CSU-Pueblo introduces new graduation planning requirements

New graduation planning requirements will apply to students graduating in summer 2016. Image courtesy of
New graduation planning requirements will apply to students graduating in summer 2016. Image courtesy of

New requirements for graduation planning will be implemented at Colorado State University-Pueblo in the summer 2016 semester.

Graduation planning sheets will not be used anymore starting with students who plan to graduate in the summer. The new requirements have changed to a graduation contract and a signature on the Degree Auditing Reporting System report that can be found through PAWS, the student portal on the CSU-Pueblo website.

In an email, biology associate professor and member of the academic advising council Helen Caprioglio said, “The graduation process is changing from a grad planning sheet to the DARS report and graduation contract to facilitate more accurate and timely awarding of degrees.”

“The previous graduation planning sheets were handled manually and initiated one semester prior to graduation, leading to many changes having to be submitted and delay before diplomas were mailed,” she said.

CSU-Pueblo is required to report the degrees it awards after each semester to the National Student Loan Data System. By doing so, graduating students with loans are moved into repayment status.

“The degree awarding process is being automated with DARS to comply with requirements we have to meet on degree reporting,” Caprioglio said.

The new contracts will be submitted early in the semester a student is expected to graduate, she said. Under the new process, students will become more involved with tracking their graduation status.

“This new process will allow students to receive their diplomas sooner after courses are completed, to help with seeking employment and further studies,” she said.

Previously, students were required to meet with their advisors about one semester before their expected graduation date to create a plan for the classes they were currently enrolled in, along with the classes they needed to take in the semester following and the last semester of their college career.

Students then took the sheet to CSU-Pueblo’s records office so when it came time to graduate, the school could approve and grant the students their appropriate degree and certifications.

For students who have to follow the new requirements, the process will be a little different.

In each student’s PAWS account, there is a link to DARSweb. There, students enter the report they wish to process. There could be multiple if the students transferred or changed degrees.

DARS is a “what if” report that allows each student and advisor to see just what classes and amount of credits, general or not, a student needs in order to graduate.

It only takes a few seconds for the report to be processed, then an interactive webpage pops up.

“When the DARS audit ‘goes green’ they have met all degree requirements for graduation in their declared majors and minors,” Caprioglio said. “This happens once they enroll for their final course requirements.”

Along with the DARS report, the graduation contract needs to be signed by both the students and their advisors. The contract ensures that the student agrees to take the classes needed and that everything on the report is correct.

According to the Email Digest sent out on Nov. 5, there will be an informational session about the new system available in the Library and Academic Resources Center, Room 108 from 8:30-10 a.m.