A cautionary tale: students should check – and double check – degree progress

After registering for what was supposed to be her last semester, Samantha Agate, 21, checked her Degreeworks online page to monitor her degree progress. Each box for her requirements was checked off except for one – and that sent her into panic.

Agate, a media major with a concentration in journalism, noticed her Mobile Journalism class (MEDPL 387) read on Degreeworks as an elective, leaving her major requirements unfulfilled.

“I’m scared I won’t graduate on time because Degreeworks tells me I have not met the requirements for my major even though I know I have,” Agate said. “Regardless of what advisors tell you, it’s up to you to figure everything out for yourself, which is overwhelming.”

Agate learned a lesson that even the college administration recommends students learn early, especially if they want to avoid any technical glitches before graduation. Students should be sure to check and double check Degreeworks, and then also consult with advisors along the way.

“Degreeworks is an external platform used by the college, but the data is supplied by Hunter faculty and staff,” said a Hunter spokesperson. “Students who identify potential errors on Degreeworks should report those concerns to their advisor or — if their advisor is not available — to the Director of Advising. “That direct outreach will ensure that the issue is investigated quickly and that any errors can be corrected in a timely way.”

Degreeworks is a personalized page that allows students to follow their progress towards their degree. When a course is listed incorrectly, as with Agate, the student must navigate school channels to have it corrected.  Emmy Adamczyk, a senior, recently got a warning note from a degree auditor saying she was short two credits to graduate. One of her classes for spring had been cancelled, but before she could register for another, the system was already sending a warning.

After going back and forth between advisors and auditors for a week, she finally had the issue straighten out. But the experience has left her wary.

“I was just upset at the whole situation because of the unnecessary confusion,” said Adamczyk. “I’m still going to send an email to my advisor just in case because I don’t want them to suddenly tell me that I won’t have enough credits.”

Provided on the Hunter College advising page is a general explainer on graduation requirements for the institution. However, the issues students have while applying to graduate remains in the details and are really student-by-student problems.

General academic advisors remain a valuable go-to source for students so they can check their status on graduation requirements. Advisors, however, can only help read off requirements needed from Degreeworks the same way the students already can — and cannot fix online discrepancies without going to H.C. Notes, the administrators who control Degreeworks and class designations.

“We know that navigating those requirements can be complex, and that’s why we encourage students to meet regularly with advisors to review their academic plan,” said the spokesperson “We especially urge students who are uncertain about their requirements to schedule a meeting.”

“The process itself to graduate is very fairly easy — all you have to do is click a couple of buttons,” said Agate. “However, the headache that comes with the idea of being denied graduation because of some administrative errors looms in my mind frequently.”

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