Grad cap

It’s a year before your graduation date. You have reached 90 hours on your degree plan. You may be feeling the pressure and anxiety of graduating. So what is your next step? Well, if you have reached the 90 hours mark, chances are your advisor has placed a hold on your degree plan but don’t worry–this is strictly protocol.

Advisors are available to help in the best way possible and they can help alleviate any anxiety you may be feeling regarding graduation. Advisors place a hold so that you can go speak to them about graduation. They want to meet with you and make sure you are on the right track.

Senior management major, Jamaal Hollingsworth, has been working hard and has stayed on top of all his work since the beginning of his UTSA career. He is part of the Business Scholars Program and has interned at four different locations and is graduating with honors. Hollingsworth explains that he has always been an ambitious person and being involved in the Business Scholars Program has greatly prepared him for graduation. As a result, he is not feeling any kind of anxiety, just excitement.

Some students know exactly what they are going to do after graduation, while other students are still unsure. Chemistry major, Evin Eiteljorge, contemplates whether to continue onto graduate school or simply find a job. This uncertainty causes some anxiety for Eiteljorge. He knows that as time closes in on him, a decision must be made. Transitioning from school to a full-time job also makes Eiteljorge nervous. Eiteljorge states that he is excited, but nervous about graduating.

Academic advisors advise that you come in at least once a semester to check your graduation status. Applying for graduation is done online through ASAP. If you plan to graduate in May, the deadline to register is in November, and if you plan to graduate in December, the deadline is in April. Application deadlines are crucial for graduation. All applications must undergo a three-step degree audit process that begins the semester before graduation.

The first degree audit is done prior to your last semester. Once applications are submitted through ASAP, the applications are distributed to their corresponding advisors and colleges. Advisors then check to see if all requirements are met, such as required courses for each degree plan and, the use of the correct catalogue. The degree audit is then sent to the Graduation Coordination Office, which reviews degree plans. The degree plans at both the offices must match before continuing with the graduation process.

The second degree audit is processed during your last semester. The process is done through your advisors to check your current status. They make sure you are taking all necessary courses to complete your degree. If you are missing any courses your advisor will contact you.

“Our goal is to help students be successful,” business advisor Amy Ramirez said. Advisors focus on helping each student succeed in his or her future. Ramirez also mentions that the College of Business places advisors outside the Advising Center, located in the Business Building to speak to any students with questions.

All advisors do their best to reach out to students, but there are rare occasions when a student may feel flustered and angry. College of Science advisor, Lauren West, describes that in these situations, it’s just basic customer service. “We are here to listen to your concerns and we want you leaving feeling better about the situation,” West said.

Finally, the last degree audit takes place after your last semester. The final part of your degree audit ensures that all classes are passed and any holds have been removed.

Although the process can be long and tedious, most students don’t know how much time and energy goes into the auditing process. English major, Jesus Moncada, will be graduating in May of 2012 and has not yet applied for graduation. He stated that he is trying not to think of it because it feels so far away. But after learning about the graduation process, he admits he is definitely anxious about it. “I’m excited that I’ll be graduating, but I still don’t know where I will be working or if I can find a job,” Moncada said. “That is probably one of the reasons why I am trying not to think of it because I know I will get very nervous.”

Advisors need as much time as possible to process the large number applications received each semester. With all this assistance, students have less to worry about and feel less anxious, but advisors can’t do this on their own. So keep an eye on your status and help advisors ensure your success.

 

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