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
- 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.
- 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 Community Engagement and Service Learning and achieve
the Lily Community Engagement Award
- Visit the Career Services website to find a job on campus and to identify upcoming
- Get involved and participate in campus activities
- Add artifacts to your Education Briefcase
- Finish each semester in good academic standing
- 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
Tips for Academic Success
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Be proactive – don't wait until the last minute to register for classes, resolve holds
academic record, and complete financial aid application and forms.