Every semester, a graduation commencement ceremony takes place. Seniors are ready to finally close the doors on their university years, but are they ready to graduate?
At Ferris, graduation is a technical and detail-oriented process that must be completed with accuracy before students can walk across the stage.
Because of how much there is to remember and check off, students can at times be lost in what needs to be done.
Jennifer Stevens, an administrative assistant to the dean of enrollment services and commencement coordinator, receives many questions about the graduation process from students.
“The [questions] that we primarily get [are] ‘When do we apply? Do we have to apply?’ because a lot of them focus on their MyDegree,” Stevens said. “In order for us, as a university, to process the graduation, they actually have to have an online graduation application completed.”
Applying for graduation is typically done two to three semesters prior to students completing their requirements for their degree or certificate.
Students also have the option to apply to graduate, specifically to attend and walk at commencement, even though some of their course requirements might not be completed just yet.
“For the commencement purposes, students can select ‘Yes’ to walk because we have some that will be off-campus for clinicals, internships [or] practicums…and won’t be back on the main campus. We have allowed them, if they apply at the beginning, to walk a little early before the requirements for their degree.”
Stevens says the commencement ceremony is more of a celebration of students’ accomplishments versus the degree they have earned once all requirements have been met.
James Prince, a television and digital media production senior, says he will be able to attend commencement and walk this May, but he won’t receive his diploma until his internship requirement is met.
“With TDMP, you don’t graduate until six months after you’ve actually walked at commencement,” Prince said. “It’s because we need to do our six-month internship. The reason they do that is so that you have that experience of working at a company, getting to know the environment and getting to know the culture.”
It can be a long process to obtain a diploma for those whose program requires them to have an internship after they have finished their classes.
Graduating at the university level can be more like checking off a list than simply walking across a stage, smiling and receiving a diploma holder.
At Ferris, there are multiple steps a senior must take in order to be ready to not only walk during the ceremony, but also to ensure they get their degree.
According to Prince, students should be checking if they have all their required classes finished by the time they apply to graduate.
“There might be students that might think that they have all their classes done,” Prince said. “Then they find out that they need to take this one class.”
Prince says students should be trying to find individuals, such as academic advisors, who can clear them for graduation, as it becomes difficult to process any part of a student’s application when classes are uncredited.
After a student’s classes have been completed and an application has been submitted to graduate and attend commencement, there is still more for a student to keep track of.
Connor Jubnville, a business administration senior, says after a student has submitted their application, they should continue to speak with their academic advisor and check MyFSU regularly to see if there have been any changes.
“You’re not going to know what’s happening unless you go and check,” Jubnville said. “They’re not going to tell you…”
According to Jubnville, it takes six weeks for a student’s graduation application to be processed. During this process, three different people check the application to see if everything is correct.
If it is, students will then receive multiple emails informing them on how they can get their cap, gown and tickets, when the ceremony is scheduled and everything else.
When senior year begins, students will want to stay in close contact with their academic advisors, check their MyFSU and My Degree and keep track of what is left to do as to not miss anything and potentially have to delay graduating.