Student Services Bldg., 1st fl.
Fax: (818) 710-2559
|Monday||8 am - 7 pm|
|Tuesday||8 am - 7 pm|
|Wednesday||8 am - 7 pm|
|Thursday||8 am - 7 pm|
|Friday||8 am - 4 pm|
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I earn an Associates Degree?
What is General Education and do I have to have it?
What courses do I need for my major?
What courses should I take if I don't have a major?
How can I become a more effective student?
How do I prepare for transfer to a 4-year college or university?
How can I transfer to a private or out of state university?
What if I don't know where I want to transfer?
How long will it take to transfer?
How do I calculate my GPA?
What is General Education and do I have to have it? (back to top)
General Education, also called GE or Gen Ed, is a pattern of classes that are a required part of all associates and bachelors degrees. If you plan to complete a degree there will be some GE required. Exactly which pattern you follow depends on which degree at which institution you desire but you can expect to see requirements in categories such as English, math, arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences and physical and life sciences.
- For Transfer CSU General Education see the CSU plan
- For Transfer CSU/UC General Education see IGETC plan
- For transfer to private colleges and universities GE plans see the Transfer Center web site or see a Counselor
- For General Studies AA degree, review the Pierce College GE plan
- For Certificates, there is no General Education requirement
General Education provides opportunities for students to develop skills and knowledge from a variety of fields to help you understand the complex world in which you live. It will help you build a foundation for future coursework and lifelong learning. Through General Education, the college encourages you to become well informed, effective citizens of the world who actively participate in community affairs, cultivate self awareness, appreciate the arts and pursue lifelong learning.
What courses do I need for my major? (back to top)
The answer will depend on your academic goal.
- If your goal is to complete an Associates Degree, refer to the General Catalog section called Educational Programs for a list and/or pattern of classes for your major. (Note: Be aware that an Associates Degree is not a requirement for transfer and is not the same as preparation for transfer.)
- If your goal is transfer to a California public university, you will find the answer to your question at assist.org.
- For majors at private universities, more information is available on the Transfer Center website and by meeting with a counselor.
What courses should I take if I don't have a major? (back to top)
Many students begin taking courses at Pierce College without having a firm idea about a major or area to study. In fact, there are many courses that are available to help you explore your personal goals, careers and majors.
Here are some ideas of courses and activities that may help you explore:
- Explore the resources on the Career Center website
- Take Career Planning classes (Counseling 4 or 8)
- Make an appointment with a Career Counselor
- Use general education courses to find out more about a subject
You don't have to declare a major right away, but the sooner you decide the more efficient you can be in selecting courses that fit your interests and also meet degree requirements.
How can I become a more effective student? (back to top)
Students come to our campus with a wide range of preparation for college-level work. Some are well prepared and ready to begin college-level work. Some students first need to work on their basic skills before trying college level work so they will be more successful. Other students want to develop specific competencies. The following are some of our campus' skill-building resources:
- Counseling 40 - a semester-length, transferable course which teaches all that a typical new student needs to know to be successful in a college environment. Highly recommended for all new students!
- Learning Skills Courses: These basic skills classes supplement the English and math courses you were placed into.
- Center for Academic Success - Provides computer labs with internet access and tutoring services in most subjects
- Sometimes personal issues get in the way of your ability to make progress at school. If this is happening with you, consider making an appointment to talk things over in a Personal Counseling appointment.
- If you feel that you are not getting academic results equal to the effort you are expending, you may want to consider a visit to Special Services where specially trained staff can help you determine whether you have learning disabilities. They can also help with strategies, tools and techniques to deal with them.
How do I prepare for transfer to a California State University or a University of California? (back to top)
Most students who transfer to a California State University or a University of California based on their community college record will transfer with 60 transferable units. The courses you select will depend on which campus you want to transfer to and the major you select.
Assist.org is your main resource for updated information about general education and requirements for you major. The Transfer Center site also has informative transfer planners you can download and use as guides.
Transfer requirements can be very confusing, so it's important to take advantage of the help Pierce College offers you.
- Talk to academic counselors, they are experts in transfer advising and can help you plan your transfer program.
- Go to the Transfer Center which has both a trained staff and a wealth of information available for your use including catalogs for many campuses, access to catalogs on-line, and appointments with representatives from local and distant campuses.
- Watch for the College and University Day in the fall semester where representatives from colleges and universities are here to talk with you.
We recommend that students drop in or make an appointment in the Counseling Office during their first semester and then at least once each semester to stay on track. Requirements change from year to year, so it's important to stay up to date.
How can I transfer to a private or out-of-state university? (back to top)
The courses you will need to transfer to a private or out-of-state university depend on the requirements of that school. We have transfer course agreements with some local private universities that will guide your course selection. These are available on the Transfer Center website.
To prepare for transfer to other private schools or to an out of state school, you may need to make an appointment with an academic counselor. You will probably need to consult the university catalog to determine the guidelines for transferring.
The commonly used general education transfer patterns for California public universities (IGETC and CSU General Education) are not the right plans to follow to transfer to either private or out of state campuses. They are for California public institutions only with few exceptions.
What if I don't know where I want to transfer? (back to top)
If you know that you want to transfer but you don't know where, it is harder to choose classes because you don't know what will be required. The sooner you narrow down your choices, the sooner you can follow a transfer plan that shows the general education and major course that school requires.
If you are uncertain about where you will transfer, it is important before taking too many classes to talk with a counselor to plan a strategy that keeps your options open. Some students choose to start with general education courses required by the CSU or UC systems while deciding, but this is a temporary strategy.
You will also want to explore which universities offer the major that interests you since not all campuses offer all majors and that choice may help narrow your options. Visit http://www.assist.org/for majors information at CSU or UC. You many also find information about majors using the Eureka computerized exploration program in the Career Center.
How long will it take to transfer? (back to top)
The time it takes to transfer is individual and depends on your academic preparation, your choice of universities, and your personal circumstances. It's helpful to start thinking of the transfer process as about completing the required number of units and courses than about time.
For transfer to most public colleges and universities you will need 60 transferable units. Students whose assessment results require them to complete non-transferable, remedial English and math courses will have additional courses to add to their program. It will also slow you down if you attend part-time or are not able to complete the courses you sign up for.
What could help you speed up the transfer process?
- Taking advantage of summer and winter sessions in addition to the usual fall and spring terms
- Knowing your major and where you plan to transfer helps you take only the courses you need
- Explore the PACE Program - accelerated program to meet the needs of working adults
How do I calculate my GPA? (back to top)
Calculating your Grade Point Average (GPA)
- Grades are assigned the following grade points:
Each class has assigned units. Multiply the units by the assigned grade point.
- Add up the total units attempted for all your classes at all colleges attended. Include those in which you received an F, but not those in which you received a "W".
- Add up the total grade points
- Divide the total units into the total grade points
|Class||Units||Grades||Grade Points (GP)|
|TOTAL||14 Units||44 GP|
If you divide 44 GP by 14 units your GPA will be 3.14.
CAUTION: In the computation, do not mix quarter units with semester units. Prior, convert to either semester or quarter units.
Quarter units = 1.5 times semester units
Semester units = Quarter units divided by 1.5