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.

General Counseling

At this time, Counseling and Advising Appointments have transitioned to a virtual counseling and advising environment. We are excited to offer your choice of a 30-MINUTE “ZOOM” or PHONE APPOINTMENT, commencing, Monday, March 16, 2020. We are also continuing to service students via email and through our direct office lines.

There are many ways to connect with the Counseling Center! Our hours of operation remain:

  • Monday–Thursday: 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday: Closed

Call the campus of your choice:

  • Panorama Campus: (661) 395-4421
  • Delano Campus: (661) 720-2000
  • BC Southwest Center: (661) 395-4150

Email our Counseling Center:

Additionally, there are Counselors and Advisors located in other departments on campus:

  • Athletics: (661) 395-4681
  • Allied Health: (661) 395-4476
  • Career & Technical Education (CTE): (661) 395-4809
  • Financial Aid: (661) 395-4428
  • Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM): (661) 395-4772
  • Veterans Services: (661) 395-4312

For a complete listing of Counseling Administration, Support Staff, Program Managers, Counseling Faculty and Educational Advisors, see our Counseling Faculty and Staff Directory.

Appointment Process

Your Counselor or Advisor will contact you via your BC email or call your on-file phone number (if you do not have internet access, this is a great option!) to schedule and confirm your appointment. If you need to update your phone number, please call the Counseling Center at (661) 395-4421.

Prepare for your Zoom meeting

You must log-in from a computer, laptop, or tablet with a microphone and web camera to optimize your virtual appointment. Your smartphone is also an option. After you schedule your appointment you will receive a link with steps on how to log-in and "meet" with your Counselor or Advisor.

A Counselor can help you identify and clarify personal, career and educational goals. Counselors and Advisors assist students in developing an education plan and the selection of appropriate courses in preparation for Certificates, Associate Degrees, Associate Degrees for Transfer, our Bachelor’s Degree, and transfer.

Counselors can also evaluate transcripts from other colleges and universities, as well as external credit by examination, to determine general education and/or completion at BC and transfer, clear pre-requisite holds, and clear probation holds.

The Counseling and Student Success Center recommends that all students meet with a Counselor or Advisor at least once every semester.

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 (STDV) course, a workshop or an individual counseling or advising appointment

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, it's recommended that you sign up for 12 or more units, provided you don't have additional time commitments (e.g. child, spouse, outside activities). If you are not employed, full-time courseload (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

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.

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 desired 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 counselors'. 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.

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, including:

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 (ADT) 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.

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

Students on less than “Good” Academic Standing need help and tools to get back to Good Standing. Students on Second Semester Probation need to complete the online Student Success Seminar and attend a Probation Workshop.

Being on either academic or progress probation can delay achieving your educational goals. Finding solutions begins with knowledge. The more you know about academic standing, what Bakersfield College expects of you, and the timelines involved, the easier it will be to develop an effective action plan.

Find detailed information on our Academic Standing page.