My Experience with the PLNU Records Office

Tis’ the season folks, it’s that time of year again. Advising appointments, class selection, registration times and with those, a ton of unnecessary stress. At least that’s been the experience for me as I arrange my course load for the spring 2024 semester. 

I am in my fourth year at Point Loma Nazarene University and plan to graduate this spring. Loma has been one of the best experiences of my life, but it certainly hasn’t come without its challenges. One of those stressors has been at the front of my mind all semester long — will I have enough units to graduate? I heard it as an underclassman all the time. The pressure of being a senior and figuring out graduation is wild, but I didn’t realize how true that statement actually was until this semester started.

Coming off the summer, I was pretty stressed about how many units I had left, considering that I am planning to graduate this year. I had an idea of the classes I’d need to take in the spring but it wasn’t until an email from the Records Office telling me that I was ineligible for graduation that I started to panic. They sent me my ‘grad check’ which is a spreadsheet of every class you need to take and have already taken. When mine listed five classes that I knew for a fact I didn’t need, I was concerned.

In the multimedia journalism major, there are two concentrations to pick from: writing or visual storytelling. My concentration is in writing, but the grad check they sent me included the courses required for both a writing and visual storytelling concentration. When I brought this up to the Records Office, the response I got was something of an “Oh, thanks for catching that.” This had me wondering if they were taking the situation seriously, which was more than frustrating considering how important graduating college is to someone’s life. 

I wasn’t too thrilled to be told that I was unable to graduate, especially because it wasn’t true; they were the ones who hadn’t done the proper due diligence. The original grad check I received listed 35 units that I had remaining when in reality that number is 17.  

After fixing that mistake with the Records Office, I noticed another error. The original grad check stated that I needed to take a course that I had already taken, causing me to reignite my panic about not graduating on time. After another back-and-forth, they once again corrected their mistake. But how can this keep happening? And if it’s happening multiple times to me, then who else is it happening to?

This bothers me because if I hadn’t looked into it further and caught these mistakes, I would be under the impression that I am not allowed to graduate and have five classes I need to take when neither of those things are true. I am not sure what adjustments should be made to the procedures of the Records Office but from my experience, they seemed a tad unorganized when it came to having the correct information on my academic record. The Records Office is the place we all trust to keep our academic records updated and correct.

I’d like to see improvements in their diligence and record-keeping.  I recommend making an appointment with Records to verify you are on the right track when it comes to graduating when you want, and from there, be on their butt about it if you want to graduate on time.