Graduation deadline looms for seniors

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Students clad in graduation caps and robes are more than six months way, but a deadline looms close.

The deadline for Dixie State University students graduating with a bachelor’s degree next spring is Nov. 1. Although the process consists of numerous steps, completing the application process can motivate students to make the final push toward receiving a degree.

Students hoping to graduate next spring have a few options to begin the application process. The page www.dixie.edu/graduation includes links to a graduation audit page, which confirms students have met degree requirements; to an online graduation application; and to a search where students can find the adviser for their disciplines. 

Hanna Rahilly, theater lecturer and adviser, said she suggests theater students meet with her twice a semester. By doing so, they keep their goals in mind, so by the time the graduation deadline approaches, these students have already prepared themselves.       

After completing a degree audit, passing all their required classes, and signing paperwork, Rahilly said students not only know what they must do to graduate, but also continue to work hard. 

The fact students must apply for a bachelor’s degree more than a semester before graduation day is actually beneficial, she said.

“It’s good because the graduation paperwork, which they sign when I finish it, is like a contract that says: ‘I will do all this,’” Rahilly said.

However, coordinating graduation with part-time jobs and other academic endeavors in advance can also create problems if students aren’t fully prepared.

Madison Morrell, academic advisement general education adviser and a recent DSU graduate, said if students haven’t met with an adviser in the past, they may reach numerous hurdles that impede their progress to graduate when they first intended. Departments offer some classes once a year; degree catalogues change, making classes that were once required for programs in the past insignificant. When students face these dilemmas, their plans can change—even making them wait for the sounds of “Pomp and Circumstance Marches” a year later.

“Students can tell [the adviser] their plan and then have them double-check it, so if anything goes wrong or classes are cancelled, they can help rearrange [a] schedule,” Morrell said.

Along with mismanaging class schedules, students who hold jobs struggle to graduate when anticipated, Rahilly said.

“It is really tricky, especially if the student is working,” she said. “That’s the trickiest part; students who aren’t working tend to graduate in four years.”

Rahilly said while applying for graduation can seem daunting, since the four or five-year road to completing a degree is a difficult one, it lets students breathe easily before wrapping up their work. Students who apply for graduation rarely fall short of graduating, she said.