Miscommunications jeopardize graduation

Nicole Bennett


For many seniors, June 1 will mean a cap, gown and diploma, but others will have to wait.

Several students will not have the required number of credits to graduate this spring, not an uncommon situation.

“By spring of our senior year, our advisers should have verified (with us) long ago that we had taken care of the necessary credit issues,” senior Steph Model said.

Model will graduate on time in June.

Seniors are advised to fill out an intent to graduate form the spring before their graduation year.

“I thought the Wildcat roundup was a nice touch to verify we were all on track to graduate,” Model said. “However, it is an issue that should have been resolved much sooner than halfway through the last semester.”

Registrar Eileen Bourassa reviews all intent to graduate forms during the summer and checks each student’s academic evaluation.

The next step is to check the registration schedule for the next term, plus any summer classes, and add them to the student’s transcript. This produces the graduation status review, which checks all major and minor  requirements, Linfield Curriculum credits, math proficiency and paracurricular classes. Bourassa recommends students meet with their advisers when filling out forms and making      class changes.

“The best advice I can give students is to check their program evaluation and not take too many paracurriculars,” Bourassa said. “That is the most common mistake I see students make every year.”

Not many students are aware only eight paracurricular credits count toward graduation, Bourassa said. Students are allowed to take as many paracurricular classes as they want, but only four credits from any one department may               be applied.

Bourassa said students encountering a problem have many options, depending on the number of credits they need. She asks what happened and decides what can be done to fix it.

Last-minute options to fulfill credits include internships, receiving more credit for a past internship, petitioning for independent study with a professor, paracurricular classes—if you have less than eight credits—and petitioning for a class taken previously.

Petitions for past class credits need the professor and department chair’s consent before they are sent to the academic support committee, and is decided whether credit will                   be given.

Bourassa said some students will try to turn in a program evaluation one week before graduation. Although it is acceptable, students run an extra risk.

“We have tried to make the process easy to follow because we want to help,” Bourassa said. “That is what we are here for. We want students to graduate.”

If students are having problems this year, Bourassa recommends making an appointment to see her immediately. For future seniors, turn in the evaluation one year in advance and check in with your adviser early and often.

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