By Farhin Lilywala
With enrollment now open for all students, graduation is a topic that is on the minds of many students.
In order to graduate from the college, a student must meet a certain set of requirements.
“There are catalog requirements and standard requirements for graduation that all students that wish to graduate need to meet,” said Leslie Quinn, college registrar. “Although, I do believe that students sometimes leave without completing them, because they do not really understand that it is very meaningful to have an associate degree in your pocket so that if you need to go out and get a job along the way to completing your final goal, you at least have that as a backup.”
Many students agree that completing their two years at the college, graduating, and then transferring is the best possible solution for them.
“I want to go to KU for its teaching program after graduating with my associate’s degree from JuCo,” said Skylar Cushenbery, student. “I want to complete my two years here because it is cheaper, and it is a good jumping off point.”
In terms of how to complete those two years, the standard requirements are the same for all, but the catalog requirements depend on your major.
For the standard, as listed on the college’s website, an associate degree calls for 15 credit hours earned at the college. For an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree, a student must complete an approved cultural diversity course. For certificates, a student must complete a minimum of 50 percent of the required course work at the college. Graduates must also have earned both a 2.0 grade point average at the college and have a cumulative 2.0 or better on all completed course work. Last, students must have been enrolled at the college within two years of the semester in which they wish to graduate, one of the requirements, according to Quinn, that allows more leniency in the guidelines than other colleges.
In order to determine the specific catalog requirements, the rules are as follows: students who are continuously enrolled at JCCC will maintain their catalog of record. However, students who miss two consecutive regular semesters (excluding summers) will follow the catalog in effect at the time of re-entry. Also, when the college discontinues a degree or certificate program, students who have already declared their intent to graduate in the program will be allowed a limited amount of time to complete the requirements as long as continuous enrollment is maintained.
Additional students may not declare a major that has been discontinued.
The college has an Educational Affairs committee to choose these requirements, comprised of faculty representatives from cross-sections across campus, who control the courses and curriculum.
However, it has been debated whether these regulations are too strictly enforced upon students for them to receive their degrees or certificates.
“I plan on transferring to another school for dental hygiene, probably UMKC,” said Jane Heinen, student. “It’s harder to meet the requirements here than at UMKC; it’s more difficult to get into the program here.”
Nevertheless, the college believes its strict standards make the final diploma or certificate worth something.
“The committee and faculty believe that a college degree or certificate is something very meaningful, and it’s intended to represent that we are authenticating that you, as a student, have learned this body of knowledge,” Quinn said. “So it is very important that we be very rigorous in those standards and make sure that our certificates and degrees that students can earn really mean something. And that is why we are very careful about monitoring and overseeing the courses and curriculum through that faculty-led committee because the degrees should be a reflection of what we, the faculty, believe students need to learn in order to earn that credential.”
For more information about graduation, visit http://www.jccc.edu/records/ graduation/index.html.
Contact Farhin Lilywala, news editor, at email@example.com.