So…I petitioned to graduate with the A.A. in American Sign Language Studies and it got denied because I didn’t have the labs for my ASL language classes and the Fingerspelling class that used to be offered has been replaced with the one I just finished in the fall. At the time that I took the language classes the labs weren’t a part of the program. I’ve known at least 3 people who have had the labs waived in the past. I emailed the Chair of the Department early last week and he said they are no longer waiving lab classes (as of Spring ’14) and recommended that I make an appointment with the Dean to explain my situation. I was lucky enough to get an appointment with the Dean on Friday afternoon.
The Dean is super nice. She spent 45 minutes with me, making calls, getting forms, contacting a couple of Professors. Unfortunately for me, a VP for the school district made a blanket rule of no more waivers. This affects the ASL Program, Interior Design Program and Architecture Program, maybe more. The Dean signed a form for me to substitute the fingerspelling class. I have to turn that in to the evaluations office this upcoming week. She also made it so I can take the lab classes concurrently. So, late afternoon on Friday, I signed up for labs for ASL II, III, IV TWTH and ASL I lab is MTW. The labs are one hour each. It’s super inconvenient and really (not being dramatic here), life changing. The thing is I had to make this decision quickly. l I feel I have to do it. I’ve come too far not to finish. If I don’t do it, all that I that I went through last fall would be wasted. It makes me sick to think about how fucking hard the past 5 months have been. I think I’d also feel bitter about not getting the degree. So that’s that. Housing, I don’t know what I’ll do. I am staying with a friend this week. I’ll figure it out as I go along. Prayers up.
Friday morning I had an appointment with my surgeon for Chest Surgery. The next appointment was to be a 1-hour pre-op appointment and the next thing would be surgery. I started this process last June, many Dr’s appointments, and letters, phone calls, insurance things. I’ll have to push surgery back to May. I’ve been needing/wanting this surgery for almost 6 years..so that’s how serious I feel about finishing this degree. I have to.
edited to add: This is a response to a friend who wrote me: Evan, check the student handbook. There is usually something about graduating with the requirements under which you began the program.
Trust me, I’ve been through it with the Academic advisor for ASL, the Chair of the Department, and the Dean. The VPI (Vice President of Instruction) for the Community College School District has said no under Title 5 Regulations. My advisor emailed the Vice Chancellor of our school district. If I want to graduate with this degree I have to take the labs and this just came to a head Friday afternoon. You have to know that I’ve done what I could in this circumstance. It’s unfortunate.
Maybe I need to explain better. In 2010 I declared the American Sign Language Interpreting Major. My catalog rights are from that year, 2010/2011. There were no labs offered at that time. Starting 2011/2012, the program was split into 2: American Sign Language Studies (no interpreting classes) and American Sign Language Interpreting.
Starting fall of 2011, labs became part of the program, which meant that every language class required co-enrollment with the lab from that level. I had finished with ASL IV in the summer of 2011 before the labs were part of the program AND right before the American Sign Language Studies major was created.
Over the next few semesters I know of a couple people who were able to get the AA in ASL Studies who were able to get the labs waived. Apparently as of last Spring, the VPI declared that district policy says that no classes for any degrees in the district would be waived. This blanket rule affects many students from many majors.
I can use my catalog rights from the year I declared but I’d need to take the 7 interpreting classes required for that degree and I wouldn’t need the labs or I can use the catalog rights from 2011, take the labs, and get the ASL Studies AA, which doesn’t require that I take interpreting classes.
I want anyone reading to know that I wouldn’t subject myself to the nightmare of searching for a place to stay every day of the week or postpone having surgery (I want to cry just thinking about that) if I hadn’t exhausted every possible solution. I had to make a decision I can live with in the long run. The semester officially starts today. This is it.