The four-year plan is not always realistic

Of all the majors available at Florida A&M University, there is one aspect they share without question: expectancy.

No matter the major, the university expects students to adhere to the requirements for graduating, including passing all of the classes designated for their particular area of focus.

Is the standard four-year approximation for graduation really plausible?

Does it adequately take into account all of the tasks students are expected to complete during the span of their educational endeavor?

According to Courtney Maki, a 21-year-old senior business administration student from Lansing, Mich., the answer to the former question is yes.

However, Maki said she agrees that in some instances, certain obligations are overlooked.

“In my case, we have to do internships, and a lot of times, the length of the internships are not counted into the amount of time for your major,” said Maki, one of many students in a five-year program.

Felicia Simpson, a 21-year old junior business administration student from Brooklyn, expressed no empathy for those unable to complete their education in the set amount of time because she expects to graduate early.

She said she managed to do this by attending summer school, sticking with her original major and focusing on eliminating her procrastination weakness.

Graduation rates from recent years suggests that a four-year graduation time period might not be so probable. First-time-in-college students in 2000 were tracked during their academic journey at FAMU.

Only 18.3 percent graduated in their fourth year. Only 15.5 percent of FTICs in 2001 graduated within four years.Considering the number of people, commonly called “super seniors,” that fail to graduate in the expected amount of time the question naturally arises: What issues are hindering so many students from graduating in the presupposed time frame?Brian Holloway, a non-graduating senior, emphasized picking the right major.

“I didn’t do my homework as far as the major I chose,” said the 21-year old business marketing student from Jacksonville. Many freshmen come to school without having decided on a particular major.

Other freshmen enter college with a major in mind but then find they despise their selection.

College is filled with many commitments for individuals who have chosen to “suck out all the marrow of life,” as said by renowned philosopher Henry David Thoreau.

Students dedicated to making the best out of this experience realize that time management is a skill necessary to acquire.”Time management is a big part of making sure you stay on track,” Maki said.

She also said there is not just one commonly shared problem among all students, but instead, smaller, unique problems leading to the same issue.

Dollie Franklin, an academic adviser, also agreed.

“They have poor study skills and haven’t yet made the transition from high school to college,” Franklin said.

Not to be forgotten is another aspect of college life, partying. Diamond Price, a 20-year old sophomore political science student from Arlington, Texas, said many students make the mistake of trying to party every weekend and lose focus of their primary reason for being at in college.

Simpson offered some advice to underclassmen.

“Just go to class and build a relationship with your teachers,” Simpson said. “If they realize your desire for success, they’ll work with you.”