Where my diploma at? - David (and everybody else)
I think that the registrar should send out the PDF diplomas to all the seniors that graduated in May.
I understand that the registrar is busy, but here are some numbers to show that it's wild that we haven't gotten them yet:
Days since May 10th, 2019: 122
Minus weekends (36 days): 86
Days if they took two weeks off: 76
If you assume that there was only one person in the registrar's office taking care of absolutely everything, I'd say maybe we'd lose 40 DAYS (1,600 working hours) to working on registration. That would leave 36 days. I understand the registrar does more than just that, they also schedule rooms and there are a lot of summer conferences and camps and such. Let's give them another 10 days (80 hours) for room scheduling. That leaves 26 days, or 208 working hours. Remember, this is assuming only ONE person is working in the registrar and handling these duties.
There were ~963 graduates last semester. The diplomas aren't remade for each individual person with a different design or font, and the registrar has been tracking our progress and graduation requirements throughout our education (heck they told us during senior salute what our progress was) so forgive me if I'm wrong here, but it shouldn't take more than 100 working hours to confirm everything is right and be able to approve diplomas.
Now, the registrar has a lot of responsibilities, and they do a lot of good work for the school and they're definitely hard workers. But this is making some extreme assumptions in order to try and understand why we don't have the PDF versions of our diplomas. I'm assuming they would have to send in the PDF version to the people that do the metal etching anyway, so it would be great if we could get some sort of timeline as to when we will get our PDF diplomas, if not our actual PDF diplomas.
Hi, I'm one of the work studies in the registrar's office so I am going to try to explain how diplomas are made and sent out.
The first point I want to make is that when a person walks during graduation, your degree has not been awarded yet. It has been assumed to be fine, but the office still goes in and confirms that every student has met the requirements for their degree program. This is usually done within a week after graduation but can take up to three weeks after depending on how busy the office is. Additionally, professors are often late at submitting grades which extends the time even further.
Once degrees have been awarded in our system, we then send the list of people and their degrees to a third party that actually makes the diplomas. There is a common misconception that we make them in the office, this is not true. We send out the list of 1000 students that graduated to this company and they make the diplomas. This is also how the metal diplomas are handled, but those take even longer since they need to be engraved. The processing time for this can be fairly variable, especially for larger orders like spring graduation.
Once we receive the diplomas back from the third party, we then need to go through every single one to make sure that there are no mistakes in names or in degree awarded. This happens more often than you think, and occasionally there are even blank ones we have to reorder. Part of this check is compiling emails to send them to. Since your Mines emails get deactivated soon after graduation, we have to go into each student account and find a personal email to send them to. Another piece of the verification is renaming the file name of each diploma so it identifiable to the student instead of being a random number assigned by the people who make the diplomas, which also takes a significant amount of time.
Once we have this list of emails and people, we then have to send emails with the diplomas out to each person. This requires the manual attachment of the file to each email and verification that we are sending the right person the right diploma.
Each one of these steps is very tedious and requires a lot of data entry. Additionally, this happens during the summer when there are little to no work studies to help with the process. This means that it is usually done by a single person who is also in charge of sending out transcript orders, working the front desk, answering phone calls, and dealing with other front end registrar stuff. Many of these are more time sensitive so they can take higher priority than sending out diplomas.
As for this last spring semester, we had several full time members leave causing a surge of new people to come in. This meant that in addition to all of these steps, staff had to be hired, trained, and then fit this into all the new things they have learned. Unfortunately, many of these people did not start working until the summer so that limited what our office could handle that spring. We used to have a person who would just handle all of the graduation related stuff, but they left over last winter break. This meant that the responsibility had to be distributed to the other busy members of the staff while they were also dealing with responsibilities of other staff members that left.
So yes, we understand that people want their diploma the day they "graduate" and are frustrated when that does not happen. However, there are many time consuming, behind the scenes steps that prevent us from sending them out that early. All I can say is have patience and you will receive it eventually.
If you have any questions regarding diplomas, transcripts, or registration, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or come into the office and we would be happy to help. Our hours are from 8-5 every weekday.