Graduation process streamlined for students

Geneseo’s graduation policy underwent a key change in April regarding the number of credits needed to graduate as well as the deadlines for graduation application. According to the Dean of Curriculum and Academic Services Savi Iyer, the new policy went into effect this semester and is intended to make the process of graduation easier for students.

Per the previous graduation policy, students were eligible for participation in May commencement if they completed their degree requirements by December of the previous year, by May of the current year or if they had 16 or fewer credit hours to complete before the following December. According to Iyer, this was problematic for those participating in student teaching programs, which carries approximately 15 credits.

Iyer said that “It was too big of a window.”

The previous policy, Iyer said, lacked specific information regarding student teaching credits, which prompted the Committee on Academic Policies in the College Senate to pass the new policy in April. The new policy was enacted with the assistance of the Student Association and the School of Education.

According to the new official policy, students will qualify for graduation if they complete their degree requirements “by December of the previous calendar year, or will complete them in May or August of the current calendar year.” In short, if a student has met all of their degree requirements apart from student teaching by the application deadline, they are still eligible to walk at commencement.

The decision was not made lightly, Iyer said.

“There is student representation in the Senate,” Iyer said. “[Students] did bring up a counterproposal on the Senate floor. There was a lot of discussion.”

The College Senate is made up of representatives from every academic department, as well as the student and staff senators. Iyer said that the School of Education representation was especially vocal throughout the April meeting. Representatives initially voiced concerns regarding the impact student teaching has on graduation, according to Iyer. In response, Iyer said the policy was modified to address these concerns directly.

“We added another section specifically covering student teaching,” Iyer said. “[It] is explicitly addressed in the policy.”

Iyer also said that the new policy should not hinder any students throughout the process of applying for graduation.

“It’s tighter than the [original] 16-credit window,” Iyer said.

Despite the changes, Iyer discussed the importance of adhering to the application deadline, which is currently set for Oct. 9 of this year. Since it is not absolutely required for college students to graduate within four years, Iyer said that many submit their applications after the deadline due to a lack of planning or understanding of the process.

“Students do extend [their education] beyond four years,” Iyer said. “Some have boyfriends or girlfriends here and want to stay a little longer because of that. Some want to spend another semester studying abroad. So we do need to know when you plan to graduate.”

Although deadlines are important, Iyer said that she maintains flexibility when necessary. She also added that it is important for students to be conscious of their credits and determine when they ought to graduate, saying, “It is important to keep track of requirements.”