BY THE CONCORD STAFF
After managing nearly four years of papers, exams and scheduling conflicts, it would seem that applying for graduation would be among the easier tasks for students completing their undergraduate careers. Although, during Bellarmine’s first full semester utilizing One Bellarmine, the graduation audit process has proved to be a challenge for staff and a struggle for students.
In the Spring 2016 semester, students intending to graduate in the spring 2017 semester were required to apply for graduation by filling out a form at the registrar’s office, roughly one year prior to their graduation.
According to Bellarmine alum Kayla Stephenson, who graduated in 2016, students who graduated in May 2016 received their audits in early August of their senior year with plenty of time to adjust their schedules and meet requirements before graduation.
This semester, Bellarmine students reported that they had not received confirmation well into October, well past the add/drop deadline for the fall 2016 semester.
On Oct. 20, 2016, Bellarmine registrar Ann Olsen confirmed this in an email to Bellarmine students which explained that Bellarmine staff have been working on a significant project, converting to Bellarmine’s new administrative computing system.
The system’s implementation has prevented the registrar’s office from completing graduation audits for seniors within the usual timeframe, but with good reason.
“I want to make sure that we get solid groundwork in place so we are dead on, 100 percent. This fall has been the most challenging and it will get better from here,” Olsen said.
Many students said they did not receive an email containing the results of their audit or did not know that they needed to access One Bellarmine to view their audits. However, other students, like senior Lauren Troxell, found the process to be straightforward.
“They didn’t email mine or anything but it’s really easy to look it up and it literally lists the major courses you have left and the minor courses. It was super helpful to me. It popped up like three days after I applied, you just have to go look for it on one.bellarmine,” Troxell said.
While it is frustrating that audits were completed later than expected, students are still accountable for knowing what classes they need to take and communicating with their advisers throughout their undergraduate career, not just during the year they plan to graduate.
Olsen recommended that students print out the required courses for their given major(s) and/or minor(s), which can be found at Bellarmine’s official website, and manually check off what they have currently completed.
“The online evaluation is just the icing on the cake. It’s just an extra tool to make things more convenient,” Olsen said.
The registrar’s office reported that, at this time, the majority of students are now able to access their audits at One Bellarmine by following the instructions sent to them by email. Students are still responsible for making arrangements with the registrar’s office to make any necessary corrections.
“Don’t tweet it, come and tell me. Come to me and let’s talk. Let’s figure out what the issue is,” Olsen said.
Students with concerns should contact Olsen directly and set up a meeting so she can ensure everyone intending to graduate is able to. Students who intend to graduate in the Spring 2017 semester who have not yet applied are still eligible but should do so as soon as possible.
Ann Olsen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.