Bakersfield College

Bakersfield College student

Counseling FAQs

The following are questions commonly asked by college students. Understanding these answers may help you plan your studies more effectively.

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Counseling/General FAQs

How to contact a Counselor/Educational Advisor?

Two options are available for making a counseling session: You can make a counseling appointment or see a drop-in counselor.

By Appointment

To make an appointment with a counselor at Bakersfield College, telephone (661) 395-4421, at the Delano Campus (661) 720-2000. You can choose a date, time and a specific counselor for your visit. Counseling appointments are not available during peak registration times and in the summer and students must use the drop in system.

Drop-In

Drop-in advising and drop-in counseling is available most hours of the day on a first come, first served basis. Sign in at the front counter of the Advising and Counseling Center located on the bottom floor of the Center for Student Success (formerly Student Services) on the Bakersfield College Main campus and in the Science and Technology wing of the Delano Center.

Additional Advising Available at:

How do I get priority registration?

Priority registration is the ability to register early for the upcoming semester. In order to qualify, students MUST do the following:

  • Complete a student educational plan (SEP) in either a student development course, a workshop or an individual counseling appointment.
  • Complete all matriculation steps including orientation, testing and placement and counseling. All NEW students who complete these matriculation steps will be given priority registration for their first semester of registration.
  • NEW! Students who have already earned a college degree or have 100 units or more will not get priority registration.
  • NEW! Students on second semester probation and disqualification lose priority registration.

Note: Students who have already earned a degree at Bakersfield College are eligible to register after students who have earned 45-60 units at BC.

What is an SEP and how do I complete one?

A Student Educational Plan or SEP is a semester by semester list of all the courses you need to complete to reach your major and/or career goal. An SEP is either completed in a student development course, a workshop or an individual counseling or advising appointment

How many units should I enroll in?

It depends on your unique situation. Students who are employed full-time (40 or more hours per week) should limit themselves to no more than 6 units. If you are employed no more than 20 hours per week, you may sign up for 12 or more units provided that you don't have additional time commitments (e.g. child, spouse, outside activities). If you are not employed, fulltime coursework (12-19 units) may be appropriate.

However, if you have never attended college, are a returning student, or the subject is challenging for you then you should ease your way into the school routine by taking 6-9 units per semester.

The following chart is a valuable tool for students to estimate the amount of time needed to support a quality learning experience:

Work (Hrs/week) Recommended units per semester Estimated Study Time Total hours per week
40 6 12-18 58-64
30 9 18-27 57-66
20 12 24-36 56-68
10 15 30-45 55-70
0 18 36-54 54-72

How do I calculate my GPA?

See GPA calculator and information on how to calculate your grade point average.

Your GPA, or grade point average, is the main indicator of your academic performance in college. GPAs are based on the following system:

Grade Points:

  • A = 4
  • B = 3
  • C = 2
  • D = 1
  • F = 0

To calculate your grade point average, multiply the letter grade points by the number of units in the class. For example, if you received an "A" in English 1, a "C" in Math 52, and an "F" in Human Development 12, you would have:

Class Grade Points Units Attempted Grade Points
English 1 A 4 x 3 = 12
Math 52 C 2 x 3 = 6
HMDV 12 F 0 x 1 = 0
Total: n/a n/a 7 18

Divide the total number of grade points by the total number of units attempted. This gives you your grade point average. In the above example, 18 grade points divides by 7 units attempted equals a 2.57 GPA.

If I am having difficulty in class, what should I do?

What is a major?

A major is a group or series of courses designed to provide intensive education or training in a specialized area.

Students may take classes for their major any semester they choose as long as they are eligible for the course (read course description for prerequisites), the course is offered in the term and seats are available.

As you think about a field of study, consider these points:

  • Your choice of major should be based on personal interest. What subject (s) are you curious about? What fascinates you?
  • Your choice of major should be challenging, not frustrating.
  • Your choice of major is not a lifetime commitment. If you start taking classes in your major and realize that you do not enjoy the coursework, change your major.
  • Your choice of major should be YOUR choice, NOT your parents’ or your high school counselor’s. You, no one else, will be reading, thinking and writing about your major. You are investing in yourself, not someone else.
  • Your choice of major should fulfill a need that is meaningful to you. Do not base this need on the latest “hot” career or the highest paying salary. The former may disappear, and the latter, you may end up disliking

In addition the following resources could be used to gather more information about your major:

  • Interest Inventories
  • Seminars and workshops
  • Career exploration courses
  • Faculty members
  • Organizations and clubs
  • Internships and volunteer experience

(On-Campus - An Interactive Guide To College. Diane S. Fitton, 2009)

For information on specific major course requirements, visit Programs of Study or the Bakersfield College Catalog.

Do I need to have a major?

Yes, students must declare a program of study when they complete their admission form for Bakersfield College. There are several great websites designed specifically for California community college students to help you choose a major and career pathway, inlcuding

Do I need a degree to transfer?

No, but you are encouraged to earn your BC degree prior to transfer. It looks good on your resume and shows future employers that you are someone who sets and attains goals. The most streamlined pathway to transfer is the Associate Degree for Transfer program in conjunction with the California State Universities.

Visit the A Degree With A Guarantee site for more information about the Associate Degree for Transfer program.

Can students retake classes as many times as they would like?

No, students may generally repeat a course only one time. Refer to the BC Catalog for more specific information on the repeat policy.


Registration FAQs

Should I take all general education classes first?

If your assessment scores suggest you need to improve your basic skills in reading, writing/English and math, we recommend that you concentrate on improving your college-level reading and writing skills first. If possible, taking an English course your first semester is a good idea regardless of where you assessed. If you placed at English B50 or above, you should consider taking general education courses that interest you and/or courses that are related to your major.

For example, if you are a math or science major, it is essential that you begin the math sequence as soon as possible.

How can I figure out how long I will be at Bakersfield College?

Your student educational plan or SEP will include a semester by semester plan of all the courses you need to reach your major and career goals.

What is a full-time or part-time student?

Number of Units Enrollment Status
12-19 Full Time
9-11 3/4 Time
6-8* Half-time
5 or less Part-time

* Generally, to be eligible for financial aid, a student must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 units.

How do I know when to register for the next semester?

Registering for the Summer/Fall Semester

  1. Complete an update form the last week of March for Summer/Fall. Go to the BC homepage, click on update and submit.
  2. Check your registration time and date for the fall/summer semesters on the BC homepage
    1. Click on Registration
    2. Click on Student/Financial Aid
    3. Click on Registration
    4. Click on Registration Status, and it will show your registration date and time for summer and fall

Registering for the Spring Semester

  1. Complete an update form the first week of November for spring. BC homepage-click on update and submi
  2. Check your registration time and date for the spring semester on the BC homepage
    1. Click on Registration
    2. Click on Student/Financial Aid
    3. Click on Registration
    4. Click on Registration Status, and it will show your registration date and time for spring

How do I register online?

  1. Complete an Admission/Update Form (this must be done each semester) by entering your ID (Banner ID or Social Security Number) and PIN/Password (that you selected). If you forget your PIN/Password, click, Forgot Pin/Password, and follow the online instructions or call the 24-hour help desk at 877-382-3508.
  2. Click Login to Secure Area (using your ID or Social Security Number and PIN/Password).
  3. Click Student & Financial Aid.
  4. Click Registration.
  5. Click Add/Drop Classes if you know the CRNs of the classes you want or Look Up Classes to Add if you don’t.
    • Select the subject and college you want from the drop down menu. You should leave the other choices defaulted to “all”. Click Register.
    • Look Up Classes to ADD shows an empty check box if the course still has seats. The other columns list: Course Reference Number (CRN), Subject (Subj), Course (Crse), Section (Sec), Campus (Cmp), Credits (Cred), Title, Days, Time, Instructor, Date, Location, Capacity (CAP), Actual (Act), Remaining Seats (Rem), Waitlist Capacity (WL Cap), Waitlist Actual (WL Act), Waitlist Remaining Seats (WL Rem).
  6. If you are successfully registered, the classes and their status will show in the middle of the Add/Drop Classes page. If there are problems, they will show at the bottom of the Add/Drop Classes page. Registration errors can include:
    • CLOSED-### WAITLISTED means you can get on the waitlist by selecting that option from the drop down menu, and clicking Submit Changes at the bottom of the page.
    • CLOSED SECTION or CLOSED-WAITLIST FULL means you can’t register for that class.
    • DUPL CRSE WITH SEC followed by CRN means you are already registered in that class.
    • TIME CONFLICT WITH CRN means you have another class in that time period.
    • CORQ_REQ means there is a corequisites course required.
    • PREQ and TEST SCORE-ERROR means you are not eligible to take that class. See an advisor or call Admissions and Records if you think you are eligible.
    • REPEAT COUNT EXCEEDS means you have taken the class as many times as you are allowed. If you have two unsatisfactory grades, including Ws, you can see the faculty chair for permission to take it again.
    • INSTRUCTOR, FACULTY, CHAIR OR DEAN means the class may not open for registration.
  7. When you have all of the classes you need, click the big blue, Complete Registration button.
  8. Pay for your classes within 10 days or you will be dropped for non-payment or have a hold placed on your record.

How do I get on the waitlist?

The lengths of the waitlists were set upon two factors

  1. Past experience of the number of students who registered and then dropped classes during the registration period before the start of the semester.
  2. The number of students who were able to enroll in the class ('crash' the class) on the first day of the semester.
  • Because of the great flux in enrollments in classes before the start of the semester, students should use the waitlist to ensure themselves a chance of getting into the class they want.
  • Students will not be charged the enrollment fees for waitlisted classes until they are actually enrolled in the class.
  • Students who have opted to be placed on waitlists MUST attend the first meeting of the class or they will be dropped from the waitlist.
  • Courses for which students are waitlisted will appear on their schedules with a registration status of "WL." When the student is moved into the class, the registration status will change to "RE."
  • Students will not be able to register for one section of a class and get on the waitlist for another section. They will not be able to register for a class at a specific time and get on the waitlist for another class at the same time.
  • Students will be able to drop themselves from a waitlist at any time.
  • Waitlisted classes will count in the 19 total units that students may enroll in each semester.
  • When new sections of a course at the same day and time are opened, students on the waitlist will be moved into that section.
  • Students who have received two previous "W" or unsatisfactory grades in a class since 1987, those who wish to audit a class, and concurrently enrolled high school students will only be able to register if there are seats available in a class after everyone on the waitlist has been enrolled.
  • Students receive financial aid only for those classes they are enrolled in.
  • The prerequisite, basic skills, time conflict, and repeat checks will prevent ineligible students from getting on a waitlist just as they prevent students from registering for the classes.
  • Until the Wednesday before the start of classes, students who are moved from a waitlist into a class will be notified by receiving a new schedule/bill in the mail. After that Wednesday, students will need to check their registration/waitlist status on the phone or the web.
  • Students who might be away for long periods of time between registration and the start of classes should consider prepaying the fees for the waitlisted class so they are not dropped because of non-payment after they are automatically moved off the waitlist and into the class.

How do I get priority registration?

Priority registration is the ability to register early for the upcoming semester. In order to qualify, students must do the following:

  • Enroll in an Educational Planning course and complete an SEP.
  • Complete all matriculation components including orientation, assessment and counseling.
  • Students on disqualification must see a counselor.
  • Continued students who were registered on Monday of the 3rd week of classes are assigned early registration appointments for the following semester in the following order:
    1. Students who belong to specific groups or special programs and who have completed matriculation.
    2. Students who have completed orientation, assessment, counseling, and have a student educational plan on file in descending order of the number of units completed, except that students who have completed 45 to 68 units will be first.
    3. High School seniors who have completed the early registration process

Note: Students who have already earned a degree at Bakersfield College are eligible to register after students who have earned 45-60 units at BC.

How do I see a visual guide of the waitlist?

Go to http://www2.bakersfieldcollege.edu/nstrobel/banner/waitlist/ .


Transcript FAQs

How do I transfer units earned at Bakersfield College to other colleges and universities?

To request an official copy of all courses taken at Bakersfield College, complete a transcript request form at the Admissions Office at window #8 or request it online.

How do I transfer credit from other colleges and universities to Bakersfield College?

  • Have official transcripts sent to Bakersfield College, Admissions Office, 1801 Panorama Drive, Bakersfield, CA 93305.
  • Complete a formal request to evaluate transcripts as soon as possible at the Admissions Office (window #6) or email* your request. Be sure to include your name, social security/ID number, any previous names, phone number, and indicate whether you need a transfer evaluation, a military evaluation, and/or a CLEP or AP evaluation. Transcripts are not automatically evaluated at Bakersfield College. A formal request must be made and results will be posted online after a minimum of 12 weeks. Evaluations will not be mailed to the student. Check online at MyBanWeb for results.
  • Students are advised to double check that the transfer college/university has mailed your transcript to BC.

Graduation FAQs

Can students check their progress towards their degree or certificate?

Yes, students should follow the instructions below:

  1. Log in to InsideBC, then click on "Tools" on the top bar.
  2. Click on the link for MyDegreePath.

How do I file for graduation?

Students who expect to graduate at the end of the current semester should complete the Candidacy for Graduation Petition and submit it to the Office of Admissions and Records, Window #6.

The application deadlines are:

  • April 1 for spring graduation
  • July 1 for summer graduation
  • November 1 for fall graduation

The forms must be accompanied by a My Degree Path Audit that documents the student has met at least 92% of the requirements for the degree. Students who need assistance with running the audit may receive help in the lobby of the Administration building or in the Counseling Center.

Students who do not show at least 92% of the requirements met, should see a counselor or educational advisor.

See the Graduation Requirements page for more information.

What are the BC general education requirements for a degree from Bakersfield College?

Please see the Transfer and Graduation/General Education sections of the current catalog.

What are the CSU general education requirements for a degree from Bakersfield College?

Transfer and Graduation/General Education sections of the current catalog.

What are the UC general education requirements (IGETC) for a degree from Bakersfield College?

Please see the Transfer and Graduation/General Education sections of the current catalog.


Glossary

A.A. / A.S. degree
An Associate in Arts (A.A.) or Associate in Science (A.S.) Degree is awarded by a community college upon completion of an organized sixty unit program of study.
Academic probation
Students are placed on academic probation and a hold is put on their ability to register for classes when their grade point average drops below a 2.0. To lift the hold, students must complete the online Academic Success Workshop each semester until their cumulative GPA reaches at least a 2.0
B.A. / B.S. degree
A Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) are degrees awarded by a four-year college or university after the completion of an organized program of studies consisting of approximately 124 semester units. The freshman and sophomore years at a community college are equivalent to the freshman and sophomore years at a four-year college.
Certificate program
A certificate program is an occupational program that offers specialized career training.
CSU system
The CSU System stands for the California State University System. It includes twenty-three campuses. Three examples are Cal State Bakersfield, SDSU and CSU Cal Poly. When you have completed approximately 45 transferable units at BC, you may apply online to a CSU at CSU Mentor. Please consult with a counselor and Transfer Services.
Disqualification
If a student does not earn a 2.0 grade point average or does not complete at least 51% of the units they attempt for three consecutive semesters, then they are disqualified from attending Bakersfield College. Students must contact the Advising and Counseling Department to make a counseling appointment to determine what steps they need to complete to determine when they can return to BC. Remember, counseling appointments are not available during peak registration times, so it is suggested that students seek advising and counseling advice mid-semester if they are struggling in their courses.
General Education
General Education refers to a broad range of courses taken to increase a student's knowledge of a variety of subjects. They are courses outside your major and are required of all students receiving an A.A./A.S. or B.A./B.S. degree. These courses are listed in the Bakersfield College catalog.
Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC)
This is the general education pattern which students use for transferring to the UC system. It can also be used by students who are not sure if they would like to transfer to the UC or CSU system. Please consult with a counselor and Transfer Services.
Lower-division
Lower-division refers to students and courses at the freshman and sophomore level of college study. Community colleges offer only lower-division courses.
Matriculation
Matriculation is the process that allows the college and you to form a partnership which helps you attain that goal. We ask you to commit yourself to an educational objective and we will commit ourselves in assisting you to succeed. Matriculation includes the following:
  • Admission
  • Orientation
  • Assessment
  • Counseling
  • Student Educational Plan (SEP)
Prerequisite
A prerequisite is a requirement that must be met prior to enrolling in a particular course - usually an entrance test or completion of a preparatory course. To locate the prerequisite, refer to the course description in the college catalog.
Progress probation
Students are placed on progress probation when they have not completed 51% of their cumulative units attempted. These students must meet with a counselor or attend a online Academic Success Workshop in order to enroll for the upcoming semesters until their cumulative completion of units has reached 51%.
Semester
A semester is a 16-week session.
Transferable course
A transferable course is a course at Bakersfield College that is accepted by a four-year college, including community college, or university. The transferability of courses are listed in the course description section of the Bakersfield College Catalog.
UC system
The UC System stands for the University of California System. The UC System includes nine campuses. In 2008, more than 80 percent of admitted transfer students came to the UCs. from California Community Colleges.UCSB and UCLA are the closest campuses to Bakersfield College. The UC application must be submitted online. Please consult with a counselor and Transfer Services.
Unit
A unit is a measurement of college work which reflects the amount of credit given to a course. You can generally count on one hour of class time weekly for each unit a course is assigned.
Upper-division
Upper-division refers to students or courses at the junior or senior level of college study. These courses can only be taken at the university or college.
Kern Community College District