Monday, August 5, 2013

Post-workshop Q&A, August 5, 2013

          Thanks to all of the great students who attended today’s academic workshop following the immigration check-in session. Here are some questions and answers that some of you had. I’ve consolidated some of the questions because a few of them were similar.

Q. Is English assessment mandatory? How many times can I take the English assessment?
A. You do not have to have an English assessment score in order to enroll in ENGL-116 or ENGL-118 or lower-numbered English or ESL courses. However, if you enroll in ENGL-116 and/or ENGL-118 and you are not qualified to be at that level, the instructor might ask you to drop the class and give up your seat to a student who is qualified for that level. So, it’s best to take the English assessment and abide by its recommendations for course placement. You can take the English assessment only twice during your studies at DVC. If you qualify for ENGL-122 in one area (e.g. Reading) but not the other area (i.e. Writing), you may take only the Writing portion of the assessment again.
When you are registering for a course, be sure to read its course description very carefully. For example, some English courses are part of certain programs (such as Umoja or Puente) and are open only to students participating in those programs, thus you will not be able to enroll in those courses.

Q. What subjects does IGETC cover?
A. I’m assuming you mean, what subjects count for IGETC? That can be easily known from the IGETC handout, available on the Counseling Center’s website:
The IGETC FAQs handout is very useful in helping you understand IGETC requirements and issues:
If you mean, which majors will use IGETC, you can find that information when you look up your UC or CSU campus and major in In general, any major except Engineering, Computer Science, and Natural Sciences (e.g. Chemistry, Biology, Biochemistry, etc.) at any CSU or UC campus, and Business Administration at UCB, will accept IGETC.
          Remember, the Assist website also indicates which DVC classes are CSU- and UC-transferable. If a class is not on the Assist website, it is not transferable.

Q. What is the minimum number of units I must take at DVC each semester? And if I took a DVC class this summer, is Summer or Fall my first semester at DVC?
A. You must enroll in at least 12 units each Fall or Spring semester per Department of Homeland Security rules. At least 6 of those units must be at DVC (Pleasant Hill and/or San Ramon campus; it doesn’t matter). The other 6 or more can be at Los Medanos College or Contra Costa College. You do not need to get permission from the International Office (ISAS) because your enrollment will show in Web Advisor. You can take units at a college outside of the Contra Costa Community College District, but you must get permission from ISAS first. Their office is on the second floor of the Student Services Building.
          NOTE: If you do  not have your own car or access to a car and driver, I strongly discourage you from taking classes at more than one campus. It can take a VERY long time to travel from DVC to another campus via bus and BART.
          Your first semester at DVC is the first time you took a DVC class; that’s what your transcript will indicate. However, you might have a different start term on your I-20, which is separate from your academic history (transcript). It doesn’t matter, but if you have any concerns, see Gloria or Renee in the ISAS office.

Q. I got a diploma from a foreign university. Can I transfer the credits to DVC and use them here? Also, some of my grades in my university in my country were bad. How can I deal with that?
A. If you have units from a foreign university and your goal is to earn a DVC certificate or associate’s degree, and if you want to use some of those foreign units at DVC, you must get an official evaluation from a private agency. Visit and search the providers there. Ask for a detailed, course-by-course evaluation, and ask the provider to send it directly to DVC.
          If you plan on transferring to a university from DVC to earn another bachelor’s degree, you need to confirm whether or not the university you plan on transferring to accepts students seeking a second bachelor’s degree. For example, at this time the UC system does not accept applications from students seeking a second bachelor’s degree.
          In any case, understand that a university might make a different decision about your foreign coursework than DVC does, so you need to speak with a representative of that university to discuss how they accept and apply foreign units toward their programs.
          If you have bad marks on your transcript, no matter where you earned those marks (either in the US or in another country), you CANNOT erase bad grades. You MUST submit your records and show ALL of your grades from ALL colleges and universities you have attended in the US and abroad. If the university denies your application, you do have the right to submit an appeal to that decision. See the university’s website for details on appealing a denied application.