1. Glossary of advising terms
(Here’s what we said – this is what it means!)
Academic Calendar – The calendar giving start and end dates for each semester; the dates to drop a class and get a refund, dates the College is open and closed, the last date to withdraw for the semester, and other important dates. The Academic Calendar is published in the Credit Course schedule each semester.
Academic Catalog – The annual College publication that lists all majors and degrees, all courses and their descriptions, all academic and College policies, and current faculty and staff members. It is available online, on CD, and in print. Students refer to the Academic Catalog to look up their major requirements and to learn college policies.
Advising – Meeting with an Advisor. The process of setting academic and career goals and creating an educational plan which includes developing strategies and using resources and services to reach your goals.
Audit – Taking an academic course, but not planning to earn the credits or receive a grade.
Course Descriptions – Overview of each course, including topics to be covered and pre-requisites needed to enroll in it; found in the Academic Catalog and Credit Course Schedule.
Credit Courses Schedule - The published schedule of classes offered each semester; gives days and times for each course along with required pre-requisites and descriptions. Students use the Credit Course Schedule to select classes and build their schedule each semester.
Credits –Units of credit assigned to a course based on the number of hours spent in class. Credits can be from 1 credit for a brief, once-a-week PE course to 4 credits for a science class that meets in both a lecture and a lab section each week.
Current Student - A student who is taking classes at FCC now, or has taken classes at FCC within the past two years.
Developmental English or Math - Classes that are intended to develop students’ basic academic skills in preparation for college-level courses. Credits are based on contact hours for tuition, but do not count toward graduation as they are not college-level courses. Enrollment in developmental courses is based on placement testing.
General Education courses - Required courses from various academic disciplines that have been designated to provide a broad, general knowledge; courses are found on the General Education Course List published in the credit course schedule each semester and in the academic catalog.
Major – An academic area of study; also called a program of study.
New Student - A student who has not yet attended FCC, or who is beginning his/her first semester at FCC.
Placement Test – An assessment of academic reading, writing and/or mathematical skills to determine accurate placement of students into classes.
Pre-Registration – That time during the Registration period when students can sign up for classes and pay later! All current students are encouraged to register early during Pre-Registration.
Registration – Signing up for classes online using the Peoplesoft registration system or handing in a Registration form in the Registration and Records Center in J-101.
Semester – A timeframe for academic study. FCC has the following semesters: Fall, JTerm, Spring, and Summer.
Withdrawal – To officially discontinue attending a course which REQUIRES students to either drop the course online, or to complete the Drop section of a Registration form submitted to the Registration and Records Center in J-101. A student who stops attending a class, but does not officially withdraw, will receive an automatic F grade. Withdrawals must take place prior to the "last date to withdraw" listed in the Academic Calendar for each semester.
2. How do I get started?
All new students start by completing the Steps for Admission which include applying to the college, submitting college entrance exam scores (SAT or ACT) or taking placement tests, and submitting high school or other college transcripts.
3. I’m a new student - do I need to take placement tests?
Students who scored a 550 or above on Critical Reading and Math on the SATs, OR who scored a 21 or above on Reading, English and Math on ACTs do not need placement testing. If your scores were lower in one area (such as Math) but were okay in the other areas, you only will need to take the placement test for that one area. If you do not have qualifying SAT or ACT test scores, you will need to take the college's placement tests in Reading, Writing, and Math PRIOR to meeting with an advisor.
4. I’m transferring to FCC - do I need to take placement tests?
New transfer students who have completed English Composition AND college-level Mathematics at their previous college do not need to take placement tests (official transcripts need to be sent. See Steps for Admission for details). If you have completed credit in one area but not the other, you would need to take the placement test for the area with no transferable credit. For example, if you have transferable credit for EN101, but not for college-level math, you would need to take only the math placement test. Transfer students who do not have transferable credits in English or Math, but have appropriate SAT or ACT scores are also exempt from placement testing (see “new student” placement info above).
1. Who is my advisor?
All new students initially meet with an advisor in the C&A Office or in the office from which they are receiving special services, such as the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities or Office of Adult Services. In subsequent semesters, students are advised according to their major. General Studies and Undecided students are advised in the C&A Office. Declared majors are advised by their faculty advisor, usually the department chair or program manager. Check the Advisor Contact List (link to list) to determine the advisor for your major.
2. Why do I need advising?
Students need to see an advisor to make sure they are taking the classes required in their major and are meeting any other degree requirements. Students also see advisors for planning future classes, selecting a major or career, creating a transfer plan, and obtaining referrals for academic services as needed.
3. When should I meet with my advisor?
Students should see their advisor during registration if they need help choosing classes. Current students are encouraged to see their advisor as early as possible during the registration period when all courses are open and seats are available. Students should also see their advisor, as needed, to discuss issues of concern, get a referral for academic support services or to do long-range planning.
4. How do I make an educational plan?
Students work with an advisor to create an Individual College Academic Plan (ICAP), which is a comprehensive outline of all the things they need to do to complete their degree. Students are emailed a copy of their ICAP so they can follow up on recommendations outlined in their plan.
5. How can I track my progress toward my degree?
The "My Degree Plan" advising tool can be accessed online to track the classes you've taken, the grades you've received, the courses you still need for your major, the number of credits earned and your GPA. It is a great tool to use prior to meeting with your advisor or before web registering. Always check your "Degree Plan" using the PeopleSoft system to make sure the class you signed up for meets your degree requirements.
6. What are Academic Alert and Academic Probation?
Academic Alert and Academic Probation are terms used to describe the status of a student's academic standing and occur when students do not make satisfactory progress in their courses. Click here for a complete description of each term and its consequences.
7. How do I calculate my GPA?
GPA is calculated based on a formula using numerical values for grades. Click here (link to GPA section) for a complete explanation and our GPA calculator.
8. How do I know what classes to take?
The classes needed to complete each program of study are specified in each degree or certificate program and can be found by viewing the major/degree requirements in the Academic Catalog or by using your "Degree Plan" in PeopleSoft.
9. What are General Education courses and where can I find them?
General Education (Gen Ed) courses are intended to provide students with a broad, general knowledge in various academic subjects. Gen Eds are required in each college major and are clearly identified in the degree requirements. Students select courses from the General Education Course List published in the Academic Catalog and Credit Course schedules. Gen Ed requirements are also clearly specified in the "My Degree Plan" in PeopleSoft.
10. What kind of job can I get with my major?
Students can check out the Career and Transfer Center link “What can I do with a major in …?” to find out all the different jobs they can do based on their college major. The on-campus Career and Transfer Center in J-201 has books and videos so students can learn how their academic majors connect to their career choice.
11. How can I learn about my future career?
Students can learn about their intended career field through Career Exploration links on the Career Center website, or by visiting the Career and Transfer Center on campus in J-201 for books and videos, or by scheduling an appointment with one of our knowledgeable career counselors.
12.How can I plan for transfer?
Students can learn about the transfer process by visiting the Transfer Center website, or by visiting the Career and Transfer Center on campus in J-201 for books, videos, and application materials, or by scheduling an appointment with our transfer counselor.
1.What is the difference between Advising and Registering?
Advising is the process of meeting with an advisor to review academic and career goals, develop a comprehensive plan to meet your goals, learn about your major’s requirements, and select courses for your FCC degree and your future transfer school. Registration is the act of signing up for classes using web registration, or by completing a registration form to submit on campus in the Registration and Records Center in J-101.
2.How do I register for classes?
Students can register online using PeopleSoft, or they can register on campus by completing a registration form and submitting it to the Registration and Records Center in J-101. It is important to note that students on Academic Alert or Academic Probation must meet with an advisor to have their registration form signed prior to submitting it to Registration and Records, and therefore, cannot web register.
3.How do I drop a class?
Students who choose to drop a class must withdraw online using PeopleSoft or must complete the drop section of a registration form and submit it to the Registration and Records Center in J-101. Students receiving financial aid are strongly encouraged to check with the Financial Aid Office in J-301 (or at 301.846.2620) prior to withdrawing to fully understand how it may affect their aid package. Students who simply stop attending classes, but do not officially withdraw, will receive a failing grade for the course.
4.What important dates or deadlines should I be aware of?
There are many important dates each semester that are critical for students to know: semester start and end dates, holidays and semester breaks, withdrawal dates when refunds are given, and the last day to withdraw from a class without a penalty. These dates and deadlines are specified in the Academic Calendar and can be found each semester in the Credit Course Schedule, and students are expected to know these important dates!
5.The class I wanted is full. Is there a way I can be added?
Students typically cannot be added to a full class due to classroom capacity. Students who have a dire need to access a course can meet with an advisor to explore alternatives. The advisor will forward the student’s request to the department chair in extreme cases where the student’s inability to access a course will result in delayed graduation.