I am on the precipice of finishing my undergraduate degree in marketing, which has taken over a decade to complete. To learn more about my journey, check out No Degree at Thirty-Two. With three classes left until that Bachelor of Science was in my hot little hands, I was so excited to finally be done and move onto the next chapter in my life – master’s degrees and babies!
As I was browsing my program evaluation, I noticed a transfer credit that looked a bit off. The school had appeared to have only given me one credit for the class. Hmm? I had noticed this before, however I hadn’t brought it up to my advisor until now. I had no idea it was negotiable. He said I could ask the registrar to take a second look. I thought there must be a mistake because most classes I had taken at Portland State University (in Oregon) were worth 3 or 4 credits. I assumed they had undercut me by mistake and it needed to be corrected.
I quickly shot off an email to the Transfer Credit Manager (yes, this is a real thing). The next day I got an email, which almost made me faint. He wrote that the school had made a mistake, they miscalculated and now had to take credits away! This was due to the fact that my school was on the term system, and PSU was organized by semester. Their “policy” was to apply some crazy math to find the equivalent. I was now .33 credits away from my degree. My deepest hopes of graduating in January were quickly collecting into tears which wouldn’t stop. How did this happen?!
I immediately called the school employee and tried to understand the error. Unfortunately for me, there was no turning back. They had caught their own mistake and adjusted my credits. Now .33 credits away from a degree, this meant another 8 weeks of class, and graduation postponed. I emailed my advisor and asked if there was anything that could be done. I was met with a “nope, just means you need to take another class.” Ummmm what?! The school makes a mistake and now I am the one left holding the bag? No way.
I felt defeated and let down. I was so close to my goal and now, after this mistake, I was another 8 weeks away. I needed advice. I called my best friend Beth and told her the awful story in vivid detail. My best friend is amazing, she is rational, cool-headed, and always willing to talk through an issue. A teacher and graduate student, I knew Beth would have some ideas. She mentioned going back to the registrar and seeing if there was any way to earn 1 credit through a practicum or independent study. I had also researched ways I could test out of a class and earn the credits. Both viable options. I planned to call the registrar the following day with guns a-blazin’ – I wasn’t taking “no” for an answer!