Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Post-workshop Q&A, August 13, 2013

          Thanks to all of the great students who attended today’s academic workshop for new students immediately following the immigration check-in session. Below are some of your questions and my answers. I have consolidated and paraphrased some of the questions, so read them carefully. Also, I received some questions that were clearly answered in the presentation and/or in the online new student orientation, so I have not included those questions. You know how to review the material if you need such basic information. Finally, I am not answering questions that are specific to your individual educational plan in this blog. You must have a counseling appointment to discuss such individualized questions.
          Before I address the questions, I want to say that I am very displeased with any new international student who has not enrolled in any classes yet. You have had the opportunity to enroll in classes for a long time now, and there is no excuse for you not to be enrolled in units. There are still many classes with open seats (more than 500 as of this afternoon, to be exact!), and since you must be enrolled in at least 12 units to maintain your immigration status, you must enroll in units. At this point you cannot be particular about which classes you take. If you want to remain in the US and in status, you must enroll.

Q. How can I learn more about the assessment process?
A. Review the presentation at www.dvc.edu/international/resources and visit the Assessment Center website to learn more about assessment: http://www.dvc.edu/org/departments/assessment-center/. Assessments are given throughout the year.

Q. When are we supposed to have books by?
A. As soon as possible, otherwise you might fall behind in the readings and assignments for the class. See the Book Center website for more details and to order books: http://www.bookcenter.dvc.edu/.

Q. Is it possible to transfer from DVC to an Ivy League or other prestigious university?
A. Anything is possible, but in all honesty, it is highly unlikely that a DVC student will gain admission as a transfer student to an Ivy League university. My advice: apply anyway, but have a Plan B…and a Plan C, and possibly a Plan D, as well.

Q. Do I need a TOEFL and/or SAT score to transfer to a CSU or UC?
A. For UCs, as long as your English 122 and Critical Thinking grades are each B or better, you do not need to submit a TOEFL score. If you make a C in one of those classes, you might need a TOEFL for some of the UCs. See www.universityofcalifornia.edu or contact the admissions office of the UC campuses you are interested in attending for details.
          The CSUs have varying policies. In any case, if you study full-time in the US for three or more years, you do not have to submit a TOEFL. Contact the admissions office of the CSU campuses you are interested in attending for details.
          Neither the CSUs nor the UCs require SAT of transfer applicants.

Q. Are there any scholarships for international students?
A. International students can apply for scholarships that are not need-based (i.e. awarded based on your financial need) because you had to prove you had enough money for your studies at DVC in order to get your I-20. There is one scholarship specifically for international students at DVC. Contact the Scholarship office for details: http://www.dvc.edu/org/departments/foundation/scholarship/.

Q. I have credits from a previous college. How do I know how they will be accepted?
A. This question was addressed in a previous blog post. Please see posts from August 5-8 and August 12 for the answer.

Q. How many courses must I take to be eligible to enroll in ENGL-122?
A. That depends on which level you start. Read the course description for ENGL-122 in the DVC Catalog and see the prerequisite information, then read the course descriptions for those courses and read their prerequisite information. Doing so will help you determine how many courses you might need to take before you can enroll in ENGL-122.

Q. How do I know how many Math classes, if any, I need to take for my major?
A. If you want to transfer to a CSU or UC campus, look up the articulation agreement between DVC and the CSU or UC campus’s major on www.assist.org, and you will know how many Math classes you need to take. If your major does not require any Math, then you will need only one transferable Math class to meet admissions requirements.

Q. What is the maximum number of units I can enroll in each semester?
A. Students in their first semester at DVC can enroll in a maximum of 19 units. Thereafter you can request permission to enroll in more than 19 units. See my previous posts for my thoughts on enrolling in excessive units. It is not a wise thing to do academically.

Q. Where is the ISAS? What do they do? Where is the Counseling Center? What do they do?
A. The International Student Admissions and Services office (ISAS) is located on the second floor of the Student Services Center, and the Counseling Center is on the same floor but at the opposite end of the building.
          The ISAS responds to concerns about immigration status, working on and off campus, health insurances, housing, and other non-academic issues. The Counseling Center provides academic, career, and personal counseling. See a counselor to identify an academic goal, understand the requirements for achieving your goal, know how to identify appropriate classes for meeting those requirements, and accessing resources available for your academic success.
          The ISAS sees students on a drop-in basis only. The Counseling Center sees students primarily by appointment. Book early; sometimes you must wait 2-3 weeks for your appointment. Come with a list of your questions so the time (30 minutes maximum) can be used well. Educate yourself using resources provided to you and do not waste the counselor’s time asking questions that are clearly addressed in those resources.