I love FAMU, but it doesn’t always feel like FAMU loves me

Columnist Dynasty Williams. Photo courtesy Williams

The historic Florida A&M University is many wonderful things and has produced a countless parade of success stories. However, FAMU’s registrar’s office and flawed academic coaching are two areas that are an issue for many students.

Upon arrival at FAMU for the first time as an actual student in 2018, transferring from NCAT, it was apparent that not all of the courses I’d taken in North Carolina would transfer, as though the course number and requirements would differ, including the fact that I’d changed my major.

However, a few days after my arrival in Tallahassee, it was time to select classes for the upcoming semester. After scanning my transcript, I noticed there were a few unspecified and incorrectly articulated classes from my NCAT transcript. Initially, I thought nothing of it.

After contacting the registrar’s office numerous times, being sent to other departments, and receiving empty promises, I decided to let it go and hoped it would be corrected eventually.

A few months later, after applying to be a public relations major I selected classes for the spring semester, my iRattler incorrectly had me labeled as a journalism major, with the option to select courses for my 2016 application major of engineering. This may not seem like a huge issue, but unless you are only choosing general education courses, it is almost impossible to find the classes you need to complete your major.

It was almost as if I had to make daily appointments with my second FAMU academic adviser (first for my new major), for a frustrating, exhausting, and time-consuming two weeks, to make sure I had all of the classes I needed to take. This tiresome process of selecting courses continued until the summer of 2019, after receiving my third academic adviser (second for my major).

Deciding and applying to receive a minor in business administration in fall of 2019, I met with the office of recruitment and admissions. After reviewing my transcript with them, I was accepted into SBI. During the spring of 2020, I took my first course to complete my minor.

In the summer of 2020, I communicated with the same office to decide on the next course to complete my minor for the fall semester. After almost a week and being sent to two other departments, due to one of the incorrectly articulated courses, I was informed by the first office that I no longer met the requirements to continue the completion of my minor.

When I found this out, I was angry and upset. I felt as though every time I needed something answered, or fixed, I always had to go through this process of being sent in a circle, all around “the highest of seven hills,” to receive nothing but the same departments and disappointment in return.

This is not to say or assume my story is every student’s. It is only mine. But, if it’s happened to me, sure enough it’s happened to someone else, and I know FAMU can do much better.