Porterville College

Student Handbook

Planning your program

Your academic program

A “unit” – a working definition

The number of course units are generally equal to the number of lecture hours per week a class meets. For example, a three unit lecture class meets 3 hours per week. For each unit you take, you should plan around 2 hours of outside study per week. You should, therefore, manage your class and study time carefully – keeping in mind your employment and other personal responsibilities.

How many units should I take each semester?

  • To be a full-time student - 12 or more
  • Financial Aid and Veterans benefits:
  • Full benefits - 12 units
  • 3/4 Benefits - 9 units
  • 1/2 Benefits - 6 units
  • Athletic eligibility - 12 units

What are the maximum units I can take each term?

Nineteen (19). If you wish to take more than that, you need to get approval from a counselor.

Which classes should I take?

The classes you take depend on a number of factors. The following are some suggestions you may find helpful:

  • Decide the number of units you want to take. Again, before enrolling in selected courses consider your work schedule, personal schedule, and necessary study hours.
  • Make a list of possible courses, which might include:
    • English, Reading and/or Mathematics. You are not required to take these courses the first term, but many students find they build skills that help in other classes. Refer to the recommended courses to take based on your placement level.
    • General Education. All students working on a degree need to complete these regardless of their major. A list of general education courses for graduation from Porterville College and/or transfer is listed in the college catalog and also available in the counseling center.
    • Courses in your major. If you have already decided on a major, you should refer to the major courses listed in the college catalog. These requirements for the major are also available on “major sheets” in the counseling center.
    • Personal interest and exploration. Taking an introductory course in different academic areas may be a good way to help determine an area you may wish to declare as a major. Often the introductory course may count as an elective toward the total units for graduation. Please see a counselor to assist in course selection.
    • College orientation, study skills, or career planning. You are strongly encouraged to enroll in either Education P101 or P076 (depending on your placement level) your first term at Porterville College. These two courses focus on the development of the knowledge and skills needed to enhance your adjustment to and success in college.
  • Review any prerequisites for each class. Prerequisites are mandatory and enforced.
  • After the term begins, make a follow-up appointment with a Porterville College counselor in order to do some long-range planning. During a half-hour appointment or through several consecutive appointments if necessary, counselors will help you explore majors, careers, and other programs of study.
    • What if a class is closed? If a class is closed you may want to have your name put on the wait list. If you do get on a wait list, you must show up for class the first day. If there are available seats open, instructors will accept students into the class from the wait list. Since you are not actually registered for the class you are not charged any fees to be on a wait list. You are only charged fees if you actually enroll or "add" the class, to your schedule.
  • What if I want to change my schedule once I’ve registered?
    You can add or drop classes however some things need to be considered:
    • Many instructors will not add students after the first week of instruction, so if you plan to add a class try to do so before instruction begins or during the first week.
    • If the class you wish to add is closed, you will need to get the instructor’s signature to add.
    • If you drop a class prior to the fourth week of instruction it will not show on your transcript - if you drop a class after the fourth week of instruction you will receive a ‘W’ on your transcript.
    • In order to qualify for a refund, you must drop the class prior to the 10% date – which is usually around the end of the second week of instruction. You may check at the office of Admissions for the specific date.
    • If there is an open seat and the instructor puts your name on his/ her roll sheet, you are not actually registered into the class. You must register for the class at the admissions counter or by using the Internet system – your instructor will not register you.
    • If you do not show up for class the first day or two of instruction, or if your absences become excessive, an instructor can drop you from the course or his/her roll sheet. If you fail to show up for class or stop attending, do not expect your instructor to process the drop for you. Even though an instructor can, the responsibility to drop the class is yours.

Remember that you are strongly encouraged to see a counselor at least once per term to evaluate your progress and to be certain you are taking the right courses. Stop by AC-126 or call 791-2329 or 791-3663 to make an appointment.


February 17, 2015

Kern Community College District