Students responsible for own graduation

Accepting responsibility is tough.

Students’ grievances with academic advisers are not a new problem. This year, as in past years, there will be plenty of students upset at advisers for providing misleading information.

It is frustrating when a student is given bad information by an authoritative figure. But betting all your chips on the word of an adviser is a dangerous strategy. You never know when you might have a problem with transfer credits, a change in requirements or any number of glitches the adviser failed to notice.

Since students usually have different experiences with advisers, being self-reliant is the best plan.

All students should learn to generate and read their Degree Audit Reports. Recently, the layout of the report was improved, and is simple enough for any student to understand. Students should check their DARS often, at least at the beginning and end of each semester. Failing to do so is like trusting the bank to tell you how much money you have, or hoping your credit score is doing fine without ever checking it. You would never do that, and you should never let your graduation status rely on an adviser’s counsel.

Advisers should be used, but students should be personally prepared. Instead of expecting an adviser to outline every detail, advising sessions should be used to answer specific questions. It is students, not advisers, who need to educate themselves on their requirements and ensure they are met.

It would be great if every adviser gave flawless advice to every student. But advisers will make mistakes, and blindsided students suffer the consequences. Students need to stop expecting advisers to lead them to commencement by the hand, and instead take personal responsibility for their own timely graduation.

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