Parkland event aimed at educating students about degree completion

Photo by David Saveanu | Student Services employees Abbi Nowak and Melissa Rodriguez in front of the Degree Completion Day display case in the X-wing.

Photo by David Saveanu | Student Services employees Abbi Nowak and Melissa Rodriguez in front of the Degree Completion Day display case in the X-wing.

David Saveanu

Staff Writer

On Wednesday, Feb. 22 from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Parkland will be holding its Degree Completion Day, hoping to educate students on the process of finishing their degrees with Parkland and what comes after.

Parkland College wanted to bring more attention to degree completion, and help students graduate. It will be hosted by Parkland Credentials Analysts Dennis Kaczor and Beth Chepan, and the rest of Student Services.

Student Services coordinated the event to help students better understand the process of graduation, and help solve a lot of misconceptions students have regarding degree completion.

“A lot of kids think that they graduate automatically,” Kaczor said, which is problematic since some Parkland students do not correctly follow protocol and are left without degrees.

Many students often “wonder where their degree is,” explained Kaczor, and it’s because “they never petitioned to graduate.”

Students go on advertising that they have a degree on college applications, job applications, and resumes, when in actuality they do not have a degree. A lot of students will have invested their time into a degree, but because of a lack of information on the subject, they fail to petition for their degree.

Students often contact Parkland because “they have all the course work” for the degrees they invested time into, but never received their degrees.

Kaczor wanted to change this, saying “we want to teach students to find out how close they are.”

He organized the event to provide all students a better understanding on petitioning for degrees, and what the transfer process looks like. This will include information on the Illinois Articulation Initiative and different schools that participate with Illinois to make the transfer process easier.

At the event there will be counselors present, to help guide the students one-on-one; along with this the WPCD 88.7 FM will be live streaming and providing participants in the event with giveaways and refreshments.

Kaczor wanted to make it “an event to gather kids to the table so they can learn various things,” he believes through this “students are reminded ‘why am I here?’”

“Not enough finish, not enough to make me happy,” Kaczor said. “I would like to see them all graduate.”

He goes on to elaborate upon the importance of learning this information early.

“I like the idea that students from the first semester they’re here, seeing an event like this and realizing there is a reason that they’re here,” he said. “We want to teach students to find out how close they are” through learning how to use Web Advisor.

Kaczor then gave an example of a common mistake students who are uninformed on the subject make. He said typically a four-year institution will place students at junior or third-year status but, often because students aren’t accustomed with Web Advisor, many will be under the necessary credit hours to move forward. Because of this, students are forced to take a few additional credit hours, due to a lack of the necessary general education hours.

Through the event, Kaczor and Chepan hope to bring light to the issue, inform students on the resources available to them, and educate Parkland students on beneficial information regarding degree completion.

For more information, you can attend the Degree Completion Day in the Student Union (U-wing) on Feb. 22, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., or can contact Kaczor or Chepan directly at admissions@parkland.edu.