FAQs

Questions that Porterville College students often ask...   and the answers.

Advising

Where is the counseling center located?

The counseling center is located in the Academic Center, room 126.

How do I make an appointment to see a counselor?

You can either stop by the counseling center in AC-126 to make an appointment, or call 791-2329.

How long is an advising appointment?

Most appointments are for 30 minutes.

Is there drop-in counseling available?

Yes. However, since the drop-in schedule varies each day, you should call the counseling center at 791-2329 to see what the drop-in schedule is for that day or the day in which you plan to drop-in. During the busiest times of the term, especially just before the beginning of the term or registration period, there is often a long line of students waiting to see a counselor and the drop-in schedule is booked for that day, so it is advised that you call prior to coming in to see what the availability is for that day.

Is there always a counselor available to be seen?

If there is an emergency situation that arises, the college will ensure a counselor be available; however, there is not always a counselor available for appointments or drop-ins. Check the counseling center for the counselors' availability for scheduled or drop-in appointments.

What are the hours the counseling center is open?

The counseling center is open Monday-Thursday, 7:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m. and Fridays from 8:00 a.m. noon. In addition, on Tuesday and Wednesdays the center is open until 6:30 p.m. Call the counseling center at 791-2239 to check the appointment schedule of the counselors.

What should I bring with me to my first advising session?

It is recommended that you bring with you the results of your assessment scores that you received at the orientation. If you forget the results, the counselor will have a copy of your assessment scores available to them through the college records system. It is also recommended that if you are planning to enroll in a math class that you bring with you a copy of your high school transcripts so that your counselor can determine which math class you took at the high school satisfies the college prerequisite.

Is there a particular counselor I should see?

Maybe. Some programs such as veterans, EOPS, DRC, and athletics, have a specific counselor that they would like you to see. But for most students, you can see any counselor you like.

Do I have to see a counselor to register if I know what I want to take?

No. However, if you are a new student, seeing a counselor is one of the matriculation steps that you will want to complete in order to get a higher priority registration number later. If you are not sure what to take, then you are encouraged to see a counselor. But if you already know, you can register on your own.

What is General Education?

General education is a broad category of courses that provide students with an awareness of certain basic principles and concepts shared by various disciplines. These principles and concepts include English, communication, science and mathematics, social and behavioral science, and humanities. All students who are working on an associate degree must complete a General Education pattern.

Which General Education pattern should I follow?

This depends on your academic goals. There are three general education patterns a student can follow: 1) PC general education checklist, 2) CSU GE Breadth, and 3) IGETC. Students who plan to graduate but not transfer should follow #1; students who will be transferring to a CSU should follow either #2 or #3, and students who will be transferring to a UC only should complete #3.

Where can I find out what courses are required for my major?

Major requirements are found in the college catalog. You can also get these requirements from a counselor.

Can a counselor help me online, or do I have to make an appointment?

There is a counselor who is assigned to online advising. His email address is mvega@portervillecollege.edu.

How does a Certificate program differ from an Associate degree?

Certificates are awarded to students for completion of a specified pattern of courses in an occupational field or skill. Certificates do not require completion of a general education pattern like a degree requires. Most certificates range from 18-24 credits.

What is a prerequisite or co-requisite?

A "prerequisite" is a course or another condition of enrollment that is required to be completed prior to enrolling in a certain course. A "co-requisite" is a course or condition of enrollment that must be taken at the same time you are taking another course.

Can I challenge a prerequisite?

Yes, under certain conditions. There are a variety of criteria by which a student may challenge a prerequisite. These are listed in the college catalog.

What are catalog rights?

Students may choose to meet degree requirements from one of two catalogs: a) the catalog in effect at the time of graduation, or b) the catalog in effect at the time the student last began continuous enrollment leading to graduation (in most cases, this is the catalog in effect when the student first enrolled).

What do I need to do to transfer to a university after Porterville College?

First, it is always a good idea to see a counselor, especially the Transfer Coordinator/counselor, to make sure you are following the appropriate courses to prepare you for transfer. Depending on which university you may transfer to will determine which general education checklist you should follow so make sure you are following the right checklist. Although not necessarily required, you should complete the general education requirements for transfer and any major prerequisite courses. Also, attend a transfer workshop and make sure you don't miss the application deadlines.

How do I get a copy of my official transcripts?

You can get an unofficial copy by going to MyBanWeb on the college website at
www.portervillecollege.edu, login, and follow the instructions to your unofficial transcripts. For official copies, stop by the Admissions and Records office to request transcripts. Official transcripts are not processed on the spot, so give yourself plenty of time to request and receive them on time.

How do I drop a class after it has started?

Go to MyBanWeb and following the process for dropping classes. Check out the academic calendar on the website, because if you drop the class prior to the 10% date you will receive a refund. After that, you have to drop before the 60% date to receive a "W" and avoid a grade being given.

Can I get a refund if I drop a class?

Yes, if you drop by the 10% date check the academic calendar to find out when that date is.

Is there a certain time in which I should drop a class so it does not count against me?

Yes, the 60% date of the class. If you drop between the 10% and 60% date you will get a "W" in the class. If you drop after the 60% date, the instructor has to give you a letter grade.

What is an "incomplete" (I) grade?

Sometimes a student has almost completed the class but an unforeseen circumstance occurred and the student was not going to be able to complete the class, such as the final, term paper, etc. in time. So rather than dropping the class, the instructor may give the student an "I" grade because he/she was doing well in the class and this extenuating circumstance was going to prevent completion. An "I" grade is worked out with the instructor and requires the student to complete the work by an established due date.

What is a Pass (P) or No Pass (NP) grade?

In certain classes, you may receive a "P" or "NP" grade (formally called Credit or No Credit) rather than a standard letter grade. It simply means you either pass the class (P) or don't pass the class (NP). In order to receive a "P" grade you must have completed the class with the equivalent of a "C" or higher. A "P" or "NP" grade does not figure into your grade point average.

How does a Pass (P) or No Pass (NP) grade affect me?

"P" or "NP" grades do not affect your grade point average. However, "NP" grades may count against you if you are on or near progress probation.

What is the maximum number of credits I am allowed to take?

Generally, 19 credits is the maximum unit load a student may carry each term. If you want to take more than 19 credits, you need to receive approval from a counselor.

What is a "credit by examination"?

Sometimes students feel they already have extensive knowledge in a subject area. If so, the student can request to take an examination in lieu of taking the class. If the student passes the exam, the course will be noted on the transcript in the same way as if the class was taken. Some courses will not allow a credit by exam, and there are some restrictions on who can apply to take a credit by examination. Check out the college catalog for the details.

How can I get my Advanced Placement (AP) tests counted for graduation?

You must have your AP test scores officially sent to the Admissions and Records office and then complete and submit a petition at the A/R office. Once they receive your scores, the staff will evaluate the scores and apply the credit to your records as appropriate.

What is a Student Educational Plan (SEP?

An SEP is a six-semester plan that you work out with your counselor that lists the courses you need to complete for your degree or certificate in a recommended sequence. The SEP can then be used as a guide as you register for subsequent semesters. Some programs, like veterans, financial aid, EOPS, etc., require that all their students complete an SEP.

Where do I go to complete an SEP?

The counseling center AC-126. SEPs are not typically completed during drop-in advising, so you should schedule an appointment with a counselor to complete an SEP.

Can I change the course sequence on my SEP?

Yes, an SEP is a plan, not a required set of courses. However, some programs such as Veteran's, financial aid, will require you to see a counselor before making any changes to your SEP. For most students, however, you can make any change to your SEP as you feel necessary.

Is what I talk to a counselor about kept confidential?

Yes. You should feel comfortable to speak with your counselor and expect that what is discussed will be kept confidential. However, there are certain legal requirements regarding confidentiality that counselors are required to adhere to.