Academic Advising

Advising FAQs

How do I know who is my academic advisor?
During your first semester at BCCC you will be assigned an advisor according to your major. Once assigned, you will receive a notice by mail, sent to the address you have on record at the college. You should contact this academic advisor to discuss your immediate and long-range academic goals. If you do not currently have an academic advisor assigned, you should contact the program head of your major or an advisor in the Counseling, Career Services, and Transfer Center.

When should I contact my academic advisor?
You should contact your Academic Advisor at least a few weeks before every registration period. For example you should plan to meet with your academic advisor in October or November to discuss which courses you will take during the following winter intersession or spring semester, and in March or April to discuss what to take for the following summer session(s) or fall semester.

What if I cannot reach my academic advisor?
You should make a good faith effort to reach your Academic Advisor by phone and/or email, if not in person. Most Academic Advisors are full-time staff or faculty whose schedules are either posted on their office doors. Also, other staff in your advisor's department may know the best times or methods to reach your advisor. If you cannot reach your advisor, try to seek advice through the Program Head or the Office of Counseling, Career Services, and Transfer.

I know what I want to take already. Do I really need an advisor's signature to register?
Even if you have decided what to take, it is suggested you double-check your choices with an Academic Advisor, who may know about certain course or program prerequisites, course availability, or other factors that may be important to you. However, if you are eligible for online registration, and have met a course's prerequisites, you can register for that course online without an advisor's signature. In person registration always requires the signature of an academic advisor.

How do I know if I'm eligible for online registration?
New Students must first complete the admissions process, which includes the following:
  • Processing your application
  • Completing your placement test
  • Completing orientation
  • Meeting with your advisor
Current Students can check Registration FAQs for more information.

I have taken courses at another college or university. How can I register for a class at BCCC that requires one of those courses as a prerequisite?
If you took courses at another college or university, and one or more will exempt you from a BCCC course's prerequisites, then be sure to submit an official transcript (unopened) to the Admissions Office as early as possible before you intend to register. In order to approve your registration for certain courses, your BCCC academic record must reflect that all prerequisites were completed at BCCC, or elsewhere. The transcript evaluation process will help you prove that you have met all the prerequisites for a desired course. Most courses at BCCC require at a minimum you are ready for college-level work in Math and English (either completed MAT 82 or ENG 82, or their equivalent, or placed out of these courses using the College's Accuplacer Test).

How does my academic standing affect my ability to register?
There are many ways your Academic Standing affects your ability to register. If you are "In Good Standing", you are eligible to participate in Early Registration. If you have not met one of the college's standards for academic standards, you may be in "Academic Warning" or "Academic Dismissal". If you are in "Academic Warning" , and currently taking classes, you may be required to wait until those grades are posted on your Academic Advising Record before you can register for the next semester. In effect, this will mean you will have to wait until General Registration to register for classes. You will also have to see an advisor in the Office of Counseling, Career Services, and Transfer, unless you have been assigned an advisor as part of your participation in a special program at the college, such as Disability Support Services, TRIO/STAIRS, School Counts, and a few others. If you are in "Academic Dismissal", you should also contact the Office of Counseling, Career, Services and Transfer, unless you are in one of the programs listed above. Students on "Academic Dismissal" are generally limited to registering for a maximum of two classes, or a maximum of 6-9 hours, for spring or fall semesters only. These students are ineligible for winter or summer session classes, and must complete each of their approved classes with at least a "c" or better to be eligible to register for the next semester.

I am trying to keep track of my progress in my curriculum. How do I know which version of the catalog to follow?
As long as you do not miss two semesters in a row (fall and spring or spring and fall), you should follow the instructional program as described in the catalog "you came in on". You should have received a copy of that catalog when you entered. It depends also which was your first semester. For example, if your first semester was Fall 2011, then you will use the 2011-2012 catalog. If your first semester was spring or summer 2011, however, you would use the 2010-2011 catalog. Catalogs always become in effect in the fall semester, and end in a summer session. If you are unsure, or need a copy of certain pages in a catalog, you should check with your academic advisor, your program head, or an advisor in the Office of Counseling, Career Services, and Transfer. If you are about to graduate, you can also choose to follow your instructional program's requirements as listed in the catalog in effect for the semester you graduate. For example, if you plan to graduate at the end of spring 2012, you can follow the program requirements in the 2011-12 catalog.

I am trying to finish the prerequisites to enter an Allied Health Program at BCCC. Can I have some old grades erased to help boost my GPA?
As a state institution, we cannot "erase" grades from your transcript. But certain grades are eligible for Academic Renewal, which can keep old grades from being counted in your GPA. To be eligible for Academic Renewal, the grades in question must be at least five years old. In addition, you must be able to show that you have earned 12 credits (not including developmental courses) since the old grades with an average GPA of 2.5 or better. Only 15 credits can be approved for Academic Renewal. If eligible, submit a Petition for Academic Renewal at the Records & Registration office. An academic advisor must sign the form before you submit it. The form is available in Records and Registration, and at the Office of Counseling, Career Services, and Transfer.

What is a 3rd attempt at taking a class and how does that impact me when I am meeting with my advisor?
If you are attempting a class for the third time or more, you will first have to get an academic advisor's approval, and also the approval of the appropriate Program Head or Department Chair to take that class.

When do I need special permission to take a class?
There are several reasons you would need special permission to register for a class. If the course description requires permission of a program head, for example, you will have to get their signature on your Registration Form, next to the course information, in addition to your advisor's signature. Always be sure to refer to the most current version of the college catalog for the most updated course descriptions before asking an advisor to sign off on your form. If you take a course more than twice, you will have to get the department chair's approval to retake the same course for a third or more time. This is referred to commonly as a "third attempt" signature. Financial Aid may also put a limitation on how many courses you can take without passing them. If you are attempting to register for a class that is full, you may be able to get an override from the department head. This may depend on how full the class is, if more students can fit in a classroom, when you are trying to get into the class, or of there is a waitlist spot available for the class (Add/Drop is usually the only time an override is acceptable). If you are registering for more than 18 credits during a fall or spring semester, or more than 8 credits in the summer session(s), you will need the approval (and signature) of the Vice President for Student Affairs. These are some of the reasons you may need special permission to enroll in a class. You should always register as early as possible, in case you need to get approval from someone in addition to your academic advisor.

How many credits do I need to take to graduate in 2 years?
Most of our instructional programs/majors can be completed in two academic years, or four semesters, of you take an average of 15-18 credits each semester. If you plan to take fewer credits in any fall or spring semester, you would need to take additional credits in another semester, or during winter and summer sessions to keep on schedule to graduate in two years. Most students at BCCC do not graduate in two years, for many reasons. If you need to take some developmental courses, work full-time, or take care of family members, for example, you may find that taking fewer courses at anyone time will enable you to do better in each course, and thereby in your degree overall.

How many credits do you recommend for a new part-time or full-time student?
A first-time student will normally need extra time to get used to the college environment: how to get to classes, new expectations from professors (which can be greatly different from high school or schools in other countries), a multicultural environment, how the college "system" works. It's useful to take one fewer class that first semester; based on the number you expect to take on a regular basis. In general, full-time students will take anywhere from 12-18 credits each semester. For each credit, this represents about one hour in class and two to three hours outside of class for homework, preparation, etc. So for a fall or spring semester, if you take a 12-hour course load, you can expect to be in class for about 12 hours per week and studying for another 24-36 hours per week. You should be able to commit to that schedule for the entire semester. For a 6-hour course load, that would be about 18-24 hours per week, for a IS-hour course load, that would be about 45-60 hours per week. Certain students have to take at least a full-time load. If you are receiving Financial Aid, you should ask for someone to review your award and ask how it will change if you take fewer than 12 credits. Students enrolled in special scholarship programs, or the School Counts program, or are attending BCCC on an international student visa (Fl), have to be enrolled full-time. If you are a participant in a special program, check with your program's administrators to check your options before enrolling part-time.

How does withdrawing from classes impact my academic status in the future?
Withdrawing from a class does protect you from getting a low grade in a class, but too many withdrawals can affect you in several ways. If you take six credits or more in a fall or spring semester, the college expects you to finish at least 50% of those credits with passing grades. If you with draw from a class, or get an F, Incomplete, or Unsatisfactory, that will make it that much harder to meet your 50% completion rate. For example, if you take 12 credits in a semester, and withdraw from seven credits of those 12, your Academic Status will suffer. If you were In Good Standing at the beginning of that semester, your Academic Status will change to Academic Warning once your grades are submitted for the semester. If you were already in Academic Warning, your status will change to Academic Dismissal, which will require you to request a special Reinstatement Hearing before you can register for any more classes. If permitted to register, you will also have to sign a contract to get a C or better for a reduced course schedule in order to register again the following semester.

What are corequisites and prerequisites?
A prerequisite is a course that you have to complete before taking another class. For example, you have to either test out of ENG 82 or pass it before taking ENG 101. In addition, ENG 101 is a prerequisite to take any ENG 200 level course. A corequisite is a course you can take the same semester as another course. You can also choose to take a corequisite before the semester you take the course requiring the corequisite.

Can I test out of any classes such as Biology, Math, Chemistry, English etc.?
Yes, depending on the course. There is a College-Level Examination Program® test that you can take to show you don't need to take a particular course. These CLEP tests usually cover only common, entry-level courses, such as CHE 101, BIO 101, etc. Check with the Test Center or the appropriate department chair to see if you can test out of a course. NOTE: The CLEP test is offered once per month with the exception of January, July, and December.