Humboldt State University
Letter from Humboldt
March 2010

Hello Humboldt families! We hope this newsletter helps keep you involved with your student's experience at Humboldt State.

Go Graduation

Desiree Perez

Many people still think of college as a four-year process. The reality is that for today's students, it usually takes longer than that. When it comes to graduating from a university, five or six years is the new four – but there are ways to graduate as early as possible.

Even with high school AP credits, I started my fifth year of college when I transferred to HSU in August. However, I found a couple of ways to push up my graduation. I'll take advantage of HSU’s policy of allowing seniors to walk before all credits are completed. That way, I’ll have something to celebrate this spring, and after completing a few required courses in the fall, I'll be an official HSU grad.

Another thing I did: I dropped my minor and opted for an "area of study" instead. This way, instead of having to follow the course requirements for a film minor, all I have to do is accrue 12 credits in film studies. Even better, I can use my film classes from community college to meet those requirements.

I'm also making my upper division General Education (GE) classes do double duty. Students have to take a certain number of GE units at HSU, and we also have to take Diversity and Common Ground (DCG) units. But a lot of those overlap. I made sure at least one of my GE classes was also a DCG course.

I asked Hillary Dashiell, HSU's Registrar, for more tips for streamlining the journey to graduation:

  • "First and foremost would be for students to figure out with their advisers which classes are offered at which times," she says. Some required classes may only be offered once a year.
  • "Ask to take a look at your student's Major Degree Audit." Also known as a DARS (Degree Audit Report for Students), this report spells out which requirements your student has to fulfill to graduate. Students can access it online through the Student Center.
  • "Ask your students how they're doing during the semester." Keep an eye out for patterns. Does your student overload on difficult courses and end up having to drop them? Does he or she take electives that don't count toward the major? Talking about which classes your student chooses and why can help him or her make better choices.
  • "Apply for graduation two to three semesters early." The Registrar's Office will do a degree check once your student has applied for graduation. This will turn up any snags that might stand between your student and a diploma.
  • "Finally, if your student feels like they're not making progress toward graduation, she or he should take advantage of the services on campus." If your student is struggling, encourage meetings with the Registrar's Office, the Advising Center or a Transfer and Graduation Counselor.
  • It's exciting to think about caps and gowns, diplomas and the whole graduation whirlwind. But even though I've done all I can to graduate from HSU on time, I'll definitely miss it once I'm gone.

    Desiree PerezAbout the editor – Desiree Perez is from Corona, Calif., and is a Journalism major with a concentration in Broadcast and an area of study in Film. She is a student writer with HSU Marketing & Communications and Assistant Coordinator of the Graduation Pledge Alliance. She wants to be a documentary filmmaker before she grows up.

    Overheard this month on the family network »

    "My daughter and I stayed at Hotel Arcata twice now and enjoyed both stays, and the HSU special rates as well. Overlooking the town plaza, it is a historic building, and is now also locally owned and operated by Big Lagoon Rancheria, a local Native American group. I already have reservations for August."

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    HSU Commencement 2009
    HSU Commencement 2009

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