FAQs

  1. What kinds of classes should I take my first semester?
  2. How many units/classes should I take in a semester?
  3. What classes do I need to take to earn a degree/certificate?
  4. What classes do I need to take to transfer to a university? 
  5. What is a Student Educational Plan (SEP) and why do I need one? 
  6. What is the difference between a Counseling appointment and “drop-in” counseling? 
  7. How do I prepare for a counseling appointment? 
  8. What do I need to do in order to petition to graduate for a degree/certificate? 
  9. What should I do if I am on academic/progress probation? 
  10. What happens if I fail a class? 
  11. How do I calculate my GPA? 
  12. How do I view my grades? 
  13. What do I do if I am “waitlisted” for a class? 
  14. What if I still have questions? 

What kinds of classes should I take my first semester?
The answer will depend on your academic goal.

If your goal is to complete an AA/AS degree, you are required to complete General Education courses (like math and English), courses required for your major as well as some elective units. 

If your goal is to complete a certificate, you are required to complete specific courses in your major

If your goal is to transfer to a university, in most cases, you will take general education (CSU general education patternIGETC (CSU & UC) general education pattern) and major preparation courses (ASSIST).  It is important to meet with a counselor to discuss the courses you should take.  Schedule an appointment to complete a Student Educational Plan with a counselor.  Note: if you have attended another college/university, you are required to submit all official transcripts to the office of Admissions and Records prior to scheduling a counseling appointment.

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How many units/classes should I take in a semester?
It depends on your unique situation.If you are not employed, you may want enroll full time (12 -15 units). If you are working no more than 20 hours per week, you may be enrolled as a full-time student (12 units) providing you don’t have additional commitments (for example children, family obligations, outside activities, etc.). 

If you are working full time, 35+ hours per week, you should limit enrollment to no more than 6 units. If you are unsure about the number of units/classes to take, it is better to start off slow and be successful.

The 18-24-30 chart is a valuable tool for you to estimate the amount of time needed to support a quality learning experience. 

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What classes do I need to take to earn a degree/certificate?
If your goal is to complete an AA/AS degree, you are required to complete General Education courses (like math and English), courses required for your major as well as some elective units.  .

If your goal is to complete a certificate, you are only required to complete your major requirements. 

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What classes do I need to take to transfer to a university?
If your goal is to transfer to a university, in most cases, you will take General Education and major preparation courses.  It is important to meet with a counselor to discuss the courses you should take.  Schedule an appointment to complete a Student Educational Plan with a counselor.  Note: if you have attended another college/university, you are required to submit all official transcripts to the office of Admissions and Records prior to scheduling a counseling appointment.

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What is a Student Educational Plan (SEP) and why do I need one?
We require that every student complete a SEP early on in their academic career.

A Student Educational Plan outlines all the courses a student needs to take to reach their educational goal.  It list courses required for the major, general education and electives.  The SEP helps to keep a student on track by letting them know what classes are required and helps them to avoid taking classes that are not necessary.  Note: if you have attended another college/university, you are required to submit all official transcripts to the office of Admissions and Records prior to scheduling a counseling appointment. 

SEP’s are required for Veterans and Financial Aid appeals.

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What is the difference between a Counseling appointment and “drop-in” counseling?
Drop-in counseling is appropriate for short, quick answer questions that are limited to 10 minutes.

Counseling appointments are designed to address more complex questions, such as degree evaluations, transfer requirements, transcript evaluations (official transcripts from previously attended colleges/universities must be on file in Admissions and Records), Student Educational Plans (SEP), clarifying educational/career goals, long term planning and more.

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How do I prepare for a counseling appointment?
You may schedule an appointment to see a counselor up to two weeks in advance.   Appointments can be made over the phone or in person.  Prior to your appointment, you should have completed the following:

If you have previously attended another college/university, all of your official transcripts must be on file with Admissions and Records. You may confirm with Admissions and Records that your transcripts are on file and have been evaluated by the Transcript Evaluator prior to your appointment.

Complete the START assessment in order to determine your English and math placement.  You may be exempt from the assessment if you have successfully completed an English and/or math class at another accredited institution. Please refer to the Testing Center for dates/times.

Be prepared for your appointment by writing down your questions, arriving five minutes prior to your appointment, and checking in with the receptionist. Arriving more than 10 minutes late will require that you reschedule your appointment.

Bring in a file/folder you will use to organize and save your counseling documents which will include: SEP, general education patterns, major sheet, copies of any official transcripts, transfer information, etc. Bring this file/folder with you to each counseling appointment.

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What do I need to do in order to petition to graduate for a degree/certificate?
Verify that you have completed the general education, major, and graduation requirements.

Schedule an appointment to meet with a counselor to verify completion of degree/certificate requirements.

If requirements are met, you will complete a petition to graduate/certificate of completion form with a counselor.  Official transcripts from all previously attended colleges/universities (including military transcripts) must be on file with Admissions and Records in order to complete your petition.

Complete the petition by the appropriate deadline.  The deadline date is listed on the academic calendar.

All degrees and certificates are mailed out after the end of the semester once grades are final and all petitions are evaluated.

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What should I do if I am on academic/progress probation?
Being on academic/progress probation is to be taken seriously.  If you find yourself on probation, please see a counselor to help you strategize how to regain good standing.

Academic probation occurs when either your semester and/or overall GPA drops below a 2.0.  Addressing your probation status early can help you avoid future complications with academic concerns.  Continued academic difficulties can lead to dismissal from the college.

Progress probation can occur when a student fails to complete more than 50% of the units attempted in a semester and/or overall.  Repetitive non-completion can also lead to dismissal from the college.

Please refer to our Probation & Dismissal section on our counseling website for more information.

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What happens if I fail a class?
Earning an A, B, C, or P grade in a class is considered passing.  If a student earns a D or F grade it is considered substandard. 

Many times a student will want to repeat the same course in which he/she earned a substandard grade in order to raise their GPA.  This process is called course repetition.  When a course is repeated with a passing grade, only the first-two substandard grades will be alleviated from the GPA.  

Another strategy students may use in order to alleviate substandard grades from their cumulative GPA is called academic renewal.  Academic Renewal allows a student to alleviate up to 3 semesters of substandard grades from their cumulative GPA.  A student must wait at least a year since the grade to be alleviated was completed and have either completed since the alleviated coursework 18 units with a 2.4 GPA or 24 units with a 2.0 GPA.  When work is alleviated, the permanent record shall be annotated in such a manner that all work remains legible ensuring a true and complete academic history.  An academic renewal form must be filed with a counselor.  All academic renewals are non-reversible. 

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How do I calculate my GPA?
Grades are assigned the following grade points:

Grades Grade Points
A 4
B 3
C 2
D 1
F 0

 

  1. Each class has assigned units.  Multiple the units by the assigned grade points (refer to the table above).
  2. Add up the total units and grade points earned.
  3. Divide the total units into the total grade points. 
Here's an example: 
Class Units Grades Grade Points
ENGL 101 4 B 12
PD 101 3 C 6
SOC 120 3 A 12
GEOG 101 3 B 9
PE 140 1 A 4
TOTAL 14 Units   43 Grade Points
3.07 GPA

You may also use a GPA calculator for assistance.

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How do I view my grades?
Once grades are final, you may view your grades on myHancock which is your student portal.  Click on your “Student” tab and click on “view unofficial transcript.” Grades are not mailed out.

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What do I do if I am “waitlisted” for a class?
If you are waitlisted for a class, you must check your myHancock e-mail every day. An email will be sent to you once a space opens in the course. You will have 24 hours to respond to your email. Follow the instructions in the e-mail to add yourself to the course. Failure to respond within the 24 hour time limit will result in being dropped from the wait list.

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What if I still have questions?
The counseling department team is dedicated to your student success. We are here to answer your questions and assist you. Schedule an appointment early in your academic career at AHC and allow us to help you plan a successful educational journey.

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SPOTLIGHT

Julie Gutierrez

Julie Gutierrez
ECS Student

"Allan Hancock College is the greatest thing that has happened to me. It has given me the opportunity to grow and learn valuable information from experienced teaching staff while staying at home saving money. I will transfer to a four-year college next spring."
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Last Modified Jun 12, 2014