Early course planning helps ensure graduation

NW Staff

With course registration for the Fall 2012 semester beginning this Friday, many students face a similar problem; there is a conflict with course times or prerequisites that pushes students off of their path to graduation.

For many of these issues, all a student would have needed was a little planning. Northern Michigan University has resources for this purpose, such as assigned academic advisers or staff members at the Academic and Career Advising Center.

These resources help students pave the way to graduation, with a little wiggle room for conflicts. If students are not putting in the effort and planning their schedules ahead of time, it’s often their own fault if they’re stuck in school for an additional year or two.

Some students, however, take all of the precautionary steps and still run into a clashing schedule. When this happens, there is typically no solution besides returning the following semester or, if the class is not offered so often, waiting even longer.

According to the College Results Online, only 16.1 percent of Northern Michigan University students graduate in four years, whereas 38.1 percent graduate in five years and 45.5 percent in six years.

Of course, there are other reasons students stay past the desired four years, including changing majors and taking lighter class loads.

Regardless, with ample proof that students have regularly visited their advisers and kept on track toward graduation, academic departments at NMU should be more lenient in order to help students graduate on time.

This could mean letting a few extra students into a required class without drastically changing the class dynamic. Departments could also offer a different class as a replacement for a requirement, especially if understaffing is a problem.

Of course, it would be chaotic if this was offered for every student. There would have to be a specific procedure for such an exception to be made, but it would help students graduate in four years with motivation to progress into a career.

Students who are able to register for the course they wish to and graduate in a timely fashion will remember their experience with Northern Michigan University more fondly than those who take the right steps only to pay a few extra thousand dollars for an extra semester or more.