By the end of this section, you will be able to:
- Understand courses within your own college program: core courses, electives, and major courses.
- Know how to find your college’s policies and understand their importance.
- Know what resources your college makes available to students and how to access them.
Core Courses, Electives, Majors, and Credits
Every college has its own course requirements for different programs and degrees. This information is available in the print and online versions of the Catalog and Student Handbook. While academic advisors can help students plot their path through college and take the most appropriate courses, students should also take this responsibility themselves to ensure they are registering for courses that fit well into their plan for a program or degree completion.
In general there are three types of courses:
- Core courses, sometimes called general education requirements, involve a range of courses from which you can choose to meet this requirement. You may need to take one or more English classes and possibly math or foreign language requirements. You will need a specific number of credits or course hours in certain types of core courses, but you can often choose among various courses for how you meet these requirements.
- Required courses in your major are determined by individual academic departments. Whether you choose to major in English, math, engineering, history, a health profession, chemistry, business, or any other field, your individual department sets specific required courses you must take and gives you options for a required additional number of credits in the department. You may not need to declare a major for a while, but this is something you can start thinking about now.
- Electives are courses you choose freely to complete the total number of college credits needed for your program or degree. How many electives you may take, how they count toward your total, and what kinds of courses are acceptable as electives all vary considerably among different schools and programs.
It is important is that you understand what courses you need and how each one counts towards your goals at MCC. Study the Monroe Community College Catalog and Student Handbook carefully and be sure to talk things over fully with an advisor. With careful planning, you can avoid taking courses that don’t count toward your program or degree.
In addition, each term you may have to choose how many courses or hours to take. Colleges have rules about the maximum number of hours allowed for full-time students, but this maximum may in fact be more than you are prepared to manage, especially if you work or have other responsibilities. Taking a light course load, while allowing more time for studying and other activities, could add up over time and result in an extra full year of college (or more) at significant additional expense. Part-time students often face decisions based more on time issues. Everyone’s situation is unique, however, and all students should seek advisement each year or semester.
A college campus is almost like a small town or country unto itself. The campus has its own police force, its own government, its own stores, its own ID cards, its own parking rules, and so on. Colleges also have their own policies regarding many types of activities and behaviors. Students who do not understand the rules can sometimes find themselves in trouble.
The most important academic policy is academic honesty. Cheating is taken very seriously. Some high school students may have experienced little to no consequences if caught looking at another student’s paper during a test or turning in a paper containing sentences or paragraphs found online. In many colleges, academic dishonesty like this may result in automatic failure of the course or even expulsion from college. The principle of academic honesty is simple: every student must do his or her own work. If you have any doubt of what this means for a paper you are writing, a project you are doing with other students, or anything else, check the College Catalog and Student Handbook for its policy statements or talk with your instructor.
Colleges also have policies about alcohol and drug use, sexual harassment, hazing, hate crimes, and other potential problems. Residence halls have policies about noise limits, visitors, hours, structural and cosmetic alterations of college property, and so on. The Office of Student Accounts has policies about course add and drop dates, payment schedules and refunds, and the like. Such policies are designed to ensure that all students have the same right to a quality education. You can find these policies in the College Catalog and Student Handbook.
To be successful in college, you need to be fully informed and make wise decisions about enrolling in appropriate courses, following college policies, and accessing additional resources. Always remember that your college wants you to succeed. That means that if you have any questions or are experiencing any difficulties, there are college resources available to help you find answers or assistance. This is true of both academic and personal issues that could potentially disrupt your college experience. Never hesitate to ask for help.
The College Catalog and Student Handbook has already been mentioned as a great source of many kinds of information. You should have a copy of the catalog and know where to find it online.
The college’s website is the second place to look for help. Students are often surprised to see how much information is available online, including information about college programs, offices, special assistance initiatives, as well as helpful information such as suggestions for study, personal health, financial help, and other resources. Take some time to explore your college’s website and learn what is available so you’re prepared for any issues that may arise in the future.
The following are some of the resources at Monroe Community College:
- Career Center Services Brighton Campus 3-108 DCC 5252 This center can help you find a student job or internship, plan for your career after graduation, and receive career counseling.
- LeRoy V. Good Library and DCC Library Brighton Campus Building 2 2nd, 3rd and 4th floor DCC Learning Commons The library’s highest priority is student success.
- Counseling and Veteran Services Brighton Campus 3-105 DCC 5252 This office helps with personal problems, including health, stress management, interpersonal issues, and so on.
- Financial Aid Office Brighton Campus 6-207 DCC 5024 If you are presently receiving financial aid or may qualify for assistance, you should know this office well.
- Student Account Office Brighton Campus 6-201 DCC 5024 Students make tuition and fee payments at this office.
- Learning Centers
- Center for Academic Reading Brighton 9-231 DCC 4069 A productive environment in which students can work on reading related assignments from all disciplines.
- Writing Center Brighton Campus 11-208 DCC 4258 Students are guided through the writing process during drop in or scheduled 15-20 minute sessions.
- Mathematics Learning Center Brighton Campus 11-204 DCC 4258 The Mathematics Department provides services to students.
- Academic Foundations Learning Center Brighton Campus 11-209 Integrated Learning Center DCC 4258 Free tutoring is available for all classes offered at MCC.
- Electronic Learning Center Brighton Campus 11-106 DCC 4068 A centralized place for students to use computers.
- Student Health Services Brighton Campus 3-165 Clinical services are delivered through appointments daily. You may also drop in to have registered nurses assess and evaluate health care concerns and provide basic first aid for injuries and illness.
- Advisement and Graduation Services Brighton Campus 1-231 DCC 5252 This office helps students choose courses and plan their programs or degrees.
- Services for Students with Disabilities Brighton 1-231 DCC 5252 This office provides various services to help students with disabilities adapt to the college environment.
- Residence Halls Brighton Campus 1-108 This is the office of campus residential housing.
- Global Education and International Students Brighton Campus 3-108 This office promotes cultural awareness on campus, runs special programs, and assists international students with adjusting to campus culture.
- Student Clubs and Organizations Brighton Campus 3-126 Participating in a group of like-minded students often supports academic success.
- First Year Experience Brighton Campus 3-126 DCC Student Services Center Through activities, workshops, courses, and community service, students will be exposed to numerous opportunities to help them be successful both inside and outside of the classroom.
- Fitness Center Brighton Campus 10-112 DCC 4012 Access exercise equipment.
- The Bookstore Brighton Campus 3 DCC 4th floor In addition to required textbooks, the Bookstores sell paperbacks and magazines, calculators, school and stationary supplies, software, sportswear, candy, greeting cards and other items.
- Campus Center Services Desk Brighton Campus Building 3 Atrium DCC Bookstore Offers services such as check cashing, locker rentals, and printing tickets to college-wide events.
- Your instructors. It never hurts to ask an instructor if he or she knows of any additional college resources you haven’t yet discovered. There may be a brand new program on campus or a certain department may offer a service not widely promoted through the college website.
Everyone needs help some time, so you should never feel embarrassed or ashamed to seek help. Remember that a part of your tuition and fees is going to these offices, and you have every right to take advantage of them.
- Study the College Catalog and Student Handbook and talk with an advisor to ensure you understand the role of core classes, electives, and major courses in your program or degree requirements.
- To avoid inadvertently finding yourself in trouble, know your college’s policies for academic issues and campus behavior.
- Taking advantage of the many resources your college offers to help you with a wide range of academic and personal matters is essential for success in college.
1. Describe three different actions that would violate your college’s academic honesty policy.
2. Where on campus would you first go for help:
Choosing your courses for next term?
With your math class?
For a problem coping with a lot of stress?
To learn about your options for student loans?