Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a list of our most frequently asked questions.
(If your question is not answered here, then you can Ask a Counselor.)
What does a counselor do? Do I need to see one?
A counselor assists with academic advising, career planning, personal counseling, transfer services,
problem solving and decision making. Counselors offer guidance throughout the time you are enrolled at
Butte and it is recommended that you work with a counselor on a regular basis. Potential students are also encouraged to meet with a counselor.
Am I assigned a particular counselor?
You may choose to meet with any of our counselors. You can choose to work with one particular
counselor or you may choose to see any counselor that is available. We do not require students to
meet with a particular counselor based on last name, major, grade level, etc.
How do I make an appointment to see a counselor?
You can schedule an appointment by telephone at (530) 895-2378 or in person at the Campus Center
Counseling Office. Appointments usually last 30 minutes. We schedule one-hour Financial Aid Appeals,
Veteran's Plans, Personal Counseling,, and Student Education Plans. Please remember to check in for your
appointment when you arrive. Counseling appointments are also available at the Chico Center (530) 879-4363 and at the Glenn County Center (530) 865-9728.
Do I need to meet with a counselor before I can register for classes?
Counselors do not register students for classes or "sign off" on a student's schedule. They
are there to assist you in course selection, goal setting and planning. It is recommended that
you work with a counselor on a regular basis. New students will meet with counselors and register for classes during START (New Student Orientation).
What is a major? Do I have to declare one?
A major is an organized program of courses within a discipline leading to an Associate Degree,
Certificate, or Transfer to a college or university. It is not mandatory for a student
to declare a major. Normally, when you apply for admissions, there is a space for you to declare a
major. If you haven't declared a major, and you would like to or if you have declared one and would
like to change it you would need to fill out a form in the Admissions and
Records Office. You may want to meet with a counselor for assistance in major selection.
What is General Education for an Associates Degree?
General Education courses are sometimes called "breadth requirements". These are courses outside
of your major, required of everyone to obtain a degree, regardless of your major. They are designed
to make you a "well rounded" person. It is recommended that you work with a counselor to ensure that
you are following the correct General Education pattern.
What is a certificate program?
Butte College offers many different certificate programs. Certificates are designed to provide students
with applied training in specific occupational areas. Students will be prepared with employable skills
by completing a certificate program. Certificates are recognized favorably by business and industry,
and they are often required for job classification advancement.
If I get an AA/AS can I automatically transfer to a four year college?
Completing an AA/AS does not guarantee that you are ready to transfer to a four year college.
It requires careful planning to transfer. It is strongly recommended that you see a counselor as
soon as you begin thinking about transferring. If you work closely with a counselor, you can
fulfill your AA/AS and transfer requirements at the same time.
What is a credit / no credit course?
A grading system by which units of credit may be earned but no letter grade (A-F) is assigned.
Such units are not used in computing the grade point average. The transcript will reflect a CR for
credit received or a NC for no credit received. For courses that are not regularly offered as CR/NC only or graded (A, B, C, D, F) only, students must complete an "optional CR/NC" with Admissions and Records to elect CR/NC grading.
How does Butte calculate my grade point average (GPA)?
The grade point average is calculated by assigning a value to letter grades A - F (A = 4, B = 3,
C = 2, D = 1 and F = 0). Units are multiplied by the value of the letter grade to obtain a grade
point for each course. To calculate the overall grade point average you will need to divide total
grade points by total units attempted. There are two types of grade point average. There is a term
GPA, which is for an individual term. There is also a cumulative GPA, which is for all terms at Butte.
The grade point average is used as a level for academic achievement, good standing, probation,
disqualification, dismissal, eligibility for graduation and transfer to another college or university.
If I get a D or F in a course, do I have to repeat it?
You may want to meet with a counselor in order to decide whether or not the course requires
repetition. In most cases, you will want to earn a "C" grade or better. Students are allowed to
repeat a course once, without an Academic Council Petition, where a D or F grade was earned. Once a course has been repeated, the
original or lower grade will remain on your transcript but will be removed from your gpa.
Beginning with the Fall '08 catalog, all courses use to meet Associate Degree requirements must be
completed with a "C" grade or better.
What if a class I want is full?
There may be an option for you to be added to a waiting list for that particular class. If
you are on the waiting list, you will want to attend the first day of class as if you were
able to register for it. If registered students do not show up, the instructor will add
students to the class from the waiting list first. The instructor will then add the students
who are not registered and not on the waiting list until the class is full. The first week of
school is when most students are trying to finalize their schedules and as their schedules
change, there may be openings in classes that were previously full. This is not a guaranteed
way to get into a class. You may want to register for another section that is open to ensure
that you are able to take that particular class.
What if I need help with a class that I'm attending?
Butte provides a number of services to assist students when they need help. The Center for Academic Success in the LRC
provides tutoring in a variety of subjects. You may want to meet with a counselor to discuss
the services that are available to you. You will also want to speak with your instructor.
How do I drop a class? Are there deadlines?
It is the student's responsibility to drop classes. Teachers are not responsible for
dropping students from classes. If you fail to drop classes, you may receive a "F" grade.
You can drop classes on WebAdvisor. There are deadlines to drop classes. Please refer to the calendar in the front of
the current Schedule of Classes. Note that there is an early deadline to drop classes, where
the course will not appear on your transcript. There is also a later deadline, where the
course will appear and you will receive a "W" letter grade for withdrawal. Once the last
deadline has passed, you will receive a letter grade. Note: Late starting classes list
their drop dates in the Schedule of Classes under each course.
Can I talk to a counselor about personal topics? Will it remain confidential?
Yes, you can speak with a Counselor about personal topics. All of our counselors are
skilled professionals that are able to assist you with personal counseling and everything
you say is strictly confidential. They are also able to refer you to outside assistance
if needed. Crisis counseling is also available to students. Call (530) 895-2378
appointment or stop by the Counseling Office in the Campus Center.
Are there certain classes in which I can't enroll?
There are required prerequisites for some classes. A prerequisite is previous background or
course completion that is required before entry into another class. You must have completed the
prerequisite at Butte College or submit evidence of meeting the prerequisite in order to register for the class. Some programs (Nursing, Respiratory Care, Paramedic) require prerequisites prior to admission to the program.
Do I have to have an assessment before I enroll in any classes?
It depends. There are some courses that have prerequisites; you cannot register for them unless
you are able to demonstrate that you are at the skill level necessary to complete the course. At
this campus, many of the math and English courses have prerequisites. The assessment score is one
way to demonstrate readiness for those courses. All students who wish to enroll in more than two classes, or for an English or Math course must take the assessment.
How do I find out about 4-year schools?
There are probably as many ways to find out about 4-year schools as there are schools.
Butte College's Counseling Services Office houses a collection of resources. Local libraries
often carry college resources as well. Websites such as www.petersons.com
can provide a wealth
of general information on colleges throughout the country and most colleges have their own
Web page with a myriad of specific information. For anyone interested in campuses of the
University of California system, connect to www.ucop.edu/pathways
Those who are interested
in the California State University System can connect to www.csumentor.edu
Can I transfer to an out of state school from Butte College?
Butte College is an accredited institution making its courses recognized by other
institutions. Depending on the individual institutions requirements, there should be
no reason why an equivalent class taken at Butte College could not be considered for transfer.
Do "D" grades transfer?
Acceptance of "D" grades is based upon individual campus decisions. Butte College
will not certify "D" grades for inclusion in the IGETC.
Do Credit/No Credit grades transfer?
The 4-year institution will sometimes accept Credit/No Credit grades. However,
required courses for the general education or major should not be taken in this
manner. Check with the transfer institution for more information.
How do I apply to a different college?
Contact the school you wish to apply to for a complete application packet.
Additionally, many schools now have Web sites, which allow for on-line or
downloadable hard copy applications.
How can I determine if my credits will transfer?
This is an important issue that requires your careful attention. All California
community colleges have lists of their courses that will transfer to the CSU or UC
campuses at the website www.assist.org
. If you
are transferring it is important that you consult with the campus to which you are
planning to transfer to gain assistance with identifying the specific course necessary
to meet the transfer requirements. That institution will make the final decision on
what will count toward your 4-year degree. You may also consult your college counselor
for assistance in determining which courses will be accepted for transfer credit.
What if I take more units than that?
Most colleges and universities will accept 70 semester units towards the total
number of units needed to complete your bachelor's degree; however, if you have taken
more units than that, the content of the courses will often be used to satisfy needed requirements.
What is the minimum GPA for transfer?
The minimum GPA needed to transfer to a California State University (CSU) is 2.0.
The minimum GPA needed to transfer to the University of California (UC) is 2.4.
The GPA needed for transfer to private colleges varies so please check the college catalog.
Some majors and some colleges are impacted and will require higher GPAs for admission.
What is GE?
GE or General Education is a program of courses in the arts and sciences that provides
a broad educational experience. Courses are usually introductory in nature provide
students with fundamental skills and knowledge in English, arts, humanities, mathematics,
social sciences, physical and biological sciences. Butte College offers General Education
Plans for completion of the Associates degree, UC and CSU transfer.
What is the IGETC?
IGETC, Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum, is a general education
program which community college transfer students can use to fulfill lower-division general
education requirements in either the CSU or UC systems. You must complete the entire IGETC
in order to have it accepted as meeting the general education requirements at the transfer
institution. IGETC is not recommended for some majors at some UC campuses.
What is certification and why is it important for transferring students?
Certification of CSU GE or IGETC is an important step in the transfer process. The
certification of GE is the official notice verifying that a transfer student has completed
courses satisfying lower division general education requirements.
The certification is separate from a student transcript. The request for certification of CSU GE
or IGETC is done at the time you request transcripts be sent to the transfer school. To be certified,
all courses on IGETC must be completed with a grade of C or better. The CSU GE pattern can include
partial certification when only a specific area is completed or by completing the entire 39-unit pattern.
What are the differences between an associate degree and a bachelor's degree?
An associate degree is a degree granted by a community college to students who complete a
specified program of study, usually totaling 60 units. A bachelor degree or baccalaureate is a
degree granted upon completion of at least 120 semester units or 180 quarter units. Bachelor of
Arts and Bachelor of Science Degrees are offered by the California State Universities, the
University of California and private four-year colleges and universities. Beginning with the
Fall '08 catalog, all courses used for an Associates degree must be completed with a "C" grade or better.
What is articulation?
Articulation is the process of evaluating courses to determine whether coursework completed
at one college will meet the requirements for admission, transfer credit, general education,
or major preparation at another college.
What is the difference between CSU and a UC?
The California State University (CSU) is the system of higher education in California
that grants the most bachelors degrees. The CSU campuses also grant masters degrees. The
University of California (UC) is the research system of public higher education in California.
The UC grants professional and doctorate degrees, as well as bachelors and masters degrees.
The CSU has a more practical, career-oriented approach to education in contrast to the more
theoretical approach offered by the UC.