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  • 09 Mei 2020, 15:32 WIB
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AS RITES OF PASSAGE GO, few are as momentous as college graduation. The commencement ceremony marks the end of one journey and the beginning of another. It's the culmination of years of hard work and a bridge to a future in either the workforce or to graduate school.

But college graduation is also a dream denied to many. Of full-time undergraduate students who began seeking a bachelor's degree in 2011, 40% did not earn their degree within six years, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

For college students who are nearing graduation, here is a look at the milestones that mark the big moment.

The Path to Graduation
The checklist for graduating seniors is likely to vary by major, says Fred Corey, vice provost for undergraduate education at Arizona State University—Tempe. Some may need field placements or internships to meet graduation requirements. Others may require additional certification or professional licensing once they enter their field as a graduate.

"Students need to think long term," Corey says.

That means planning for graduation doesn't start as a senior, but far earlier.

Kevin Monahan, associate dean for career and professional development at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania, says students should start thinking about career options and goals early in order to build a robust resume.

Monahan works to do just that, helping students think through options. "During their first year, we engage them on identifying opportunities that will help build their skill sets and connect their academic learning to a potential career."

Beyond thinking about career options, students will have to check a number of boxes before donning their gown and mortarboard. Graduation requirements vary by college, but generally students should expect to meet the minimum number of credits and GPA for their program and may be required to complete a portfolio or final project.

Students should check with academic advisers and the university registrar to understand graduation requirements.

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