Dear Ms. Aguirre,
First, congratulations on your pending graduation. This is a significant milestone for you and we congratulate you on your accomplishments.
I would like to respond to a few of your comments posted in the (“Back to School 2016” edition, Page 6) to help you and other students understand the graduation application process and know how we respond when you apply to graduate.
Once undergraduate students reach 80 semester hours, the Registrar’s Office sends them a graduation packet, which contains information about degree requirements, deadlines, and other important information students need to apply to graduate. We also notify the students’ advisers that their advisees should soon apply to graduate. Students should meet with their advisers and then apply to graduate online through Bannerweb.
The Registrar’s Office receives a weekly report identifying those students that applied to graduate and from that point on, Registrar’s Office personnel monitor the students’ record in preparation of conferring the degree. When students are in their final semester, they receive e-mail messages from the Registrar’s Office frequently to inform them about graduation requirements, commencement information, and diploma delivery. It is very important that students monitor their UIW e-mail account, especially after they apply to graduate.
You received your graduation audit 13 days after you applied to graduate. You indicated in your article that you called your graduation auditor five times and left two messages and received no return call from the Registrar’s Office. Our records indicate you called the Registrar’s Office on May 12, 2016, after you received your graduation audit, and that we returned your call on May 13, 2016, and discussed your graduation deficiencies with you at that time. There were no other messages left from you. We have no idea that you called if you do not leave a message.
You and your primary and secondary advisers ran several CAPP audits, the online degree audit program, so it appears that you and they were aware of the tool and were monitoring your progress. The new degree audit system, Degree Works, is much easier to read and understand but in either case, we encourage students to review their degree audits every semester.
In your closing paragraph, you suggested students “ask questions, do things early, and fight for your success.” These are sound suggestions. However, I would like to add a few suggestions from the perspective of the Registrar’s Office. Apply to graduate by the deadline — it allows us time to help you resolve problems and you avoid penalty fees. Run your degree audit every semester — the new Degree Works tool is much easier to read than CAPP and a very helpful tool. Meet with your adviser every semester — don’t meet by phone or e-mail but in person to review your degree progress. Respond to every call or e-mail sent to you from the Registrar’s Office or any other office — you are not our pen pal; we are trying to help you solve a problem.
Always leave a voicemail if you call the Registrar’s Office, or any office, and the person does not answer. We keep a record of our voicemail messages. You may also send us an e-mail. If you do not receive a response within 48 hours, contact the main Registrar’s Office – (210) 829-6006 — to inquire if the person you are trying to reach is out of the office.
Best wishes for a very successful semester. Please let me know how the Registrar’s Office can help you and other students reach this significant milestone without the stress you described.
Dr. Bobbye G. Fry
Editor’s Note: Dr. Bobbye Fry, registrar for the University of the Incarnate Word, responds to Logos Assistant Editor Priscilla Aguirre’s column in the newspaper’s Back-to-School edition.