AC advisers offer advice for spring graduates

Photo by Kelsey Pruett
Jonathan Silva and Anthony Thornton, dual credit students at Highland Park high School study in a dual credit government class.

Many students preparing for graduation at the end of the spring semester might be wondering what they can do now to get ready.

“Rest,” said Brenda Walsh, a language, communication and fine arts adviser. “You have about five weeks of vacation. Use this time to rest from school.”

Walsh said many students like to work additional hours during the break, but she said they always should remember to make rest a priority.

In addition to rest, students should check that they will meet all the requirements for graduation. Meeting with an adviser is the first step. An adviser can determine whether the requirements may include things like a substitution form or a transcript from another institution.

Meeting with an adviser also allows students to verify that they are greenlighted and able to register for spring classes before they fill up.

Some students already have begun the process.

“I just changed my major and registered for my classes online,” said business administration major Megan Barnett. Now I’m searching on Facebook and Chegg or anywhere online to try and find my books cheaper to save some money for next semester.”

Students who receive financial aid or have a scholarship also should check to see whether there is anything required to receive the aid, advisers said.

Advisers also said preparation for finals shouldn’t be put off until the last minute.

“Start studying for finals today,” said adviser Donna Pergram. “Create a full calendar with all assignments and due dates, final exam schedule, which can also include work schedule, study plan and personal items.”

Students who plan to transfer should inquire about transfer checklists from the university they plan to attend and as soon as possible, contact that university.

Representatives of universities come to AC to provide transfer information.

Students also can find information for contacting an adviser or admissions officer on the school website,

Deadlines for applications for admission and scholarships typically start the December before the fall semester when a student plans to transfer.

Walsh said the AskAC desk can help with sending transcripts to other schools.

“This needs to be done without the final semester on it, because schools will still need to see your testing and academic status up to this point to process your file and get you ready for advising,” Walsh explained.

If all the steps are completed during the break or the beginning of the semester, the only thing left is new student orientation and getting approved for registration at the new school.

For students going straight into the work force, advisers said, applying for jobs is the first thing that should be done.

While some employers allow students to work while finishing their degree, a current resume should be ready in case any jobs open up in their field.

“I remember applying for a job once, and it was four months before they did interviews, so the spring semester isn’t too early to begin looking,” Walsh said.

AC has a Career and Employment Services office that can help with creating a resume, dressing for success and job searches.

The office offers resume writing workshops, mock interview sessions and a clothing closet for those who may not have interview-appropriate attire.

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