By Nicole Valdes
Barry students are all acquainted with the same fear — the fear of not graduating on time with their friends or not being able to go through with their plans right away after graduation.
Sadly, many students who desire to earn a diploma in four years have been unaware of certain surprises on their transcript just when they think it’s time to leave school forever.
Barry seniors, particularly, have received these scares, citing their advisors never warned them about classes and credits they had to complete before their last year at Barry.
The identities of these students will be kept anonymous for fear of backlash from their advisors.
A communication and media studies major in his senior year stated that there have been common core courses he has needed to take since the beginning of college but was never informed about them.
“I didn’t know that I had to take a mandatory math course until my senior year, my advisor never added it as part of my academics since the beginning, and now two semesters before graduating I have to take math,” he said.
Additionally, a business student who is now a senior this semester expressed that her advisor wasn’t keeping track of the specific courses she should have been taking.
So, she took matters into her own hands and chose to switch advisors before it was too late.
Several students who have opened up about this particular issue have stated that their advisors did not do an adequate job on guiding them and it caused them either stress or the fear of staying an extra semester.
A psychology major, who is currently a senior, is one Barry student who has had to stay an additional semester at Barry due to what she calls a “misunderstanding about credits.”
“I had to take two classes and pay out of pocket, causing me more debt than the one I’m already in,” she said.
She cites that the misunderstanding is currently costing her $9,300 even though she is only taking nine credits instead of the normal full-time load of 15 credits.
Although this is not the case for every student on campus, there are several seniors who have experienced this sort of turbulence just before graduating.
Dr. Elisa Giordano is the founding director of the Center for Academic Success and Advising (CASA) at Barry, which is a center located in Garner Hall that supports student success by delivering services to first-year students on advising, academic tutoring and academic support.
She cautions freshman students to start keeping track of their own academics to avoid this sort of turbulence. She said they can start by reviewing the catalog based on their major before meeting with their advisor to choose the specific classes needed as well as to keep an academic connection with their advisors from the very start.
“Students should stay a semester or two ahead of their degree plan,” said Giordano.
This is a preventative way for students to avoid staying behind an extra semester for credits that have not been completed, she said.
Professor Mahen Saverimuttu, an advisor within the communication department, underscores her advice.
He suggests that students take control of their own program of study by visiting Web Advisor where students are able to view and control their academic success, helping them keep track of the 120 credits they need to graduate.