Graduation is becoming more of a hassle

Graduation is becoming more of a hassle

by Ashley Finestead

How does one define whether a college student is competent enough for a degree? The answer is easy–require all students pass a portfolio review of their writing before they are allowed to graduate.

The idea of the Writing Competency II portfolio is mind-boggling for any junior or senior attempting to balance a full course-load, a job or internship, various extra-curricular activities and well-deserved Thursday nights at the Zoo.

It seems graduation is becoming more and more of a hassle and all the requirements are proving to be more of a hindrance than an evaluation of one’s worth.

With the requirement, each student is obligated to choose four pieces of his or her writing after the completion of English 102 “or its equivalent,” as well as write a reflective piece explaining how his or her writing skills have developed over the years. In addition, three of the pieces must exceed the 500-word minimum and one piece must be at least 1,500 words.

My conclusion is that the glorious piece of paper with your name on it costs more than the “A” you got on that wonderful psychology paper last year.

You’re going to have to submit the paper again, just to be sure you actually did well enough the first time.

Let us take, for example, a student who takes a class in which he or she spends hours in the library doing research for an analysis paper, only to find that his or her analysis paper–already graded and approved by the professor–is to be analyzed by yet more members of Simpson’s faculty.

Perhaps it is just me, but this seems rather ironic.

A well-educated professor at Simpson gives the student a grade that, while legitimate enough to determine his or her cumulative grade point average at the end of the semester, strangely does not carry enough weight in the decision of whether the student is to receive his or her diploma.

To make matters worse, many students are ill-informed and learning of the competency requirement the second or third year into their college education – perhaps long after they have shredded papers that received good marks.

Had they been notified and encouraged to save all their work, maybe the competency due date would not be such a stressful event for already stressed-out students.

With one more due date this academic year scheduled for March 27, now is the time for those interested in passing the competency before graduation to dig through old, faded folders in search of decent papers.

Faculty suggests submitting the portfolio in one’s sixth or seventh semester, though I can think of many who have decided to wait until his or her final two months before worrying about it.

I am, sadly, one of these students.

In my opinion, graduation should be about graduation. We’ve all taken the classes, we’ve all written the papers and we’ve all studied for the tests.

Why force upon students yet another obligation that will most likely be pushed aside until the very last minute? Why is our hard work not enough the first time around?