By Caroline Ryan
Last fall, undergraduate students were informed that even if they entered LIU Post in a 129 credit degree program, they could choose to graduate with either the 129 credits or 120 credits. This switch sounded like it should have been easy. Yet, it has been proven quite a struggle for me. The biggest problem lies within the advisors. During my almost three and a half years at Post, I have had three different Promise Coaches.
Each year, these coaches meet with students to help them register for classes. Students really need to be on top of their game when registering for classes, since, in my experience, the Promise Coaches are almost always new and don’t fully know the courses or requirements for the various majors. So what exactly are these Promise Coaches promising? That I’m not exactly sure.
I made the decision to switch to the 120 credit degree so I could devote more time to the Pioneer, my senior project, and finding a job after graduation. Switching to the 120 credits would mean less classes for my senior year with the same degree, less stress and a weight off my shoulders. But it has so far proven to be more stressful, not less.
Finding out my degree audit didn’t show up correctly online was the first problem; getting it fixed required going to the Promise office multiple times. After being told different things by different promise coaches and being more confused than ever, at the suggestion of the chairperson of my department, I headed to Kumble Hall for an official degree audit. After waiting for 45 minutes for someone to look over my degree audit, I still wasn’t provided with the answer I needed. I was told that someone would call me to go over my degree audit, but four days later, that phone call never arrived. I took it upon myself to reach out to the director of the Promise Office. I was told to make yet another appointment later in the week.
Finally, after two weeks of frustration, the chairperson of my department reached out to Kaitlin Seewald, the assistant registrar and coordinator for academic standing, and she was able to provide me with the information I needed all along – thank you!
Encouraging students to switch to the 120 credit degree without fully giving the administrators and staff who would be helping students the tools or understanding they needed to make this change was a mistake.
LIU Post prides itself on having these Promise Coach Advisors to help students in their journey through school, but, at least in my case, they have made it more difficult by being unreliable. It would have been much easier and much less stressful had I been assigned, throughout my college years, one promise coach who was familiar with my major and degree requirements. This type of program has the potential to be a valuable resource for students, but needs to be handled in a more organized way, with perhaps a bit more training.
As of today, I am on track to graduate with my class on May 11. I may have a countdown written on my phone because I’m so excited to see what the future will hold for me after graduation.