Things I Wish My Advisor Told Me Before Senior Year

By Faith Parker
The acronym ESU is supposed to stand for East Stroudsburg University, but many of the students at ESU refer to it as the Extra Semester University. Why has ESU taken on such a negative meaning for the students that go there? What has caused the creation of this new acronym? The answer is the lack of advising given to students.
Every semester you can hear students talking about how they aren’t going to graduate on time because of something their advisor didn’t tell them until it was too late. Here’s a list of the things that I wish my advisor would have let me know before I was about to enter my senior year of college.
There is one rule that is clearly stated in the student handbook (the handbook that almost no student actually reads) that is detrimental to graduating. The rule is that every student must have taken at least ten courses that at the three hundred level or higher in order to graduate. This is a rule that many advisors assume their students know, but they don’t. There are various three hundred level general education courses that can help you fulfill multiple requirements at once, but it is important to know this rule before your senior year.
Another handbook rule that students are rarely informed about is that your last thirty credits must be taken at ESU. This includes general education requirements. No matter what course it is, you cannot go home to your local community college over break to take a class if it is one of your last thirty credits. If you find yourself in this pickle, you can go speak to the chair of the department of the class you still need to take and see if they will override this rule. You’ll then have to go to the dean of your major and see if he will allow this class to be taken outside of ESU. During this process you have to use one of the cards similar to the old “Add/Drop” cards. Once you have filled the card out and obtained the two mentioned signatures, you can drop the card off at enrollment services.
Lastly, there is a form located in Zimbar Hall at Enrollment Services that is called an “Intent to Graduate” form. No one is going to tell you that you have to fill this form out, and they definitely won’t let you know that it has to be filled out and turned in almost a whole semester before you plan on graduating. This form is used to notify your advisor to make sure that all of your course requirements have been completed. Most of the time Enrollment Services will allow you to hand this form in all the way up until the first few weeks of the semester you plan to graduate in, but knowing early allows you to adjust your schedule to get all the courses you need in.

I think it is time for ESU to designate staff that are there strictly to help you graduate on time. I don’t know if advisors are just unaware of certain University rules or they just don’t care enough to warn us about them before it’s too late. It might be the fact that they just don’t have time to advise students in between grading papers, but either way it isn’t fair to the students. Students don’t have the time or the money to be hanging out at ESU for five extra months just to take one or two courses.