Academic Advising Frequently Asked Questions
- What is an academic advisor?
- An academic advisor is the person who provides academic advice or guidance to students. He or she develops a working relationship with students, usually referred to as their advisees, to assist them with clarifying their educational and career goals. Advisors ensure that their advisees follow and meet degree requirements for a specific program, and that they are aware of and follow the college’s academic policies and procedures.
- How do I determine who my advisor is?
- Your advisor is based on your program of interest and the School of Learning in which your program is housed. Your advisor has specific expertise about your program of interest. To determine who your advisor is, first determine what School of Learning your program is in. Then review the Meet Your Advisor page to find the advisor for your program.
- When should I see my advisor?
- You can see your advisor anytime. However, you should meet with your advisor prior to the registration period. During the registration period advisors are very busy which could create extended waiting times. Meeting with your advisor during non-registration periods has advantages. Not only can you talk with your advisor about classes for the upcoming semester, but you can also talk with them about your career goals or other matters.
- Do I need an appointment to see my advisor?
- Yes and no. During busy registration times an appointment is required in order for the advisor to manage his/her caseload. Advisors do include Office Hours to meet with returning students who may walk-in during the registration period with questions that don’t require much time to answer. Contact your advisor for his/her Office Hours. All new students must make an appointment to see their assigned advisor. During non-registration periods, students can walk-in and ask to meet with their advisor; however, advisors are not always available for walk-ins. Students may be asked to return during Office Hours, wait until their advisor is available, or email their advisor for the best time to meet.
- How involved are advisors in helping me choose the right courses?
- Very involved. DCCC advisors are committed to helping you complete requirements for a college degree. They will offer suggestions on what courses to take and their recommendations will be based on your other responsibilities. Ultimately it’s the student’s responsibility to register for and complete the courses required for their degree. And if the goal is to transfer, become familiar with the admission requirements for the four-year institution of interest.
- How long does a typical advising session last?
- The length of an advising session varies from 15-30 minutes. DCCC advisors allocate 30 minutes per session. To ensure that you maximize your time during the advising session, plan for what you wish to accomplish during the session. If you want information about course requirements and offerings, bring a copy of your program evaluation to the session. You can get a copy of your program evaluation in StormTrac. Also, write down questions that you would like to ask.
- Can I change my major?
- Yes. Changing your major is a normal part of the college experience. However, to make sure that you make the right decision, you should meet with a career counselor in Career Development Services. Meeting with a career counselor is an excellent way to identify strengths and interests and match them with a major. DCCC's career counselors are located in the Student Success Center on the first floor of the Mendenhall Building. Also, if you change your major you must complete and submit to the Office of Academic Advising a change of major form.
- As a transfer student, I have heard someone mention the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA). What is it?
- The Comprehensive Articulation Agreement for North Carolina is a statewide agreement that governs the transferring of college credits from community colleges to the state’s public universities. For detailed information about the comprehensive articulation agreements, click here.
- Will a grade of “D” transfer?
- A grade of “D” will not transfer to another institution. However, a “D” grade will meet program requirements in some programs at DCCC. A student needs to have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 to graduate.
- Will my GPA transfer to another community college or four-year institution?
- Your DCCC grade point average will not transfer to another institution or vice versa. Other institutions will give you credit for courses taken that are similar to their courses. However, your GPA will be determined by the courses taken at that college or university.
- What is the difference between a full-time course load and part-time course load?
- A full-time course load means that you are registered for at least 12 credit hours. In most cases that equates to four classes. A part-time course load is any number of classes less than 12 credit hours.
- How do I register for classes?
- As noted in an earlier question, DCCC students must get advisor approval for a proposed schedule. Again, the advisor’s role is to ensure that you are progressing towards completion of degree requirements. The tool used for registration at DCCC is currently StormTrac (WebAdvisor). Once a schedule is approved, students can log into StormTrac and register for classes on or after the date their advisor tells them they are eligible for registration. At DCCC we realize that not all students master using StormTrac initially. Therefore, Student Ambassadors will be available in the Office of Academic Advising during the registration period. Assistance with StormTrac can also be obtained in the Brooks Student Center, 1st floor Information Desk.
- What if I want to transfer to a four-year institution before completing the Associates degree?
- It is possible, but not highly recommended. Research indicates that students who complete the associate’s degree are more likely to complete a bachelor’s degree program. In addition, having both degrees looks good on your resume and reveals an important quality about you to a potential employer. With that said, students can transfer to a state four-year institution after completing the Universal General Education Transfer Component requirement (30 credit hours). Additional courses beyond 30 credit hours should align with the transfer course list for the intended institution. If the intent is to transfer before completing the 30 credit hour minimum, students should contact the Admissions Office at the intended institution to determine their admissions requirements.
- After I complete the A.A. or A.S. am I guaranteed admission to any four-year state college or university in the UNC system?
- If you graduate from a NC community college with a transfer degree (A.A. or A.S.) with at least a 2.0 grade point average you are guaranteed admission to one of the 16 universities in the UNC system. This does guarantee admission to your school of choice or any specific program. You are still required to meet admissions requirements for that institution. There is no substitute for strong academic performance. By doing so you improve the chances of getting into your university of choice.
- What is StormTrac?
- The mascot name for DCCC is the “Storm.” Thus, StormTrac is the name DCCC uses to refer to Web Advisor, which is an internet tool that allows you to register for classes and provides other important information related to academic success such as announcements, class assignments, financial aid information and academic planning. You can also access your DCCC email account through StormTrac. For more information about StormTrac and its features click here .
- What is Moodle?
- Moodle is the internet tool (Learning Management System) used by faculty to manage their courses. Moodle is used by faculty to facilitate instruction either in a totally online format or a hybrid format, meaning, part of the course is taught online and another portion is taught face to face. You should become very familiar with Moodle. As a matter of fact, at DCCC there is an orientation on how to use the tool that students are required to complete. Moodle can be accessed through StormTrac.
- Does DCCC monitor the academic performance of students?
- Yes, the College uses an early alert system called Starfish. Three times per semester faculty provide updates on the academic performance of students in their classes. A copy of the feedback goes to students and their advisor. The feedback could indicate that a student has missed several classes or that assignments are overdue. Starfish also allows faculty to provide positive feedback (kudos) to students who are doing well. Advisors use Starfish to email their advisees, schedule advising sessions, and document academic success plans for students on academic alert, probation or suspension.
- What are pre-curriculum courses?
- Based on a student’s entry level characteristics, for example their test scores, they may be required to take pre-curriculum courses which are designed to enhance their skills prior to registering for curriculum courses (those that count towards graduation). Pre-curriculum courses are provided for students in subjects related to math (DMA), reading and writing (DRE), and computer science (CTS). Students must satisfactorily complete pre-curriculum courses before they can register for curriculum courses.
- What are pre-requisite courses?
- A pre-requisite course is a course or requirement that must be met in order to register for another course. For example, ENG 111 must be completed before taking ENG 112. In other words, your permanent academic record (Transcript) must show that you have successfully completed ENG 111 before you can register for ENG 112.
- What is a co-requisite course?
- A co-requisite course is a class that you can or may be required to take while taking another course.
- What if I am a student attending another institution and want to take classes at DCCC?
- Students attending another college are welcomed to take classes at DCCC. In this case, you would enroll as a “special credit” student. Information on how to enroll as a special credit student.
Office of Academic Advising
Mendenhall Building, 2nd floor
Monday & Tuesday: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Wednesday - Friday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
All students have been assigned an Academic Advisor, who is located in the Mendenhall Building, Student Success Center.