Finish In Four

The Finish in Four initiative is Western Carolina University's pledge to provide students with the resources and guidance necessary to successfully complete their undergraduate degree in four years. In Finish in Four, students will work with campus professionals to create a clear roadmap for success.

We encourage incoming first year students to take the pledge to Finish in Four!

The Pledge to Finish in Four

Student pledge to Finish in Four:

I have made it my goal to graduate from Western Carolina University in four years. By taking the pledge to Finish in Four I pledge to do the following:

  • I will meet with my advisor to create an Academic Plan
  • I will complete the courses necessary to gain acceptance to my major
  • I will make academics my first priority and maintain good academic standing with the University and my major.
  • I will meet with my advisor each term before class registration begins
  • I will participate in events and activities that further my academic and career interests

Western Carolina University Finish in Four Pledge to students:

  • WCU will provide academic advising each semester appropriate to your major which includes developing a four-year academic plan
  • WCU will monitor your progress and maintain communication with you throughout your college career
  • WCU will offer assistance and recommendations to address any problems you may have with academics or staying on track with your four-year plan

Plan for Success

Students who commit to finishing their undergraduate degree in four years graduate with less debt and enter the job market or graduate school earlier than students who take longer to finish their degree. No matter how you look at it, it just makes sense. Explore the information on this page for tips that will help you plan for success. 

Every Semester:

  • Meet with your advisor regularly
  • Maintain at least 15 hours of course work
  • Visit the Writing and Learning Commons and Mathematics Tutoring Center
  • Volunteer with the Center for Service Learning and achieve the Lily Community Engagement Award
  • Visit the Career Services website to find a job on campus and to identify upcoming career events
  • Get involved and participate in campus activities
  • Add artifacts to your Education Briefcase
  • Finish each semester in good academic standing

Summer Options:

  • Consider summer classes as an intentional part of your 4-year plan
  • Find a summer job related to your major
  • Find and establish a for-credit internship
  • Complete a local or international service or study abroad experience

First Year: 0-30 hours

  • Talk with parents, friends, professors, and advisors about your career plans
  • Participate in the First-Year Day of Service
  • Attend the Student Employment Fair and get a job on campus
  • Familiarize yourself with the Education Briefcase
  • Declare your major (if not already declared)

Sophomore Year: 31-60 hours

  • Declare your major (if not already declared)
  • Conduct interviews with people in your chosen career field
  • Investigate opportunities for study abroad
  • Join the club sponsored by your major

Junior Year: 61-90 hours

  • Seek a position of leadership in a student club or organization
  • Drop off a résumé at Career Services for critiquing
  • Study abroad
  • Apply for an internship: test your career choice through hands-on experience
  • Research graduate schools

Senior Year: 91-120 hours

  • Register for graduation in your academic department
  • Drop off a résumé and cover letter at Career Services for critiquing
  • Develop a list of targeted employers and send out résumés and cover letters
  • Attend a Career Fair or Etiquette event
  • Begin interviewing with employers or go for a second interview
  • Take graduate school entrance exams and send out graduate school applications
  • Secure a job or admission to graduate school
  • GRADUATE!

Tips for Academic Success

  1. Four years will pass more quickly than you can imagine. Don't wait to declare a major and start taking classes toward the completion of that major. If you begin your first year at WCU with your major undeclared, be sure to explore possible majors and career fields and declare a major by the fall of your sophomore year.

  2. Don't try to be a full-time student and work more than 20 hours/week. It is impossible to work full-time and be a full-time student and be good at both.

  3. Sometimes students have bad semesters – don't let yourself get too far behind! In order to maintain satisfactory academic progress, you are required to successfully complete 67% of the credits you register for each term. Additionally, you should plan on successfully completing at least 25% of the credit hours in your Academic Plan each year.

  4. Know the academic support resources on campus and use them. Don't think you have to figure everything out on your own. If you are struggling academically, talk to your professor or advisor and seek the help you need.

  5. Don't wait until the end of the semester to check your grades. Monitor your academic progress regularly using myWCU and understand how your grade point average is calculated.

  6. Be proactive – don't wait until the last minute to register for classes, resolve holds on your 
    academic record, and complete financial aid application and forms.
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