I'm thinking that the best way to approach this is to have a field called "AnticipatedGradYear". When the student is first added, the person entering the data can enter the anticipated year of graduation (taking into account full-time versus half-time status, etc.)
After that, you have several options for how to pull up and display those who were expected to graduate in a given year, to change the anticipated date of those who did not make it (or change their status to "dropout"), and to batch change the remaining files to "alum".
Just a thought of a way to approach it.
Thank you for your post.
The following questions come to mind...
What happens if a 4th-year student needs to come back for a 5th year?
How do I know when the last term is completed?
What if a person attends three years and leaves for another school. Are they considered an alumnus?
Yes, you will need some way to make sure all the qualifications to graduate are met.
With all this said, you could create some checkbox fields. If all the necessary fields are checked, then "Alum" can appear.
Let's take a very simple case. Create a new Text field, "Status", and click on Options... Click on the "Validation" tab and check the option "Member of value list:". To the right of that, there will be a pop-up list that will probably default to <unknown>. Click on this and select "Manage Value lists..." This takes you to a new window. Click "New". In the next window, change the title from "New Value List" to "Status". Most likely, the radio button for "Use custom values" is active. In the box below that, enter the following with a return separating each value.
Click "OK" four times to return to the layout.
You should now see the field "Status" on your layout.
Pull down the View menu and select "Layout Mode".
Click on the field "Status" (not the label), and there should be four little anchors on the corners of the field.
Pull down the Format menu and select "Field/Control -> Setup"
Under "Control Style", change the value from "Edit Box" to "Checkbox Set", and click OK.
In the bottom right corner of the "Status" field, click on the anchor and drag it downwards so that the field can display all four values on separate lines.
Pull down the View menu and select "Browse Mode". You should now see your checkbox values.
Return to define fields, and create a new Calculation field, "Active", with the formula:
If (IsEmpty (Status) or PatternCount (Status ; "Graduate" ) = 0; "STUDENT"; "ALUM")
At the bottom, make sure the calculation result is "Text". Click OK, click OK again. You should now see the contents of "Active" displaying ALUM when "Graduate" is checked. Otherwise, it will display STUDENT.
This should get you pointed in the right direction.
Please let me know if you need clarification for any of the above steps.
If (IsEmpty (Status1) or PatternCount ( Status1 ; "Graduate" ) = 0; "STUDENT"; "ALUM")