Calling for Change in Diploma Structure

Photo Credit: ESU Flickr

Veronica Ruoff

Social Media Manager

By this time every year, the seniors start getting antsy. The day is coming—the one you thought would never happen, the one you couldn’t wait for, or the day you’re dreading: Graduation.

Graduation means something different to every student. It may mean it is time to move home. It may mean it is time to find your own place. It could mean job searching or starting a new job. Each scenario is different but all will result in a change of some kind.

Upon the arrival of Graduation Day, however, one thing’s for certain. Something about our lives will be changing forever. After being made aware of the documents that are about to be presented to us, though, I am also certain of another fact- our diplomas should also undergo a change of their own.

If you have never seen a diploma from ESU or looked closely at one, you would be surprised to find out that they don’t read as you may have thought they would. Instead of your major being on the piece of paper, they read “College of… (insert whatever college you are a part of is.)” I understand that our majors act as a certain grouping system within the different colleges that are all a part of the university, but shouldn’t your diploma be customized to what you are receiving a degree in? In my experience- as I am sure many others can relate to, one of the first questions anyone asks you when you meet them is “What is your major?” The majors we choose to spend our time in college studying are indicative of our future goals and can often paint a picture as to what the interests and talents are of the individual you are speaking with. You need to list your major or job applications and resumes. So why, then, would they not be explicitly listed on our diplomas?

As a first-generation student, I think it is important that this needs to be addressed. You spend so much time, money and energy on earning your specific degree, only for the diploma to fail to outline the very subject area you spent so many countless hours working toward. Because I am the first one in my family to have earned a college degree, it is important to me that the certificate I am earning highlights the career path I have chosen to follow for the rest of my life. My diploma is something I hope to proudly display and keep for the rest of my life. I would hope that it will depict my area of study.

Even though other schools follow the same format on their diplomas as ESU does, I think that there needs to be a change. We are never asked what college we are in throughout the four years we spend attending classes and gaining valuable experience. We are asked what our majors, minors, and concentrations are. This fact should be reflected on the diplomas so many of us are eagerly awaiting.