Graduation here I come … I hope

Priscilla AguirreBy Priscilla Aguirre


Nobody really explained to me that the process to graduation is just as difficult as registering for classes. It’s maybe even worse.

Everyone has a different experience but mine was not as smooth as others.

In May, I decided to apply for December graduation. I wanted to start the process as early as possible to avoid any roadblocks that could come along. Well, they did.

My adviser hardly helped me throughout my college career. He would e-mail me my PIN to register for classes and that would conclude our relationship.

However, I decided to give him another chance. So, I e-mailed him about my plans for graduation. No response.

After receiving nothing I moved forward and set up an appointment in the Advising Center. Once I went to the meeting, we went over the basics on whether or not I had everything to apply for graduation. I did.

I paid the application fee and all my information went through.

A few weeks later, I received my audit. It wasn’t the audit everyone else received saying, “Congratulations, you are cleared to graduate.” Instead mine said, “I’m sorry, there a few things you do not have.”

Everything was OK. I just needed to get a few things done. There was a number on the e-mail to call if I had any questions. I called that number five times, left two messages and received nothing back.

I decided to just call the registrar’s office so they could transfer me to the person that wasn’t answering my calls. Within two seconds she answered.

We went over my community service hours that didn’t go through. We spoke on how I needed to add a class because one of the courses I was planning on taking got cancelled and how I needed to submit a course substitution form.

My mind was exploding at this point. I was never told about the substitution form and many told me the community service hours from OrgSync would transfer once I applied for graduation. As far as the cancelled course, that was just a coincidence.

I called the Ettling Center for Civic Leadership and they gave me an e-mail for my community service problem. No response. After waiting a week, I went into the office and asked about my problem.

They looked at my account and told me I didn’t have enough. I asked them to look again and it appeared they were in a completely different location. They finally sent a memo to the registrar’s office stating I had all 45 hours.

That was checked off my list.

I then picked up another course for the one being cancelled and turned in the substitution form.

As summer got near the end of June I finally started to feel relaxed because everything was turned in. At least I thought so.

To make sure, I called the number from my audit e-mail. She didn’t answer so I left a voicemail. The next day I received a call that she didn’t receive my substitution form. I informed her I indeed did turn it in. Thirty minutes later, I got a call back that they found it. Yay, I thought. It’s over.

Nope. Turns out since one of my classes was considered a graduate course I had to take another step and turn in an independent study form, a form that required so many signatures.

I met with the professor for the class and he had no objection to signing it. I explained to him I wanted to take a writing course and how it was the only one offered this fall.

The form then required the dean’s signature but she was out of town. I waited a week and hoped to catch her soon.

Eventually I received an e-mail from the professor that the dean would not approve of an undergraduate student taking a graduate-level course, even though the registrar’s office and the professor said I could.

It was the middle of July. I was annoyed, frustrated and hurt. I dropped the only writing course I really wanted and I had to pick up a course not even in my concentration.

I chose Incarnate Word as my choice of school because I expected nothing but the best service. Considering it’s an expensive private school. My adviser doesn’t know my name, I have to call many times for an answer and if that doesn’t work I have to take time out of my work schedule to go to campus.

Here we are in August and I still don’t know if all my ducks are in a row. I have called the number from the audit e-mail so many times I’ve already given up.

Partially, this is my fault. I should have asked more questions to my setbacks. But I do feel the services here at UIW should be easier to get in contact with.

So welcome incoming freshmen, returning and transfer students. Ask questions, do things early and fight for your success. Hopefully, your road to graduation is not as rough as mine was.


E-mail Aguirre at


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