COMING TO TERMS
SENIOR STANDING, GRADUATING SENIORS, GRADUATION CANDIDATES
A “senior” standing only means that you have completed enough hours to be labeled “senior.” In this same way, you are labeled a “graduation candidate” rather than a graduating senior. Graduation candidates may or may not successfully complete the semester’s work in order to participate in that semester’s commencement activities. It is not unusual for graduation candidates to return to school for another semester to complete course work for various reasons.
So be practical to avoid disappointment. You do not have a “graduation year” or “graduation class” until after your passing grades are in at the end of the semester in which you filed a form for possible graduation.
“Graduating seniors” are those people who have finished their last semester and who have been cleared for graduation. Before that, you are a “graduation candidate.”
The information on these pages will help you get through your final semester as a graduation candidate here at Nicholls State University. There are other sites on the Nicholls homepage that are designed to help you with career choices and the world that awaits you. Be sure to check these out: Career Services
If successfully completing the courses you are taking in any particular semester will mean that you have finished all of your curriculum requirements at the university, you are said to be eligible for graduation that semester.
Remember, students who become graduation candidates sometimes fail to complete their course work, which means that they have to reapply for graduation next semester. The possibility that you will pass the courses that complete your requirements makes you “eligible for graduation.” Signing the proper forms makes you an official graduation candidate. Neither of these conditions, however, means that you are graduating.
Becoming an Official Graduation Candidate
You will probably find out when you will be eligible to graduate from your advisor. You and your advisor will determine the semester in which you need to fill out the forms that will make you an official graduation candidate. This form is called an “Application for Graduation” and is part of your Graduation Packet.
Your Graduation Packet can be picked up in the Office of General Studies. But before you receive the packet, you must sit down with your advisor once more to make sure that your coursework for that semester will clear you for graduation. This final graduation check by your advisor will allow you to receive the Graduation Packet.
Graduate Day and the Final Advisor Graduation Check
The University sponsors a Graduate Day for all students who have a schedule that makes it possible for them to complete degree requirements during the current semester. Attending Graduate Day will ensure that you meet with your General Studies advisor for that final graduation check. But Graduate Day is more than just a time to complete your check, it is a day of activities that are meant to honor you for your accomplishments. And graduating, as you now know, is an accomplishment of the first order. Graduate Day is designed to make it easy for you to prepare for graduation. If you are employed, we are suggesting that you make arrangements with your employer so that you can attend this day set aside for you.
One of the features of Graduate Day is a “graduates only” reception hosted by the Alumni Federation. The festive reception will feature delicious food and drink, door prizes, and a special memento. At that time, you will turn in your cap and gown order and pay for it with cash, check, or credit card. You will also be able to turn in your graduation application if your degree fee has been paid.
Those students who miss Graduate day can still schedule an appointment with their advisor to get the final graduation check and a Graduation Packet. These students should be sure to consult the current Bulletin for deadlines regarding graduation packets, forms, and fees. (Link to Graduate Day pages or Bulletin pages concerning graduation candidates.) Please call the office of General Studies (985-448-4459 or 985-448-4432) if you have questions.
Other Requirements Seniors Should Be Aware Of: There are two requirements that seniors should be aware of with regard to completing graduation requirements. One is participation in University General Education Assessment. The other is the successful completion of the General Studies capstone course, GENS 410.
General Education Assessment
Throughout their undergraduate career, students take a general education competency test before graduation. Test results are used solely for program evaluation and student cooperation is required. Students registered in IDST 405 or 410 must participate in general education assessment as a requirement for passing the course. Please speak with your advisor about this very important requirement.
The Required Interdisciplinary Studies Capstone Course: IDST 405 or 410
All General Studies students are required to take the Interdisciplinary Studies senior capstone courses: IDST 405 or 410. A capstone course is a course that requires students to demonstrate and document skills and knowledge associated with completion of their major. In IDST 405 0r 410, students will demonstrate their academic and professional accomplishments through the development of an academic portfolio that may be used as a career portfolio upon graduation. Students will also explore what opportunities their degree will open for them, not only in terms of careers but also graduate study and other professional certification opportunities. The courses are taught every semester, usually online, and have limited seating. See your advisor about entering this required course.