Transcript mistake jeopardizes Tacoma woman's job



Posted on March 14, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 14 at 7:59 PM

TACOMA, Wash. -- A Tacoma woman applying for a job discovers she never technically graduated high school.

While requesting a high school transcript for a banking position, Jevetta Trapp, 24, realized she was one credit short of earning her high school diploma from Foss High School.

Even though Trapp’s guidance counselor cleared her to graduate and walk with her class in 2009, the mistake was never caught until now.

“I have an Associate’s Degree, three months away from a bachelor’s degree, but I’m still a senior in high school,” she said.

Trapp earned an Associate’s Degree from Seattle Central Community College, but the problem wasn’t noticed then because a high school diploma isn’t required to take classes, only that a student is at least 18.

According to Tacoma Public Schools, this problem happens about a dozen times each year. In Trapp's case, administration at Foss High School has changed in the last five years, which makes the problem tough to figure out.

“There’s always a chance for error and always a chance something slips through the cracks,” said Dan Voelpel, district spokesman.

Trapp brought it to the attention to Tacoma Public Schools, which is trying to help her with a solution.

“We’re exploring different legal options to see what would benefit her,” said Voelpel.

A new school board policy allows the district to evaluate Trapp’s college transcripts to see if any classes can apply to the missing credit, which she believes may be an English one.

According to Voelpel, a state law allows colleges to grant students the equivalency of a high school diploma if they earn an A.A. degree.

After struggling through five years of high school, Trapp wants the real thing.

“Somewhere down the line a mistake was made, I don’t want to point the blame on anyone, I just want it cleared up,” said Trapp.

The school district hopes to find a solution by next week. Trapp says the bank is holding her job for her until March 31.