Graduation Stresses

SC Staff Writer

Students who plan on graduating this year have recently been wondering what their requirements are for graduation. No emails or letters have been sent out to let intending graduates know what they are expected to do for the upcoming year.

According to Millie Casillas, ESU’s Student Enrollment Counselor/Degree Auditor Specialist, an online version of the application is underway with no fee charge, but students should still apply using the paper format, which states what the deadlines are for each semester’s intent to graduate.

The deadline for May graduates is November 1. The deadline for August graduates is February 1. The December graduates have had an extension on their applying, but should have submitted their forms by last April.  Applications should be signed by an advisor and then submitted to Millie at Enrollment Services.

Usually for August graduates, there are at least three hundred; December graduates, five hundred; and for the May graduation, at least a thousand students walking!

For those who intend to graduate in any of these ceremonies, meeting with advisors is the key component as every student should meet the 120 credit requirement or more, depending on their major, which includes the 50 credit hours in the general education section, 42 semester credit hours of advanced level coursework, along with the 30 credit hours of the three hundred level courses making all of this add up to 120 credits or more, depending on what a student’s requirement is with their major. Students can also look up this information on ESU’s website.

On a higher note, Casillas has mentioned that the Graduation Services Team is working on trying to send out an email to students who are registered, that have eighty-five credits or more, alerting them when they should start planning on applying for graduation. Also, the Graduation Festival is held every semester about a month before graduation.

“The Graduation Festival is when students can pick up their caps and gowns, class rings, tickets, and their cords for honors,” Casillas mentions.

This year, the Graduation Festival for December graduates will be held on November 4, 2013, from 11 AM to 6 PM at the University Bookstore while the festival for the May graduates will be held on Monday, April 7, 2013, at the same time, but the location is subject to change.

Unfortunately, there will be students who will not be able to graduate when they planned to and that occurs when there are incompletes on a student’s record or if they have not met the 2.0 or higher GPA average. Those students will have to reapply if this is not fixed within a timely fashion.

According to Casillas, problems may occur when there are placeholders, such as students who have been studying abroad. When they come back their transcripts are not always received.

Despite all the stress, there still comes the enjoyment of the graduation ceremony that students dream about all year long, and is worth the wait.

What advice can fellow professors give to those who wish to participate in the ceremony come December or May and about what happens after graduation?

“Graduations are important,” says English professor, Jeffery Hotz. “They represent moving forward in life, which is why graduation is called ‘Commencement.’ These students have accomplished a goal against the odds.”

Cynthia Leenerts, another English professor, says the ceremony is her favorite part. She also mentions that if students wish to attend graduate school afterwards, they should look into schools they wish to go to during their senior year.

Leenerts says, “If students wish to stay with their Bachelor’s Degree and go into the working world, they should become comfortable with interviews and being asked repeated questions, especially the stressful ones.”

Janice Selving, who teaches Workplace Writing this semester—which is a required class  for those majoring in English, Hotel Management and Public History—says that it’s “incredibly useful to the writing world and the writing consists of concise writing in cover letters, resumes, email writing, and memos.”

This type of work gives a student’s piece of writing a certain warmth and personality, and become aware of who their audience is.

Dr. Nancy VanArsdale, the Department Chair of English, says that the graduation ceremony is always a moving and meaningful event, and she always encourages students to meet with their advisors several times during their junior and senior years to make sure all their requirements are being met.

Students have a lot to look forward to this year, but the ceremony and what comes afterwards is only the beginning.

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