Step 3 - Understand your Options
Now that you have identified your academic standing, the factors that may have impacted your performance, and have identified the personal and college consequences of your status, you are now prepared to look at the options available to help you address your specific needs and set some academic goals.
Below are various options available to help you design your personal Success Plan:
Reduce your college units
- If you have a pattern of only successfully completing 3-6 units, register for only 1 or two courses, this will ensure that you complete the term.
- Consider enrolling in College Work Experience for a maximum of 4 units to reach full time status. This option allows for you to maintain full time status but only enrolling in 9 academic units. This option is only open to students who have a 2.7 GPA or better.
- Register for one course only – select a course that you have previously failed but you found the class to be enjoyable. This will help improve your overall academic standing.
- Take a one unit course that you find enjoyable, this will keep you enrolled but provide you with time to deal with personal issues that may be affecting your ability to be focused on school matters.
Select courses carefully
- Select courses that spark an interest. Do this by taking the time to read the course description for each course prior to enrolling in the class. You can also look at the entire course curriculum by viewing the course on the Online Access System (OLGA). The course will be described in great detail, including what you will learn on a weekly basis. You can view the text book in the bookstore to get a general impression about the class.
- Determine your learning style. Select a course that supports your learning preference.
- Register for a course you have previously taken and enjoyed but failed. The new and improved grade will supercede the initial grade thus helping you improve your overall GPA.
- Select a course that supports your major. This will help you get motivated and stay in the class since the class would feel relevant to you and you will be getting closer to reaching your career goals.
- Select a course that you find intriguing or a course that capitalizes on your areas of strengths.
- Select courses that are available at the time, day, and location that are the most convenient for you. This will alleviate any transportation, child care, attendance issues that may come up.
Enroll in personal enrichment or development courses
- Enroll in developmental math, reading, or writing courses if you have had difficulties understanding the content of prior courses. Speak to a counselor and they can review your placement test scores and provide you with specific recommendations on how you can improve your basic skills.
- Register for a college survival skills course so you can learn basic study strategies; including test taking strategies, note taking, time management, etc.
- Is the college environment confusing to you? Register for Skills in Higher Education to help you understand your environment and learn skills to ensure a successful experience.
- If you have a history of struggling academically, consider being tested for your learning style. Register for Guidance 557 and you will learn what your academic strengths and challenges are and how the college can assist you.
- Unsure about your major or your career path? You may want to register for a Self-Assessment and Career Development course.
- Register for courses that you are drawn to for no other reason but that you want to learn about the topic. The odds of you completing such a course are very high because you are internally motivated.
Schedule your courses wisely
- Organize your daily schedule to accommodate for tutoring time and/or instructor office hours. The tutoring schedule is available at the beginning of each term and all your instructors post their office hours on the course outline that is given out the first day of instruction.
- Think twice about scheduling all your course work in two days. Although this type of schedule accommodates a work schedule it also impacts your ability to schedule library time, study time, and tutoring sessions. Consider taking two classes per day. You must allow for two study hours for every unit enrolled.
- Ensure that your most difficult class is scheduled at a time that you are at your best, awake, energetic, and ready to learn.
Seek out assistance or support
- College counselors are available to help you select courses, develop an educational plan, provide you with suggestions on how to improve your study habits. They can also help you develop a study schedule and assist you with personal issues that are keeping you from focusing on school. Select a counselor and work with them until you are back in good academic standing.
- Obtain health information, referrals, and services from the Health Center.
- Seek out counseling services for mental health and emotional issues. Community college counselors can provide you with referrals.
- Consider joining a campus club to meet new friends or get involved in campus activities by being part on the Associate Student Body.
- Obtain assistance from the writing lab, math lab, computer center, and tutoring center.
- Attend college sponsored sporting events, theatrical or musical events, or college meetings to develop a sense of belonging with the campus community.
- Use online resources to help address you specific needs.
Due to the serious nature of this status, you will have a counselor help identify your strategies for improvement. A college counselor must review and approve your official Petition for Re-Admission that supports your Success Plan. Below are some common counselor recommendations for those who petition for readmissions to the college. You are advised to incorporate some or all of these recommendations into your Success Plan.
Reduce course load
- Enroll in only 3-6 units.
- Enroll in only one course, regardless the unit load.
- Full time enrollment is not considered unless there are extenuating circumstances.
- Repeat courses that have a failing grade.
- Repeat courses with a “D” grade.
- Repeat courses that you most recently failed.
- Courses with more than one repeat will require special authorization. (Form)
- Do not repeat a course for the third time as this option will require that your last two attemps are calculated into your gpa.
Improve basic skills
- Register for courses designed to improve your math, reading, and writing skills.
- Consider re-taking the college placement test for current assessment of skills.
- Learning difficulties can be addressed once they are identified, consider registering for the Learning Skills Assessment, Guidance 557.
- Goal setting is critical to success. Goals give you direction.
- Establish both personal and academic goals.
- Goals must be specific, measuarable, attainable, realistic, and have a time target.
- Share your goals with friends and family; get support to stay focused.
Develop an educational plan
- Your first educational plan will outline your entire intervention plan until you reach good academic standing. Upon reaching your goal, a second educational plan will be developed outlining your career and educational goals.
- Your first plan must be developed within the first 4 weeks of the term.
- Use the GPA calculator to predict your future GPA.
Follow-up with counselor
- Meet with a counselor to discuss your petition; counselor that approves your petition will be your assigned counselor until you return to good academic standing.
- Meet with your counselor within 4 weeks of the start of the term to develop your educational plan.
- Meet with you counselor after 9 weeks from the start of the term to review your Progress Report.
- Meet with your counselor by the 15th week of instruction to select courses for the following term.
Develop a study schedule
- Allow two study hours for each unit enrolled.
- Develop a weekly school/study/tutoring/work schedule and review with your assigned counselor.
- Study in 50 minute increments and then take a 10 minute break. Study your hardest subject first. Review all the online study skills strategies.
Obtain services and support
- Participate in any workshop, meeting, session designed to improve your study skills, manage finances, community resources, and improving social/emotional health.
- Obtain on-going mental health services for issues that cannot be addressed in a college setting.
- Attend tutoring sessions as recommended by instructors, counselor, or individual need.
- Follow any of the recommendations identified for probationary students.
Considering your specific situation, what are you willing to do to improve your academic standing? Select those recommendations that are appealing to you and write them down on your Success Plan worksheet. Add any other recommendation that you feel would be of assistance to you.
Now you are ready to move to the next step.