University disappoints with late graduation requirement notifications

by Erica Oman

We’ve all heard the horror stories. The ones in which someone couldn’t graduate on time because he or she missed a 100-level class or the catalog changed and neither the old nor the new one was completed.

These situations feel like they cannot happen to you because you are the type of person who takes your advising seriously and plans out your schedule meticulously — not for any type of specific times of day because they might be convenient, but in order to make meaningful progress every semester. I know what you are like because I am that person, too, and still I received an email of graduation deficiency April 10. I graduate May 9. The letter of deficiency had to do with the fact I was using an older catalog that nullified a basic computer skills class (CIS125) because the statistics course within both of my majors were incredibly computer intensive. I was well aware of this technicality and the letter of deficiency blindsided me.

Had the degree evaluation I received in November been for nothing? What was I going to tell my future employers since they were asking for proof of graduation in May? Why had I applied for graduation an entire year in advance if UNA could pull the rug out from under me four weeks from my walk across that stage? The panic had really set in.

Thankfully I have a wonderful advisor who had caught the email before me and was well on her way to correcting the mistake.

However, this does not negate the fact that many things hang in the balance when it comes to graduation and UNA has some graduation deficiencies of its own. We are building dormitories in an expectation of massive growth in the student population in the coming years.

If there are so many problems with alerting students of graduation deficiency with the population we have now, how much worse could this problem become before the graduation process commands reasonable amounts of punctuality from both the student and the bureaucratic sides?