Confusion over course requirements leads to a delay in graduation for one senior
Published: Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Updated: Friday, February 24, 2012 11:02
Baruch senior, Melissa Lok, is unable to graduate on time due to confusion about the requirements that are stated on the Baruch website.
Lok is an honors student on a full academic scholarship and a member of the Undergraduate Student Government, ALPFA and Golden Key.
"I was previously an Accounting major and decided to take ACC 3202 for that major, but also because I thought it could be used in place of ACC 2203 if I ever decided to switch my major, based on the business core requirements listed on the Baruch website."
When Lok first reached out to Associate Professor and Chair of the Stan Ross Department of Accountancy Jianming Ye in an email, she notified him that she had "switched [her] major from Accountancy to Industrial/Organizational Psychology last year."
She decided to take ACC 3202 while she was still an Accounting major to satisfy the requirements, but was also under the impression that it was a substitute for ACC 2203 based on the business core requirements that states: "ACC 2203 Principles of Managerial Accounting For Non-accounting Majors or ACC 3202 Accounting Information System (for Accounting Majors)" listed on the Zicklin School of Business website.
She then requested a waiver on Nov. 5, 2011 for the class ACC 2203 so that she could graduate on time. She believed that she was still in compliance with those requirements.
She wrote, "My degree works audit states that I have to take 2203 or 3200, and it doesn't seem to recognize that 3202 fulfills the requirement as well. Would it be possible to have an official letter from you stating that it is a substitute, so I can show it to the registrar's office?"
He replied, "As a matter of fact, I think it should have been 3200, rather than 3202 because ACC 3202 and ACC 2203 are totally different subjects and shouldn't be substitutes. But if the website contains such a mistake, maybe we can exempt you from the requirement as an exception. I can give you a letter stating that," he continued.
Lok reported that she received it, brought it to the Registrar's Office, and passed it on to them.
After communicating with Professor Ye, Phyllis Zadra, the associate dean of the Zicklin School of Business, sent an email to Lok on Jan. 25 stating, "Under no circumstances has the Zicklin School ever substituted ACC 3202 for ACC 2203."
"They are totally different courses and subjects and not interchangeable in any way. If Melissa has a letter from anyone giving her such a waiver, I need to see it. Generally when a student is seeking a waiver of a graduation requirement, a formal appeal is filed. I don't believe the Zicklin School received a waiver requesting this substitution."
Unfortunately, Lok did not make a copy, and now the Zicklin School is requesting a copy, but the registrar can't locate that letter in their records. Zadra went on in later communications to say that Lok would need to figure out a way to take ACC 2203 this semester and that the school would work with her to make that happen.
But due to time constraints Lok was unable to take the course during the semester.
According to Manuel Romero, director of public relations at the Baruch College Office of Communications and Marketing, Lok "needs to work with the Zicklin School" and follow through on the appeals process.
Romero added that Lok did not follow through with the appeal.
In order to file for appeal, students need to "go to the Dean's Office of the school they are concerned with. In Lok's case, she needs to go to the Dean's Office of the Zicklin School, because the class she is questioning is a business class."
From there, a "representative, if not the associate dean, will sit down with the student, discuss the course in question and address their concerns. If the student decides to go forward with the academic appeal, they receive a five-page…standard form. Page one gives step-by-step instructions on how to appeal and a place to check off which of the schools that the appeal applies to." The representative will then "ask what type of appeal the student wants to make."
The first ground for appeal, which applies to Lok's situation, is curricular adjustment. Romero inserted here that Lok "would need to talk to the Dean and state her case. The Zicklin School would work with her regarding her appeal."