Administration delays student AA degrees, certificates

By Frank Portillo

East Los Angeles College alumni and current students are experiencing delays in receiving their degrees and/or certificates.

Alumnus Alejandro Nunez Gutierrez posted on the college’s Facebook page asking other students if they were dealing with the same issue.

The delays have prompted both negative and neutral reactions from the students involved. Colonda Hawkins, who is in charge of substandard grade petitions, said that the issue must be that students are losing their degrees in the mail, but they have the option to inquire about the issue in the Admissions office.

When Campus News reached out to Dean of Admissions Jeremy Allred, he refused to speak on the matter.

Pedro Flores Jr. is among the students affected who commented on Gutierrez’ post. He completed his requirements for a Behavioral Sciences degree and Sociology degree-for-transfer back in 2015.

He is beginning his second year at California State University, Berkeley and still hasn’t received his physical degrees despite them showing up on his transcripts.

The last time Flores inquired about the issue was in the summer, when he was told that it had already been mailed out.

While unhappy about the situation, Flores said that not having his degrees has not had any negative effect on his life post-transfer.

“It hasn’t been much of a problem because I’m still working on my undergraduate degree, so I haven’t had the need for it. But I would like to have it since I worked so hard to get it,” said Flores Jr. 

Another student, Luz Maria Flores, had to speak with Jeremy Allred, Dean of Admissions, in order to receive her degree after being given the “runaround for a year and a half.”

ELAC alumna Cecilia Diaz Jimenez is currently awaiting two of her physical degrees in Kinesiology and Psychology and inquired about the issue around May or June of this year. 

“I was told that the previous session had to be completed, and within a month or so, I would receive it. All I received was a letter showing that I had taken all the necessary classes to complete my AA,” Jimenez said,  “My AA was just posted on my transcripts about two to three months ago, but I submitted my paperwork before the winter session ended.”

The delay has affected students involved with Campus News. Current art director Julie Santiago said that she inquired about the issue, only to learn that the office responsible for printing certificates had run out of paper.

Julianne Obregon, a former member of Campus News, is also among the students affected. Having completed the necessary courses at the end of Spring 2016, she recently received her certificates of achievement in the mail.

The missing certificates, for Journalism and Desktop Publishing, had a direct impact on her eligibility for a job.

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