411 For Success

If you’re like most first-year students with a cell phone camera and access to social media, you probably take as many selfies as you change your major!  After all, you can’t just pick the first picture to post…you have to pick the perfect one with the right lighting, angle, and filter selection!  It’s always good to have options…and lots of it!

Picking a major also means sorting out your options.  Let’s face it:  Selecting your major IS a major decision!

So, what exactly is a college major?  Your major is the area of study that you will specialize in.  Sacramento City College offers majors such as: Accounting, Cosmetology, Licensed Vocational Nursing, Dental Assisting, and Graphic Communication.  There is also the option of completing transfer requirements to complete your major at the university level.  A counselor can help you to understand your major courses (along with the appropriate general education pattern) towards an Associate degree or a transfer path.

Although it may be your first semester in college, you should be actively researching your major of interest – and related career opportunities – so that you can start planning the required coursework to fulfill that goal.  While it may be okay to take general education courses during your first year in college, at some point, you will need to shift your focus towards completion of your major preparatory courses.  This is especially true if you are majoring in the sciences, engineering, or computer fields.  Many courses related to those majors are sequential and you must complete the appropriate prerequisites first.

Deciding on a major doesn’t have to be a confusing process…in fact, it can be an exciting experience!

(Additional major and career resources are also listed on the page!)

Let’s get READY TO REGISTER!!!!!

Quick tips:

Meet with a counselor if you need assistance with selecting the right classes to take.  Your schedule should reflect your goal and include appropriate classes from general education, your major, and/or prerequisites.  The Counseling Office is located on the first floor of Rodda North (RN 147).  Be aware that appointments may be filled already, but you can ask to meet with a counselor during “Quick Questions.”  “Quick Questions” are 15-20 minutes – just enough time to review your schedule for Spring 2016!  (NOTE:  “Quick Question” slots can fill up as well!)

Log onto eServices and check your enrollment date.  Priority 1 enrollment is from November 30th to December 11th.  You will be assigned a day and time to enroll into classes.  Remember, adding classes to your shopping cart does not mean that you have enrolled…you will have complete the entire enrollment process.  Also, make sure you pay your enrollment fees within the 14-day grace period or you will be dropped.

Clear any holds on eServices.  (Look for the red sign that says “HOLD.”)  This hold may be the Supplemental Enrollment Form, a library fine, or a financial aid hold.  You cannot enroll into any classes until all holds are cleared.

Start viewing the schedule and have options with the days and times that classes are offered.  Also be aware of classes offered at the main campus and the outreach centers.

Need help with the enrollment process?  You can use the computers in the eServices Lab located in Business Building 153.

Here’s the scenario:  You have a 2-hour break before your English class begins and you decide to sit outside and enjoy the new music on your iPod.  Minutes later, you receive a text from a classmate and panic sets in: “WAYD?  That writing assignment was 2M2H and it took me 4EAE to finish it!  Did U get the HW done?  CYA in class!

(Translation: What are you doing?  That writing assignment was too much to handle and it took me forever and ever to finish it!  Did you get the homework done?  See you in class!”)

Now here’s the dilemma:  Suddenly it sinks in that you have a writing assignment due in a couple of hours and you still have to read two chapters to get started.  Do you turn off your iPod, grab your backpack, and head straight to the library to work on the assignment?  Or, do you decide to wait until the next song is over to figure out you are going to do?

Here’s a suggestion:  Just Do It Already!

Unfortunately, procrastination often has a negative affect on your grades.  If you turn in an assignment that is poorly written, has no thought or focus, and is only half completed, you will inevitably lose points…or get no points at all!  When you hold off on doing important assignments until the last minute, chances are you are not producing your best work.  Procrastination can be a big source of stress, especially when you are enrolled full-time and you are constantly trying to catch up with multiple assignments at the last minute.

In about a month, the Fall 2015 semester will soon be over.  Here are some important tips to consider for the remainder of the semester:

• Remember the syllabus that every instructor gave you at the start of the semester?  Hopefully you have been keeping up with your homework, projects, and exams.  (You shouldn’t be surprised if you have an exam next week…check your syllabus…the information is probably there!)  Procrastination happens when you think you have more time than what you really have!  The next four weeks will go by quickly, so get started early on your assignments.

• Depending on which classes you are enrolled in, some instructors will assign a big project, presentation, or portfolio due at the end of the semester which may be worth more points than the average exam or homework.  This big assignment can make a significant impact on your grade depending on how you do!  If you have questions or need help, then ask for it!  Not knowing how to get started on an assignment can result in procrastination.  If you need to, make an appointment to meet with your professor so that you can get some tips on how to get started.

• Don’t give up!  A student’s life – especially if there are additional factors such as work and family – can be overwhelming at times.  But, you have made it this far…and that is a lot to be proud of!  Unfortunately, procrastination can kick in when you are too busy doing everything else…and, before you know it, your homework gets pushed aside with the thought of “I’ll do it later.”  As you plan your schedule next semester, it is important to create a balance with school, work, and family responsibilities.

• Avoid distractions at all costs.  So, you made it to your desk with every intention to study until your cell phone alerts you that you have been tagged in a Facebook post.  You tell yourself to ignore it, but, 1.875 seconds later, you are logged on Facebook and commenting on the post .  Aaargh!  Social media can be a huge distraction to your studying, especially if you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.  If you really need to post something, post this:  “Hey!  I’ll be studying for the next few hours so don’t anyone bother me.  I want that “A” on my next exam!  TTYL!”

and lastly,

• Be confident and motivated.  Procrastination can be a problem when you start to doubt your abilities to succeed.  When you start to imagine the worst of things – like failing an exam or messing up on a project – your self-confidence can take a plunge.  Instead, focus on the positive things – like how studying hard for an exam will help you to receive a passing score or how putting extra effort into a project will get you a great grade – so that you are motivated to do your best work.

Additional links:     Procrastination and Procrastination and Motivation

It’s time to start planning classes for Spring 2016 and, hopefully as a continuing student, you still have Priority 1 registration!

Priority 1 enrollment is from November 30th to December 11th and your exact enrollment date is determined on the number of units completed.  So, for example, a continuing student who has completed 54 units will have an earlier registration date than a continuing student with 9 units completed.  The Priority 1 dates are divided into four sections: Priority 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, and 1.4.

However, not all continuing students will be eligible for Priority 1 registration.  Students who are on academic/progress Probation 2 or Dismissal and students who have completed over 90 degree-applicable units will be placed in “Open Registration.”  “Open Registration” is after all continuing, newly matriculated, returning, and new transfers have registered.

(NOTE: NEW STUDENTS who did not complete the entire “Steps to Success” requirements will be placed in Priority 2.)

If you are currently on academic/progress Probation 2 or Dismissal, it will be important to successfully complete all courses and to earn a 2.00 GPA or higher.  You will be allowed to return to Priority 1 (if you haven’t exceeded the 90 units), but you must show significant improvement with your academic and progress status.

For students who have reached 90 units or more of degree-applicable units due to high-unit majors or programs, you are able to submit a petition to the Admissions Office to appeal your loss of priority registration.  This petition can be found in the Admissions website and you must attach an iSEP with it.

Log onto your eServices account this week to check your registration date and time for Spring 2016!  Also, don’t forget to complete the Supplemental Enrollment Form.  Every student will have this hold until it is updated.

Creating a new class schedule requires careful thought and planning.

For example… You can’t just enroll into Calculus without qualifying for it on the math assessment test, you can’t ignore course sequences and jump directly into Plant Biology, and you can’t decide that you are eligible for an Air Conditioning class if you haven’t completed all of the MET prerequisites.

Well, you can…but you’ll just get dropped from class.

Now that it’s registration season, here are some tips to consider:

• Give yourself plenty of options because classes fill up quickly.  Perhaps the 9:00 a.m. writing class that you wanted is full, so consider other times during the morning, afternoon, and evening hours.  This means that you may have to shift other classes around, but be flexible with your schedule.  But, remember, being flexible with your schedule also requires COMMITMENT!  For example, if you decide to enroll in a 7:00 a.m. class, you must make a commitment to attend that class at that time for the next 16 weeks.  Your other options may include attending classes at the West Sacramento and Davis centers, but make sure to plan your transportation before the start of the semester.

• Know that you will have a HOLD on your record if you do not complete the Supplemental Enrollment Form.  DO NOT PANIC!  The Supplemental Enrollment Form is required to update your personal and academic information.  It is easy to complete and takes just a few minutes.  You must complete this form every semester.  If you need assistance, please go to the eServices lab located in Business Building 153.

(Note:  Aside from the Supplemental Enrollment Form, check for additional holds such as academic dismissal or library fines.  Find out immediately what steps are needed to clear these issues!)

• Log onto eServices to look up your specific registration date and time.  If you are currently attending SCC and you plan to continue next semester, you will have Priority 1 registration.  This means you will be assigned a registration date and time between November 30th to December 11th.  DO NOT – I repeat, DO NOT – wait until December 12th to register because classes fill up quickly!  And, if you find that your preferred class times are closed, make sure that you have given yourself options (refer back to strategy #1).

• Select classes based on recommendations from your counselor…not from your BFF.  Sometimes taking classes with people that you know is comforting, but are those classes necessary towards your own educational goal?  For example, if your major is Accounting, do you need to be enrolled in Receiver Circuits with your friend whose major really happens to be Electronics Technology?  Sure, that course may seem interesting, but is this same friend going to take Managerial Accounting with you as well?  Also, do NOT enroll into a class just because it is open.  If you are receiving financial aid, it is important that you enroll into classes that are required for your educational goal

• Remember…you have to PAY to STAY!  And we definitely want you to stay!  After enrolling into your classes, please remember that you only have 14 days to pay your fees (unless you have a fee waiver) or you will be dropped.  And, once you are dropped, you will have to re-enroll into your classes…which, most likely, will have closed by then!

In the end, it is up to you to create a schedule that supports your goal, that fits around your obligations outside of school, and that is manageable for the next 16 weeks.  Unlike high school, your classes are not pre-selected for you…you have the choice to attend classes as early as 7:00 a.m. or as late as 7:00 p.m., you have the choice to attend SCC part-time or full-time, and you have the choice to take courses that meet general education, major, and/or electives if needed.

Click below for more scheduling tips:

There are occasions when we “cheat” and, fortunately for us, the impact of it isn’t that big of a deal. For example, we have all cheated on our promise to eat more healthy…we open the freezer with a spoon in hand and pull out the chocolate chip ice cream.

But, then there are times when we CHEAT and the outcome is significant…it changes our lives and the paths on which we were once headed. An example of this is cheating in college or engaging in plagiarism. Cheating and plagiarism are not tolerated at Sacramento City College nor is it acceptable behavior at any institution.

What is cheating and plagiarism?

Cheating can include any of the following behaviors: copying a classmate’s homework, sneaking in notes or using your cell phone to look up answers for an exam, or asking a classmate for the answers.

Plagiarism is using the words or text of another person without properly citing the work. An example of this is copying and pasting information from the internet for a research paper without making any references to the original author.

Cheating and plagiarism are both considered academic dishonesty and the consequences are serious: getting an automatic “F” on an assignment or test, being dropped from a class, losing a scholarship, being pulled out of a special program, or getting suspended…and not just from SCC, but from the entire district!

So, if you value your education, don’t cheat! Don’t jeopardize your education – or someone else’s – because you decided to copy an exam or assignment. But also know that these academic policies are in place to protect your rights and privileges as a student.

Click here for the brochure on the Student Standard of Conduct.

Dropping a class is a big decision…and a difficult one.  Your semester may be going smoothly and then suddenly – when you least expect it – life happens.

Students drop classes for many reasons…sometimes for reasons even beyond their control and sometimes when they don’t want to – but have to.  Though you may need to make some changes with your iSEP (education plan), your goal is still within your reach.

Before you drop a class, there are a few questions to ask yourself so that you make the best decision.  For example, how will dropping the class affect you or is there a possibility that you may be able to improve your grade before the end of the semester?  It may be helpful to meet with your professor or with a counselor to discuss your options, but, ultimately, the decision is one that you will make on your own.

And remember this: dropping a class is NOT the same as dropping out of college! 

The last day to drop a full semester class with a “W” on your transcript is November 17th!

Imagine this scenario…

Your College Success professor has assigned a presentation and your topic is “utilizing support services on campus.”  As you gather information, you have questions about how to organize your presentation and whether or not you are following the instructions correctly.  Unfortunately, your class doesn’t meet again until next week and you want to finish your outline this weekend.

Question:  What do you do?

Answer:  Meet with your professor during office hours!

Earlier this semester when your professors extended an invitation for you and your classmates to meet during office hours, they weren’t kidding!  Your professors set aside this time every week so that you can ask questions about homework, get feedback on assignments, or get information that you may have missed during a lecture.

Unfortunately, many students pass up the opportunity to meet with their professors because they are embarrassed about discussing their progress, think that their professors are too busy, or are too nervous to ask questions.  But, in reality, your professors are there to help you succeed.  They want you to ask questions so that you understand the topics that are discussed in your classes.