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jedikaiti

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Before beginning my career at myschool, I had heard horror stories for years about how necessary capstone or senior year classes weren't available for the final term of someone's undergraduate degree.

After working here for a few years, when I started attending in the undergraduate program, I used this nifty spreadsheet software to plug in classes I needed, when they are offered, and planned out my degree program. I have had to make minor adjustments, but it has worked out well and I haven't had to extend my time in undergrad because of my planning.

Mind you, these resources are available to all students, for free. Free computer usage with the necessary software. Each student can get their customized course plan on their own, then access the schedule for the next year. I would rather spend the few hours on planning than have regrets in the future.

When I started college they told me that some required classes are only offered one semester a year so to keep that in mind when planning classes so you don't end up there a year longer because you can't move on until you take it.

A good friend of mine got bit very badly by that. The required classes for her degree changed the (spring) semester she was graduating so that she was going to need two more classes (something like six credit hours). The first was only offered in the fall, and it was a prereq for the second, which would only be offered in the spring. She wound up having to graduate with a partial degree, and then working toward the remaining credits while trying to find a job that would take her with only partial accreditation. It was a rough couple of years for her.

Every high school senior I've ever talked to, I've told them to find an ally in the advising department and get some help plotting out classes. The one I found at school might very well have been Hermione! She helped me double up almost a semester's worth of credits, and left a lot of room in my schedule my senior year, which saved me money *and* sanity.

I'm surprised she wasn't grandfathered in.  The school I went to changed the requirements for my major partway through, but (after major panicking) we learned that all those who had reached a certain level (I was a junior) would be graduated under the old requirements.

I am surprised by that, too. My degree program was restructured a bit while I was there, but it only applied to those who started the program during or after a given semester.
What part of v_e = \sqrt{\frac{2GM}{r}} don't you understand? It's only rocket science!

"The problem with re-examining your brilliant ideas is that more often than not, you discover they are the intellectual equivalent of saying, 'Hold my beer and watch this!'" - Cindy Couture

ladyknight1

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This might be an urban legend, but I always heard when I was in college that the published catalog that was in effect when you enrolled was a contract between you and the university as far as degree requirements; nothing could be added or changed once you had declared your major.

That is the way it is here. I changed my major in July of 2013, so I am not covered.
ďAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien

Onyx_TKD

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This might be an urban legend, but I always heard when I was in college that the published catalog that was in effect when you enrolled was a contract between you and the university as far as degree requirements; nothing could be added or changed once you had declared your major.

I don't know if it's law or by university policy, but I'm pretty sure my undergraduate university explicitly stated that when I first enrolled. I think at some point, one of the administrators in my department specifically pulled up my enrollment year's catalog to answer a question about my requirements.

Dr. F.

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On the other side of the problem, a faculty member friend of mine had her class rescheduled to a different room in a completely different building in the middle of the semester, without anyone actually telling her. She found out when she showed up to teach, and there was a sign on the door. When she complained to the administration, it turned out that they had notified all of the students, but apparently assumed the teacher would just know somehow.

Katana_Geldar

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No, I've never been bribed and I'd feel obligated to report it if I was. And I don't know what it would do, I still can't make the classes magically appear and I'm only try first step in the process, students need to see payments and data entry after me anyway.

YoginiSaysYes

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I just got off the phone and have my first story for this thread!

My company provides a number of different services, and this guy called asking if we could do something for him that is not possible for us. I explained why, and how much time it would take, and he asked if I knew a company that DID provide this service. (Which is a silly pet peeve of mine, why would I know better than you what companies do what you need? WE DON'T DO IT.) I suggested he maybe find a freelancer on Craig's List, but that was all I could think of.

"Well," he says, "Would YOU do it?"

 :o

No, I'm sorry sir, I'm not going to work for a stranger on the phone, doing something completely outside of my job description and skill set, that will take a gazillion hours. Thanks, but no.

gmatoy

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Another college changing classes for graduation story: I went to a community college and got an AA degree, then transferred to a state university. When accepted to the university, they sent a letter stating that I'd been accepted, that they were allowing X amount of credits to be used toward my 4 year degree, and telling me that I had met my math and science credits, but needed to make sure I got the rest of my language credits.

Fast forward to my senior year, when my advisor tells me I need another class of foreign languages and another math class. I asked her to review the transcripts.

 Okay, she allowed that I had gotten the language after graduating from community college and before coming to the university. I still needed to take the math class, which had been an added requirement.

 I asked when the class had been added and it was the same month as the letter I got telling me that I had taken enough classes already. I asked around and no one could say when the math requirement had been added.

I wrote a request to be grandfathered in and it was given. However, my advisor did not help me in any way to have that happen. It was my DH who told me that I should be able to write a request. ( DH who had graduated 25 years earlier and 3000 miles away! He knew what had been allowed at his university and figured it should be allowed at mine.) Having to get that math class would have meant not getting into my post grad. courses for a full year.

Katana_Geldar

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I'm not exactly sure what students are after when they come to enrollment complaining about lack of choices. They choose their course, they can access information online or through the university itself and see how the course is structured before they even decide to attend at all. Then they arrive and complain about the lack of choices in terms of subjects and the inconvenience of when they are on the timetable. I can't say this to students, but I want to tell them you chose to come here and I can't be blamed for your lack of research. The timetable is what it is and can't be changed. You also decided to come late to enrollment period so it means that there's even fewer choices, even if there were any to begin with.

When I was at university, there was one subject that I simple had to drop out of because of a timetable clash. I wanted to do the subject, the teacher was great but it with an English subject I was doing and to get those I really had to scrape. I spoke to him and explained the situation but there was nothing to be done. In the end, the next semester he ran two lots of lectures at different times so students who had clashes could still attend his classes.

drzim

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This might be an urban legend, but I always heard when I was in college that the published catalog that was in effect when you enrolled was a contract between you and the university as far as degree requirements; nothing could be added or changed once you had declared your major.

This is definitely true at the college where I teach.  In fact, when you officially declare your major/program of study, on the form there is a line that says "catalog year".  You are held to the degree requirements in that specific catalog.

greencat

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In large part, most colleges do stick to your original catalog year when determining when you will graduate.

However, I know a fair number of people (mostly in one department) who had to change their catalog year in order to graduate, because their list of degree requirements included at least one class that was no longer offered, as there were no longer any professors in the department qualified to teach it!

As far as patron requests:
No, the thing you gave us to process after close of business yesterday, during one of the four busiest weeks of the year, is not done yet.  You know as well as I do that our turnaround at this time is at least 2 business days.

My current set of patrons tend to be a lot smarter and more agreeable than they were in my old position :)

Impossible requests from my old position:

Former customers want copies of their records a lot.  Former customers need to either access our online record system using their credentials -OR- physically visit the records department.  This is due to legal restrictions on the release of that information.  Customers are responsible for keeping the records department informed about their current contact information if they want to maintain their electronic access to their records (or keep their password updated.)
1) My department could not reset those passwords through any mechanism different than the one that the customers could access.
2) My department could not make alterations to the former customer contact information.
3) My department could tell you about the form the records department required in order to make those changes.  We did not process that form.  The form had the answer to every single question I was ever asked about how to fill it out printed on the form.

I could not change the requirements of the form.  I could not make the records department process it faster.  I could not just change the information for them.  I could transfer them to the records department; I could not make the records department pick up the phone any faster.

LETitbe

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This might be an urban legend, but I always heard when I was in college that the published catalog that was in effect when you enrolled was a contract between you and the university as far as degree requirements; nothing could be added or changed once you had declared your major.

This is definitely true at the college where I teach.  In fact, when you officially declare your major/program of study, on the form there is a line that says "catalog year".  You are held to the degree requirements in that specific catalog.

Depends on the school. It tends to be true in practice, but not necessarily a rule that schools have to follow. You may have to put up a major stink to be "grandfathered in", and, even then, they may try to work with you to sub things (based on my own experience at one university, and my brother's at another). It seems to depend on who you talk to, and possibly how much enrollment the program has.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2014, 10:52:41 PM by LETitbe »

Ceallach

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This might be an urban legend, but I always heard when I was in college that the published catalog that was in effect when you enrolled was a contract between you and the university as far as degree requirements; nothing could be added or changed once you had declared your major.

This is definitely true at the college where I teach.  In fact, when you officially declare your major/program of study, on the form there is a line that says "catalog year".  You are held to the degree requirements in that specific catalog.

Depends on the school. It tends to be true in practice, but not necessarily a rule that schools have to follow. You may have to put up a major stink to be "grandfathered in", and, even then, they may try to work with you to sub things (based on my own experience at one university, and my brother's at another). It seems to depend on who you talk to, and possibly how much enrollment the program has.

Most I've known have had a cut-off year for completion too, e.g. you must graduate by 2010 under the old requirements, if you are studying past then you must meet the new requirements.   This ensured they weren't stuck trying to offer random courses/units long after they'd become obsolete or been changed, so was better for university planning.    So they have a changeover period to minimise disruption to existing students, but that didn't mean somebody could take a couple of years off and then decide to come back and finish and expect the old requirements to still apply.   Always seemed quite fair to me!    So those enrolling prior to 2008 and graduating prior to 2010 had old requirements, those enrolling after 2008 or studying beyond 2010 had new requirements.   
"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"


LETitbe

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Most I've known have had a cut-off year for completion too, e.g. you must graduate by 2010 under the old requirements, if you are studying past then you must meet the new requirements.   This ensured they weren't stuck trying to offer random courses/units long after they'd become obsolete or been changed, so was better for university planning.    So they have a changeover period to minimise disruption to existing students, but that didn't mean somebody could take a couple of years off and then decide to come back and finish and expect the old requirements to still apply.   Always seemed quite fair to me!    So those enrolling prior to 2008 and graduating prior to 2010 had old requirements, those enrolling after 2008 or studying beyond 2010 had new requirements

This is what my university did. I think it seems fair, too. They changed the program after I enrolled, but I was "grandfathered in". Cool with me!
My brother's university (reluctantly) offered "equivalent" courses/work, which actually didn't teach him what he needed to know. He was a year away from graduating, so it wasn't really worth arguing, but he's unprepared for his field. At least he has the degree, but it feels a bit sketchy for all the money he spent.
I don't think there's actually any regulation on this kind of thing, AFAIK.

Browyn

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The course catalog is very important for a lot of things.  They told us to keep ours (and being very OCD I did) it was great each year I could see which courses I needed, prerequisits, etc.  However many SS in my dorm did not keep theirs and every year many girls would come knocking at my door asking to borrow it to look things up.  I made them use it in my room so it wouldn't disappear.

Several years later when applying to grad school I was able to use it to show the school I was applying to that the statistics course I had taken did meet their requirements based on its description so the credits were accepted.

Ceallach

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The course catalog is very important for a lot of things.  They told us to keep ours (and being very OCD I did) it was great each year I could see which courses I needed, prerequisits, etc.  However many SS in my dorm did not keep theirs and every year many girls would come knocking at my door asking to borrow it to look things up.  I made them use it in my room so it wouldn't disappear.

Several years later when applying to grad school I was able to use it to show the school I was applying to that the statistics course I had taken did meet their requirements based on its description so the credits were accepted.

Which raises the interesting question of how that would be handled these days - my first university back in 2001 was still doing hardcopy syllabus etc, but since then everywhere I've been is all online even when the teaching method is face to face.   In theory if a course was discontinued it would be hard for me to find information should I need it for a credit at another institution.   They certainly wouldnt want a copy of the textbook or anything like that! 
"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"