Four-Year Graduation Tips and Strategies

Quick Checklist for Graduating from Xavier in Four Years

To graduate from college in four (4) years, follow these basic guidelines:

  • Register for and complete at least 15 hours of academic credit every semester.
  • Develop an academic plan and stick to it.
  • Meet with your academic advisor regularly and have that person assist in developing your academic plan.
  • Ask questions and get help from the array of academic resources available to you.
  • Know the resources that are available to you so that you may be academically successful.
  • If you earn a grade less than a "C," talk to your professor so that you can avoid repeating courses (a minimum of a 2.0 GPA is required to graduate). Explore extra credit options.
  • Be sure that you have completed all of your CORE requirements as well as those for your major and/or minor(s).
  • Become familiar with DegreeWorks to track your academic progress.
  • Have a good sense of your major by the first semester of your sophomore year, declare your major by the second semester of your sophomore year, and stick with that major for the rest of your college career.
  • Make your academics your highest priority (attend all classes and complete all assignments).

No More Than Four: General Strategies for Earning an Undergraduate Degree in Four Years

The following are tips and guidelines for a student to complete the baccalaureate degree within the traditional four (4) years.

  • Have completed as many advanced standing college credit hours as possible before entering college.
  • Complete core requirements during the first two years of college.
  • If undecided about the major, take courses that may double-count for credit in the core or other potential areas of interest.
  • Be completely focused on academic endeavors.
  • Access as many services as needed throughout your college career (e.g., writing center, math lab, learning assistance center, etc.)
  • Attend orientation (Manresa) to acquire as much information about the college experience as possible.
  • Seek out your academic advisor and meet with him/her twice each semester.
  • Get to know your professors and make sure they know who you are.
  • Learn how to use DegreeWorks as a graduation planner.
  • Complete a minimum of fifteen (15) credit hours each semester.
  • If you drop below 15 credit hours per semester, have a plan as to how you will make up those credits (e.g., take 18 hours one semester, take a class during intersession, take summer classes).
  • Have a graduation plan.
  • Understand how your education will be financed.
  • Be aware of your financial aid package.
  • Connect with Career Development.
  • Avoid situations that may entail student conduct violations.
  • Be familiar with the syllabus for every class and know the professor's requirements and expectations.
  • Ask questions for clarity and to reinforce knowledge.
  • Organize (or join) study groups of 3-5 fellow students taking the same class with the same professor.
  • Ask for help when needed. Get to know your professors and don't be afraid to ask questions.
  • Develop a study schedule and stick to it.
  • Identify a place that is conducive to your study habits and without distractions.
  • Become familiar with institutional policies and procedures that pertain to the college student experience.
  • Never engage in academic misconduct (cheating, plagiarizing, taking short-cuts).
  • Read assignments completely.
  • Plan on spending as much time daily as if it were a full-time job (at least 8 hours per day - e.g., in class for 3 hours on a given day, study for 5 hours that day).
  • Be sure to get eight (8) hours of sleep every night.
  • When you are not feeling well, don't wait until the problem worsens.  Health Services is available to you at no charge by appointment.
  • Schedule time to make friends and spend time with them - if you sleep for 8 hours per day, dedicate 8 hours to your academic endeavors, you still have 8 hours to work a part-time job and engage in recreational activities.
  • Spend time each week staying in good physical condition - working out keeps your mind and body in optimal shape.

Possible way to organize this info:

In the Classroom:

  • Be familiar with the syllabus for every class and know the professor's requirements and expectations.
  • Ask questions for clarity and to reinforce knowledge.
  • Organize (or join) study groups of 3-5 fellow students taking the same class with the same professor.
  • Ask for help when needed. Get to know your professors and don't be afraid to ask questions.
  • Never engage in academic misconduct (cheating, plagiarizing, taking short-cuts).
  • Read assignments completely.


Outside the Classroom:


Health/Physical Well-being

  • Be sure to get eight (8) hours of sleep every night.
  • When you are not feeling well, don't wait until the problem worsens. Health Services and Counseling Services are available to you at no charge by appointment.
  • Spend time each week staying in good physical condition - working-out keeps your mind and body in optimal shape.


Social Life

  • Schedule time to make friends and spend time with them - if you sleep for 8 hours per day, dedicate 8 hours to your academic endeavors, you still have 8 hours to work a part-time job and engage in recreational activities.

Academic Planning

  • Have completed as many advanced standing college credit hours as possible before entering college.
  • Complete core requirements during the first two years of college.
  • If undecided about the major, take courses that may double-count for credit in the core or other potential areas of interest.
  • Be completely focused on academic endeavors.
  • Access as many services as needed throughout your college career (e.g., writing center, math lab, learning assistance center, etc.)
  • Seek-out your academic advisor and meet with him/her twice each semester.
  • Get to know your professors and make sure they know who you are.
  • Learn how to use DegreeWorks as a graduation planner.
  • Complete a minimum of fifteen (15) credit hours each semester.
  • If you drop below 15 credit hours per semester, have a plan as to how you will make up those credits (e.g., take 18 hours one semester, take a class during intersession, take summer classes).
  • Have a graduation plan.

Studying and Organizing Your Time

  • Develop a study schedule and stick to it.
  • Identify a place that is conducive to your study habits and without distractions.
  • Plan on spending as much time daily as if it were a full-time job (at least 8 hours per day - e.g., in class for 3 hours on a given day, study for 5 hours that day).

Overall College Experience

  • Attend orientation (Manresa) to acquire as much information about the college experience as possible.
  • Avoid situations that may entail student conduct violations.
  • Become familiar with institutional policies and procedures that pertain to the college student experience.

 

Exceptions

  • Radiologic Technology is a two-year program.
  • Some programs, like Occupational Therapy and Nursing, take more than four years to complete. Students are responsible for knowing if they are in a program that will take more than four years to complete and should talk with an advisor about the best strategies for those programs.

Printable Checklist

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"No More Than Four" recommendations