inform the student of the results? Seems like a waste of time! If you're not going to tell the student the results, why bother?</p>

<p>lafalum - I, of course agree - the registrar told me on the phone on Friday that she ASSUMED that D was going to take an extra semester - and you know the old line about what "assume" means.</p>

<p>My goal is for my kids to have great educations - this experience is all part of it and if it takes her an extra six weeks to get her degree, she'll have an extra classes worth of knowledge. In the grand scheme of things...</p>

<p>This is an excellent piece of advice. Students have to be responsible for meeting all the requirements for their degree, however complex they may be. S2s school has made it clear that, although each student has an advisor, he/she is responsible for meeting all the degree requirements for his/her particular program--not someone else's. </p>

<p>When I taught at a small college, faculty advised students who majored in their area. Obviously, some were better advisors than others, some were more opinionated than others, but most of them were quite familiar with the degree requirements in their dept.</p>

<p>At the large state university where H & I work now, advisors are civil service employees with little or no academic training. I'm not even sure they are required to have college degrees themselves. They use the cookie cutter approach to everything, and anyone who does anything the least bit out of the ordinary really upsets their ordered world. </p>

<p>Since there are 4 years to see these things coming, all students should keep on top of their requirements and especially as they begin registering for senior year. I always told my advisees to have a plan for the full 4 years. It might not always work out, but it kept them looking at the target. And if they replaced one requirement with something else, they could immediately look to see where it could be reinserted.</p>

<p>So, Tango, I am thinking you must work at Berkeley, based on responses to my DDs less then cookie cutter approach</p>

<p>Berkeley would be a great place to work. Unfortunately, I'm completely in another area of the country and at a pretty low prestige institution except for a couple of subject areas and an occasional sports team!</p>

<p>My Dad quit college in April of his Senior year to enlist in the Army. (Things were not going well at that time in WWII.) My Mom had a fit when she realized some 40 years later that she had married a college drop-out. She thought the college had waived some requirements so he could leave college a month or so early.</p>

<p>One of my neighbor kids ran into a similar situation. He was able to work things out with the Dean to take a on line course from another university over the Christmas break to allow him to walk on time. </p>

<p>I suppose it depends upon what class is missing. If it is just a matter of units, a film appreciation class or a PE class would be another way to make things up. If it is a specific course requirement that is missing, that is much more difficult.</p>