Weekly Update: what you need2know

Quote: You're always one decision away from a different life.Since you started college, how many times have you been asked What’s your major?”  (Or, the other question might be “What do you want to do when you grow up?”)

If you’re like most first-year students, you may have shrugged your shoulders and blurted out that one word that no one seems to understand: UNDECIDED.

As difficult as that is for others to comprehend, that really could be the truth…you just don’t know what your major is and being asked that question over and over again isn’t going to help you decide any sooner.

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!

link to read the entire article

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

happy face emoticonNovember 27th starts the first day of Priority 1 Enrollment.  If you are a continuing student, your enrollment date will be between November 27th to December 8th.

But, wait…

crying face emoticonHave you recently logged onto eServices to find that your enrollment date has been changed to December 18th?  This means that you are in Open Enrollment.  Unfortunately, that is not a mistake; however, there is a possibility that you can submit a Loss of Priority Enrollment Request Form to return to Priority 1.  But, be aware that you must meet one of the qualifications as listed on the petition.  This is a one-time reinstatement.

Here are some of the reasons below:

surprised face emoticonYou have completed an excess of degree- applicable units.  “Degree-applicable” units refer to classes that are numbered 100 or higher.  For example, units earned in ENGWR 101, History 310, Social Science 300, and Biology 100 count as degree-applicable units.

peaceful face emoticonYou can petition to return to Priority 1 if you are in a high-unit major.  Engineering, Science, Allied Health, and Computer Science are all considered to be “high-unit” because they are require sequential and multiple major preparation courses.  In addition to the petition, you will need to attach a current copy of your Student Education Plan (iSEP).

hand in stop positionNOTE:  Do not wait to meet with a counselor!  Appointment and Quick Question time slots fill up quickly, especially this time of the semester.  Your iSEP must reflect that you are in a high-unit major.  If you already have an iSEP, log onto eServices and print out a copy.

straight mouth emoticonYou are on academic probation or academic dismissal.  Students are placed on academic probation if a 2.00 GPA is not achieved.  Academic Dismissal takes place if a student falls below a 2.00 for the third time.

peaceful face emoticonYou can petition to return to Priority 1 if you can demonstrate that you have made significant improvements.  An example of “significant improvement” is achieving a 2.00 GPA or higher.  In addition to the petition, you will need to attach a copy of your Los Rios transcript.

unhappy face emoticonYou are on progress probation or progress dismissal.  Students are placed on progress probation if half (50%) of attempted classes are not completed.  Receiving a “W,” “NP,” and/or “I” for half (or more!) of your courses affect your progress.  Progress Dismissal takes place if a student does not complete at least half of attempted units for the third time.

peaceful face emoticonYou can petition to return to Priority 1 if you can demonstrate that you have made significant improvements.  An example of “significant improvement” is completing more than half of the attempted units.  In addition to the petition, you will need to attach a copy of your Los Rios transcript.

grinning face emoticonYou did not complete the entire “Steps to Success.”  All new students are required to complete the “Steps to Success.”  This includes the Online Orientation,  Assessment, and Student Education Plan (iSEP).  All three steps must be completed within a specific timeframe or you will move to Open Enrollment.

sad face emoticonYou cannot submit a petition.  As stated on the petition, “New, non-matriculated students who do not have access to priority registration because they have not completed the Steps to Success are not eligible to appeal.”

hand in top positionNOTE:  Once you complete all the steps, you can return to Priority 1 enrollment the following semester.  You do not need to submit a petition…just complete the steps!

building iconFor more information or to determine if you qualify for reinstatement into Priority 1, refer to the petition or stop by the Admissions Office located in the Student Services building.

embarrassed face emoticonComplete and submit the petition to the Admissions Office as soon as possible.  It could take up to 10 days for review of the petition and, by then, it may be your day to enroll anyway.

two hands raised in celebrationLastly, do NOT (I repeat, do NOT) let Open Enrollment stop you from attending Sacramento City College or any college in Los Rios.  Many classes are still AVAILABLE even after Priority 1 and Priority 2 enrollment dates are over.  Additionally, you can get on a WAIT LIST and attend classes the first day of the semester.

Quote: Success is never owned, it's rented. And the rent is due everyday.Here’s the scenario:  You have a 2-hour break before your English class begins and you decide to sit outside and play with the new Snapchat filters.  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 grab your backpack and head straight to the library to work on the assignment?  Or, do you decide to wait until you get through all the new filters 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 2017 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.

That moment you realize: 1) Study sheets are never allowed during testing and 2) Testing has changed.Did you know that the assessment re-testing policy changed last October 2015?

These changes apply to all students in Los Rios regardless of which assessment test they plan to take – including English, English as a Second Language (ESL), and Math.  The Assessment website can provide more information.

Here are some important things to remember with the retesting changes:

Students can retest ONE TIME in the Los Rios District after 30 days of the original assessment test date.  This means that students cannot take the assessment tests multiple times at ARC, CRC, FLC, and SCC.

Students can only retest if they have NOT yet started the course sequence.  For example, if a student completes Math 34 (started the course sequence for Math), the student cannot go to the Assessment Office to re-test.  The student will be referred to pursue the “Course Challenge Process” through appropriate department.

If a student’s assessment has expired and the student has NOT started a course sequence in Math, English, or ESL, the student can retake the assessment test in those subjects.

If a student has started the course sequence and received a substandard grade (“D”, “F”, “I”, or “W”), the student has the option to re-enroll into the course that was started based on the previous assessment placement.  (NOTE: Be aware of the repeat policy!)  The other option is to enroll into a course at a lower level than the course attempted.

If a student receives a “W” in any Math, English, and/or ESL course, this counts towards starting the course sequence.  For this reason, it is important to be aware of deadlines to drop classes without any notation on your record.

And, remember, before you do any testing, review the study guides available on the Assessment website.

I know.  I get it.  It’s frustrating when your friend, cousin, classmate, brother, sister, or even your own mom (your MOM!) gets an earlier enrollment date than you.  So, in case you are wondering, here are enrollment dates based on participation in support programs, completion of units, and whether you are continuing, returning or new to SCC.
Spring 2018 registration dates

If your enrollment date comes up and the class (or classes) that you wanted are full, here are some things to consider:

  1. Get on the wait list…but not any wait list!  Find the wait list with the least number of students on it.  For example, why be #17 on a wait list if you can be #3 on another one?  Of course, you will need to be flexible with your days/times, but consider all sections of that same class.
  2. Sometimes the class that you really, really, REALLY need is not offered at SCC or conflicts with another class.  As a Los Rios student, you have the option to attend ARC, CRC, FLC, or SCC.  We want you here at SCC, but if we completely understand if you need to take one class at another campus.  If this happens and you are receiving Financial Aid, make sure to submit the Consortium Form.
  3. Is the class completely closed?  If a class is completely closed and there are no other options, check eServices every day (or at least regularly!).  The class may be closed today, but, if a student drops tomorrow and that spot opens up on the wait list, then take it!  Once you get on the wait list, continue to monitor your placement or status.  If students drop and you get officially enrolled, you will need to pay the fees.
  4. Every student gets a ONE time opportunity to enroll early (Priority 0.5) if the upcoming semester is the last semester for graduation and/or transfer.  Unfortunately, you cannot get this early enrollment because the classes you want always fills up.  When you are ready for this one-time early enrollment, you will need to meet with a counselor to review your transcript to make sure that you are on track for graduation and/or transfer.
  5. Let’s go back to #4…  If you plan to take a course at ARC, FLC, or CRC, be aware that not all courses are numbered the same.  For example, Math 28 at SCC is Math 20 at CRC and Math 25 at ARC.  Same course…different numbers.
  6. Look at other options for taking the same classes.  The English Department recently created an “accelerated” sequence for completing EngWr 101 and EngWr 300.  Now, instead of taking EngWr 101 in one semester and then following with EngWr 300 the following semester, students can now take EngWr 108 AND EngWr 300 together in the same semester!  Need more information on the course?  Take a look at the class schedule online and read about EngWr 108 and EngWr 300.

image of panther and quote about class scheduleCreating 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.

Now that enrollment is starting, here are some things 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…in fact, you can complete it now.  You don’t have to wait until your enrollment date to do this.  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, financial aid, 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 27th to December 8th.  DO NOT – I repeat, DO NOT – wait until December 9th to enroll 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 general education and your major.  With “course applicability,” you will not receive Financial Aid for classes that are outside of your 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:

link to tips for creating your class chedule

The last day to drop a full semester class with a “W” on your transcript is November 14th.
picture of Fall 2017 deadlines

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! 
link to read the full article

Quote:  Being nice costs $0There is nothing more unsettling than seeing a student launch a giant saliva torpedo in the middle of the quad or hearing another student use 50 curse words in the span of a 30-second cell phone conversation…in the bathroom stall next to you.

What’s even more disturbing is when students leave their mess all over campus and expect others to clean up after them!  SMH…

At Sacramento City College, all students are expected to behave and engage in “civility.”  Civility means being polite, courteous, well-mannered, and having respect – not only for yourself, but for others as well. 

Civility also means having academic integrity and honesty…it is knowing that when you put your name on an assignment, you are submitting work that you completed on your own.  At SCC, your professors will hold you to high academic standards because they know that you are capable of producing good, quality work.

The transition to college can be difficult, especially when you have just graduated from high school.  As a college student, you are expected to be mature, focused, and disciplined to reach your educational goals.  For many students, the first semester of college is always the hardest because there is suddenly a new found freedom that is completely different from high school.

You now make your own decisions:  it is up to YOU to follow your schedule, to keep up with textbook readings, to prepare for exams, and to participate in class activities.  And, depending on the decisions that you make, you can celebrate your successes (studying every night and passing your math exam) or own up to the consequences (copying someone’s answers and failing your math exam).

And lastly, be proud of your campus and help to keep it a peaceful and beautiful environment.  Doing even the simplest things can help:  throw your trash in the proper bins, refrain from using offensive language, keep the campus alcohol-free and drug-free, and don’t engage in disorderly or obscene behaviors (such as YELLING at the top of your voice and making your business everyone else’s!).  That’s not too much to ask for, is it?

Unfortunately, not following the “Student Code of Conduct” can result in consequences that will ultimately affect your education and future career goals.  Consequences can include: being removed from a class, placed on probation, or even expulsion (not just from SCC, but from all Los Rios colleges).

Sacramento City College prides itself in fostering a safe, supportive, and positive learning environment for all students…and we intend to keep it that way!

link to student code of conduct

Quote; Giving your best friend "the look" when your professor says "pick a partner"As a college student, your biggest focus is your academic success.  After all, you are here to create a future that includes the completion of a college degree and the start of an exciting career!

But, aside from academics, one of the best things about college is meeting new people.  And, sometimes, the people that you meet in your classes become your lifelong friends even after the semester is over.

These are the friends who will check on you if you miss class, will remind you about the big assignment that is due, and will meet you at the library when you need a study partner for the next exam.  Most importantly, they will be the ones in the audience cheering the loudest when you walk across the stage in your cap and gown!

So, aside from doing well academically and preparing for your future career, having a positive and balanced social life on campus is just as important.  Plus, it’s always nice to know who your classmates are and to spot familiar faces when you walk across the quad, sit in the cafeteria, or spend time in the library.

At Sacramento City College, there are lots of great opportunities for you to meet your peers and to participate in various activities on campus.  Throughout the semester, there are many events that students can attend for free – whether it is watching a special film or documentary, listening to a guest lecturer, participating in a cultural event, or joining a student club.

college life title

slideshow of male student holding signs: steps to success, orientation, assessment, isep education planDid you know that all new students are required to complete the “Steps to Success?”  The three steps include: 1) Orientation, 2) Assessment, and 3) iSEP.

If you do NOT complete these three steps, you will lose your Priority 1 enrollment and be placed in OPEN enrollment.  This means that while continuing students have Priority 1 enrollment from May 1st to May 12th for the upcoming Summer and Fall semesters, you will need to wait until Open enrollment on May 23rd to enroll.  (Yes – there will still be classes available, but they may not be your first pick of days and times.)

In order to keep Priority 1 enrollment, you must complete all three steps by October 31, 2017:

Orientation:  Complete the Los Rios online orientation to learn information about student support services, college terms, rights and responsibilities, academic expectations, and enrollment fees.

Assessment:  Complete the Math and English or ESL (English as a Second Language) assessments.  Visit the Assessment Center website for the test schedule, study guides, and instructions.

iSEP:  Meet with a counselor for help with selecting the right classes and to complete an iSEP.  An iSEP (student education plan) is your “roadmap” to keep you on track toward your goals.

These three steps are tracked on your eServices account, so log in to check if you are missing any of the requirements.  Click on the tab that says “Steps to Success” and look for this box at the top of the page:

eServices screenshot: assessment and student ed plan are checked

As you complete each requirement, a checkmark will be placed in the box.

To return to Priority 1 enrollment for the following semester, you will need to complete all three steps.  (You will continue to stay in OPEN enrollment until these steps are completed.)

IMPORTANT NOTE

These requirements are for NEW STUDENTS only.  Students who were enrolled in Los Rios before February 1, 2014 do NOT have to complete the “Steps to Success.”  (But, of course, it’s helpful to do them anyways!)