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Seniors concerned: Will online classes prevent them from graduating?

<p>Miami has rescheduled graduation weekend for early September, but seniors are still sad that their last year at Miami has come to an anti-climactic close. </p>

Miami has rescheduled graduation weekend for early September, but seniors are still sad that their last year at Miami has come to an anti-climactic close.

Some seniors at Miami University are concerned they won’t fulfill their graduation requirements as classes have gone remote until the end of the semester

Provost Jason Osborne recommends that students speak with their advisor and professors to complete their capstone and graduation requirements.

“I believe all faculty are committed to doing whatever we can to ensure students can complete their projects,” Osborne wrote in an email to The Miami Student. “However, some may need to be modified to accommodate the current circumstances.”

Osborne hopes that Miami will be able to have the commencement ceremony in May.

“We have not made any determination about any events in the future when we do not know the course the virus will take,” Osborne wrote. “We will keep the campus community updated as we know more, but I cannot emphasize enough that this is almost completely out of our control and almost completely in [everyone’s] hands.” 

Benjamin Harding, senior biology chemistry major, is concerned about his capstone course, as it is research-based. Harding said that students are not forced to come into labs to perform research. 

For his capstone, Harding had two main things to do: to prepare for an undergraduate research forum where he would present his research and to write a paper as if it would be submitted for a peer-reviewed journal.

“When I first heard this information, I thought that classes were done,” Harding said. “But I’m concerned about finishing my research and how my professors will grade my work.”

Harding is from Oxford. His father is Paul Harding, the chair and professor at the Department of Biological Sciences at Miami’s regional campuses. Harding knows that his father knows just as much as he does, as they talk about it frequently.

Harding is not concerned about the graduation ceremony, as he knows he will get his diploma as he has completed his labs for his biochemistry major.

“I don’t think the ceremony will happen, though, which is fine.” Harding said. “I just want my diploma.”

Some students majoring in education have concerns about finishing their student teaching requirement with schools in Ohio going remote.

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Kathryn Yezierski, a senior chemistry education major in adolescent-young adult education, is concerned about finishing her student teaching requirement. Yezierski is teaching 11th grade chemistry at Sycamore High School for her student teaching requirement at Miami.

She has finished her classes; however, student teaching is the next step for Yezierski to get her teaching license.

“I’m worried about getting my classroom requirements in,” Yezierski said. “I am waiting to hear what the board of education is going to count as ‘classroom time.’ Not being face-to-face in the classroom as a teacher may affect my graduation.”

The education board requires 12 weeks of student teaching in order to apply for your license. Yezierski is unsure whether online teaching would count or if filmed lessons would count to fulfill the 12-week requirement.

Students who are taking lab courses for the Miami Plan, like senior Kyle Kolb, are concerned about completing these courses as easily as they can.

Kolb is majoring in Marketing at the Farmer School of Business. He is taking three sprint lab courses: woodshop, ceramics and rock climbing.

“It’s a waste,” Kolb said. “This has had negative consequences. I don’t know how I am supposed to be evaluated in my courses.”

Kolb is not concerned about the commencement ceremony, he just wants his diploma.

“My senior year is ruined,” Kolb said. “I won't be able to go out with friends and hangout with my senior friends before we graduate. This will be the worst semester.”

Marjorie Trimble, senior theatre and strategic communications major, is worried about getting an acceptable grade in the classes that she is taking and losing the opportunity to partake in senior traditions. 

“Walking at graduation and receiving your diploma is something every college student dreams of and works hard for,” Trimble said. “For there to be a chance that won't happen for me is terrifying and disappointing.”

Miami’s coronavirus information page can be accessed here. The CDC also has a comprehensive coronavirus page. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms can call the Student Health Service at 513-529-3000. 

Students with questions about the coronavirus and the university’s policies can reach out to Associated Student Government.