Graduates Experience Diploma Delay

by Edna Chukwuemeka
news editor

May 11, 2013, Millsaps seniors threw up their caps in celebration of their graduation. However some only recently received their diplomas due to incomplete senior requirements. Whether due to unfufilled course requirements, incomplete writing portfolios or a late final declaration of major, affected seniors are eager to complete their requirements.

Graduated senior Timothy White recently received his diploma, four months after graduation due to an incomplete writing portfolio. “I knew it was supposed to be turned in, but I didn’t know it was that important.” He admits to receiving reminder emails but says they were lost in the blur of senior year. Writing Center Director Anita DeRouen comments, “Last year was the worst year, mainly because we didn’t have anyone help with contacting seniors [with incomplete portfolios] … [As a result] quite a few seniors delayed in getting in their writing portfolio.”

Last year, the department filled the open office position to help with contacting the seniors. The department has also implemented a portfolio-reading committee to evaluate all the papers, instead of one person assessing them as was done previously. “We’ve also made it impossible to register for the spring semester of senior year if you haven’t turned in everything,” adds DeRouen.

Unfufilled course requirements affected another second-year senior who wishes to remain anonymous. He didn’t necessarily feel that his advisor identified all the classes he should have taken towards his major, although he confesses he is a procrastinator. As a result of not taking the classes, he has exhausted his four years of
financial aid.

Lack of time after changing disciplines impinged upon Shante Morton, 2013 graduate, receiving her diploma after graduation. “I decided that I wanted to be a neuroscience major my junior year because nothing else caught my eye,” she says. Morton’s freshman year academic advisor recommended a couple of classes she should take, although she felt that “It was easy to just take the classes and forget the
bigger picture.”

Debora Mann, biology department head says, “Most, if not all, the students in our department graduate on time. We have a department checklist of classes students should take.” She added, “The only problems that arise [are] when a student leaves a challenging class for spring semester of senior year, like calculus…”

Advisors and other faculty stress the importance of students taking both initiative and responsibility and planning ahead. Try to learn courses ahead of time. Students who have experienced the hindrances agree—-: take initiative and meet advisors, talk with faculty, drop only necessary courses, and ask questions to avoid the diploma delay.