COM degree requirements and your audit report
Your audit report is a valuable resource. It includes transfer courses, the courses you’ve completed at UIS, and the UIS courses that you are currently enrolled in. Your audit report is not intended to take the place of academic advising, but it is a tool that all students should use to monitor their progress toward completing degree requirements.
The audit report is unofficial and it is tied to the requirements listed in the catalog of the year you entered UIS. Generally speaking, it will accurately reflect the degree requirements listed in the catalog, but it may not correct present your unique information. For example it is possible that your transfer courses, which are not part of the UIS catalog, will not be correctly listed on your audit report. Or, your program may allow you to use a UIS course in a way that is not described in the UIS catalog. Your audit report cannot automatically present exceptions to the catalog requirements, so it may have errors. You’ll need to resolve errors on your audit report before you graduate by using the Student Petition form. This will be covered in another part of the program orientation.
Students should review their audit report each semester, and maybe even keep a printed copy, to make sure that their classes are being applied to their requirements as they should be. If you find a problem with your audit, contact your academic advisor.
The audit report used in this presentation is based upon the actual data from a number of COM majors. To protect their privacy, we have removed their names and UINs. In addition, we have changed all of the students’ grades to A so that their identity would be even less obvious to those who might know them.
How to access your audit report
Go the the Records and Registration webpage. Scroll to the bottom and click on “Enter Degree Audit System” It may be a good idea to open your audit report now so that you can refer to it as you review this guide.
HTML vs PDF audit report
You can view your audit report as either a webpage (html) or a PDF. The audit report is most readable as a webpage so running the report in HTML format is the default. To run your audit report as a PDF, look for the “Click to view available options” link next to “Advanced Settings” If you click that link, you will see the expanded options shown below. Select “PDF” from the format menu. The PDF format is the best option for saving or printing your audit report.
The PDF version of your audit report will appear in a window. Look in the header of this window for two options. #1 will download a copy you can save to your hard-drive. #2 will print your audit report.
Your audit report reflects data from our records system but our record system is run by humans and, no matter how careful and well-meaning they are, they are humans and can make an error when they input data. When they discover an error, they correct it, which means your audit report can change unexpectedly. For this reason, it may be in your best interest to save copies of your audit report.
I would recommend saving a copy a) the first week of every semester, and b) whenever you use the audit system to make a decision (this way, you have a record of the information you used to make that decision.) These copies may be helpful with a student petition.
Understanding your Audit Report
The audit report header
- Catalog year, typically, reflects a student’s first semester at UIS. You must follow the policies and complete the requirements described in this catalog, although you do have the right to change your catalog year. If you change your catalog year, you must abide by all of the policies and requirements in the new catalog, not just the ones you like.
- In my experience, the charts can be confusing. I’d rather students look at the actual data rather than the summary information.
Remember this space. When it is time to graduate, you will need to complete an online graduation application before a posted deadline. When you do this, your audit report will note “A graduation application has been submitted” in this space. This is how you can confirm that your graduation application is in place.
The legend describes the codes you may see on your audit report.
General Education Requirement Set
- A red X means that a requirement set is not complete. In this case, the student has not finished General Education.
- Requirement sets are typically divided into their components so that you can determine which part of the requirement you have completed and which part you have not. A green check mark means that a component is complete. In this case, the student has completed the English component.
- A blue ellipsis (…) means that a course is in-progress (you enrolled but have not received a final grade.) The grade for in-progress courses is always noted as IP. If you look at the other grades in this section, you’ll see some that start with a T. T means that this is a transfer course: T for transfer followed by the grade.
- A red X means that you have not yet completed this requirement.
Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Requirement Set
All UIS students must complete at least 10 hours of ECCE credit to earn a degree. These courses provide a distinctive element to the baccalaureate education at UIS, and encourage a commitment to making a difference in the world. Most of the coursework in this category is interdisciplinary and is designed to help students recognize the value of multiple perspectives. ECCE categories help students meet a number of learning outcomes.
Upon completion of the Engaged Citizenship Common Experience at UIS, students should be able to:
- Recognize the social responsibility of the individual within a larger community.
- Practice awareness of and respect for the diversity of cultures and peoples in this country and in the world.
- Reflect on the ways involvement, leadership, and respect for community occur at the local, regional, national, or international levels.
- Identify how economic, political, and social systems operate now and have operated in the past.
- Engage in open-minded and ethical decision-making and action.
- Distinguish the possibilities and limitations of social change.
In Section I, you see the three ECCE categories: U.S. Communities, Global Awareness, and Engagement Experience. You must complete at least nine hours of these courses and you must have at least three hours in at least two of the three categories. Said another way, plan to take at least three ECCE courses and don’t take all three of them in a single ECCE category
In Section II, you see the Speaker Series requirement. This is the only upper-division class that all UIS graduates must complete. You can learn more about Speaker Series on their website. You may take Speaker Series a second time but you may not apply the credit to the requirements of ECCE Section I.
Communication Program Requirement Set
All Communication students must complete COM 302 Introduction to Interpersonal/Organizational Communication and COM 303 Introduction to Mass Media. These courses should prior to or concurrently with other courses in their respective curricular areas. In addition, students should take at least 6 COM electives. The electives should be of 4 classes in one curricular area and 2 in the other curricular area.
You will also register COM 495 in your final semester but this is not a course in the traditional sense. It is a zero-hour (you earn no credit and pay no tuition) course used for assessment. To complete the course, you will spend, approximately, 30 minutes completing an assessment test. The results of the test are not factored into your grade in any course; your test result is an assessment of our program and not you.
“120 semester hours are required to earn a bachelor’s degree . . .” Requirement Set
This section tracks your total number of hours. You must earn 120 hours to graduate. Your audit report tracks the 120 hours in three parts.
Section 1: You must complete at least 30 upper-division hours at UIS to earn a degree. The first section counts these 30 hours.
Section 2: You must complete at least 48 total upper-division hours to earn a degree. The section includes upper-division transfer courses and continues counting your upper-division UIS hours. Section 1 and section 2 must equal at least 48 hours.
Section 3: You may include as many as 72 hours of lower-division credit in your 120-hour degree. The third section counts your lower-division hours. Unlike, the first two sections, you are not required to complete 72 hours of lower-division hours. On this audit report example, the third section says that the student needs 13 hours but it would be more accurate to say that the student has the opportunity to take 13 more hours of lower-division. Since sections 1 and 2 will only hold 48 hours of upper-division hours, additional upper-division hours will also appear in section 3.
If you ever want to understand how close you are to finishing your degree, look at the Earned and Needs data. In this case, the student has earned 105 hours and need 15 more to finish.