DARS error puts pressure on students
February 8, 2010
Some seniors in the College of Engineering are scrambling to finish credit hours they thought they had already completed and need to graduate.
The college discovered an error in how DARS audits were treating foreign language classes— some incorrectly fulfilled a social sciences and humanities requirement as well.
The college is working with students on a case by case basis to ensure that they can still graduate if this credit is the only thing holding them back.
But they have also emphasized that DARS is not an official report, and that the error is not a change in the college’s actual requirements.
They didn’t change anything on the students; DARS was just wrong.
While we understand that DARS is not law, we wonder why it took so long for this error to be detected.
The glitch in the system had been there for at least three semesters before it was caught late last fall.
If the audit is unofficial, why didn’t discrepancies with the “official” audit surface sooner?
For this reason we hope the college is being extra-flexible.
If their own counselors did not catch the error, no student should have to squeeze in a humanities class or pay for summer school, and if even one student’s ability to graduate is affected by the error, we think that’s one too many.
Counselors are paid to make sure that students have all of the information they need and are doing what they need to.
If the error was so hidden that the professionals did not catch it for so long, surely students should not be penalized in any way for missing it, too.
This error represents a potential nightmare for students.
We rely on DARS and our advisers to help us unravel the sometimes complicated rules governing which classes can “double-dip” for two requirements.
If DARS is wrong, and if our counselors aren’t catching the errors either, how vigilant do we have to be?
If there is any question in your mind about whether or not you’re on track, especially if graduation is nearing for you, we suggest you review your courses one more time to make sure you’ve got it right.
Even if DARS says you’re on track. Even if your counselor says you’re on track.
Apparently, both of those things can fail you— and apparently, it will still be your fault.