College Survival Guide
A lighthearted look at important college information
Hopefully, this survival guide will clear up a few questions that you may have and are too shy, too busy, or too indifferent to ask of the Admissions Staff. All of the following information can be found in the John A Logan College Catalog and in the John A Logan College Bulletin. However, we know that your minds are concentrating on other important stuff (who to date, who to room with, how to slide by in that required, but awfully boring, class). In an effort to relieve much of the confusion surrounding the Admissions Office, we are making for you, the student, this manual. Keep it, refer to it, use it. If you lose it, we will snub you and refuse to answer any questions without our attorneys present.
Registration starts at various times for each semester. Continuing students get to register first, then new students. Registration for continuing students for Fall and Summer semester usually starts around the first week of April (after everyone is tanned from spring break). Registration for Spring semester usually starts about the first week of November. New students can usually register about three weeks after the continuing students take all the good classes at the good times. New students should not try to register before this or they will be refused registration by our bouncer, Guido. He is not to be trifled with.
Check the catalog or bulletin for Late Registration times. If for some unforseen reason you are unable to attend regular registration, you can sign up for classes right before the semester begins, even during the first week of school. You will be required to pay for your tuition AT THE TIME YOU REGISTER. There is a wonderful chance that most of your classes will be closed. Your schedule will be a mess, and your hair will frizz for the rest of the semester. You will not be able to find a date in all of the greater southern Illinois area.
If you owe us money or transcripts, you cannot register. Case closed.
There are four reasons you would take a class, pay for it, and receive no credit:
- You wish to take a lower-level course in order to prepare for a more advanced or required course, and going back to high school is not an option.
- You are required to take a difficult course which you know nothing about. Auditing the course will prepare you for the course without the possibility of a big, fat "E" on your transcript.
- You are interested in a course which has nothing to do with your major or minor and is not required for you to graduate.
- You are gullible, rich and/or easily parted from your money.
Schedule - Changes Add/Drops
Adding and/or dropping a course is a relatively easy task to accomplish; just ask those students who add/drop seven times a week. It may seem confusing at first, but relax. When you come see us, we'll tell you everything you need to do -- we just may not do it in one visit.
When you add/drop you will need the following: Ask us to add or drop a class.
Well...that was tough. Are you sure you can handle it?
There is a period of time each semester wherein you may add/drop without losing any money. These times are listed in the SCHEDULE and CATALOG. After these brief periods of goodwill on our part, we once again become ogres and charge you a percentage of the tuition, or all of it. THIS MEANS that if you need to drop a class, don't sit around channel or internet surfing at home until you decide to officially withdraw from school. IT MAY COST YOU $$$!
WARNING: DO NOT, for any reason, stop attending classes without dropping!! YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR THE CLASS AND GET BAD GRADES!! If this happens, DO NOT come crying to us. We all have raised children and have learned to not give in to blubbering and whining.
Schedule Changes - Complete Withdrawals
Like adding and dropping, completely withdrawing from all your classes may seem confusing. No problemo. Just be sure you follow the step for adding and dropping. (See ADD/DROP section.)
You are simply dropping all of your classes instead of just one.
If you add/drop a class according to the refund schedule printed in the Schedule and Catalog, you might receive a percentage refund of your tuition. This refund schedule is made up by our Board of Trustees and is based on the date you see someone to drop the class. Go argue with someone else – preferably President Bush – about the refund. We have no say in the matter. Don’t even think of asking us or we will snarl at you.
This has nothing to do with us, nor do we want to have a part in it. DO NOT TRY TO INCLUDE US IN THIS PROCESS.
Grade Point Average
At last!! The mystery is solved!! All you have to do is comprehend the following formulas! (Hee hee ... and you thought you would never use math beyond the ninth grade...)
- A - 4 Points
- B - 3 Points
- C - 2 Points
- D - 1 Points
- E - 0 Point
All other grades are not assigned values and therefore do not affect your Grade point Average (GPA).
To calculate your GPA, multiply the semester hours for each course by the grade points for the grade earned. Add 'em up. The total is then divided by the number of hours of "A", "B", "C", "D", "E". To further confuse you, there are a few classes that have an odd prefix (like 6CON, etc.) that we don’t use to add into the GPA formula.
- MAT 108 College Algebra (3 hrs) E x 3 = 0
- PSY 132 Gen Psychology (3 hrs) B x 3 = 9
- ENG 101 English Comp (3 hrs) D x 3 = 3
- PSC 131 American Government (3 hrs) A x 3 = 12
- Total hrs (12) Total points 24
- Then divide 24 points by 12 hours. The result is a GPA of 2.00.
The GPA you see on your grade card and transcript is the John A Logan cumulative GPA. Work hard in your classes to get good grades...if you don’t, they will come back to haunt you...like a bad date or a bad hairdo.
Your final grades are posted on the College's Weblink system. We didn't like licking that many stamps to send them out in the mail, so students can check them on-line now. In fact, you'll see them earlier now through the computer than you would watching the mailbox!
Just when you thought the semester was almost over and you were almost finished with your classes ...dum, dum, dum, dum...you get sick!! Do not despair - there is a way to escape the dreaded "D" or even worse, "E". If your instructor(s) think your excuse represents "extenuating circumstances", you may be granted an "Incomplete" in your course(s). This decision is entirely up to that of the instructor(s). If you are so blessed, your instructor will assign an "INC" on the grade sheet. Your instructor will let you know what you need to do to complete the course; and remind you that the deadline to finish an "INC" in the end of the NEXT SEMESTER. If you do not abide by this deadline, your grade will automatically stay as an "INC" on your transcript. No exceptions! If you think you were dealt an unfair "E", you may appeal to the Chair of that discipline. However, the Chairs are generally heartless. Some are just plain mean.
You might want to tell your advisor if you are thinking of repeating a course. Only courses in which you earned a "D", "E", or "AB" may be repeated. We do not check for you...,you are in college now; you take the responsibility for this one.
At the end of the semester, if you don't drop out, the class will be counted as a "repeat". We take the grade points and the hours (see GRADE POINT AVERAGE section) from the previous time(s) you took the class out of your GPA calculations.
We will only count the class as a repeat IF:
- The class is the EXACT SAME class.
- Both classes were taken at John A Logan.
- The class was taken for credit (you received a grade of "D" or "E" the first time and a grade of "A", "B", "C", "D", or "E" the second time).
- Classes with a grade of "U", "CR", and/or "S" are not counted as repeats.
Academic Policies - Academic Problems
Should the need ever arise, and for 90% of you it will, sometimes you can find out how to solve problems in the Admissions Office.
We will try to help you achieve your academic goals. Sometimes that means some kind of exception to some policy stated in the Catalog or Schedule as dreamed up by us, your friendly, neighborhood Admissions Staff.
Academic Policies - Residency Requirements (for graduation)
Quick and simple:
- Twenty hours must be taken at John A Logan College to earn a degree from John A Logan College. (New concept: You have to go to school here to get a degree from here!) Exceptions - none.
- A minimum of 62 hours must be taken before you can even hope to earn an Associate Degree.
Academic Policies - President's and Vice-President's List
As stated in the CATALOG... Each semester, the President's and Vice President's lists are computed. Students must have taken at least twelve hours during the semester (at least eight hours of which must be graded courses) to be considered for these honors. Your GPA is also used.
Any student with a GPA of 4.00 is eligible for the PRESIDENT'S LIST. Any student with a GPA of between 3.50 and 3.99 is eligible for the VICE-PRESIDENT’S LIST.
Academic Policies - Probation and Suspension
As stated in the CATALOG...
Probation: A student who fails to maintain the requiredcumulative GPA (2.0) will be placed on probation for onesemester. Probation is only a warning status. Whileon probation, the student is eligible for Pell Grants,ISAC monetary awards, scholarships, outside awards, or veterans benefits.
If, after the probation semester, the student achieves a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above, the student willbe making satisfactory academic progress.
If, after the probation semester, the student does nothave the required cumulative GPA of 2.0, the student may remain on probation if the semester GPA is at least 2.0.
If, after the probation semester, the student does not return to satisfactory academic standing or qualify to remain on probation, the student will be placed on academic suspension.
Failure to meet any of the aforementioned procedures will result in academic suspension subject to appeal to the Academic Progress Review Committee. Academic suspension is a state of involuntary separation of the student from the institution for a period of one calendar year.
WARNING: Probation and Suspension is NOT recommended for ANY student at John A Logan College and is hazardous to your academic health.
Academic Policies - Graduation
For many of you, graduation is the equivalent of the impossible dream. Do not worry! We have seen quite a few so-called "impossible dreams" come true. Each of you must fight your own "unbeatable foes" - usually math.
Your first step on the road to graduation is to complete the graduation application form once you have reached 40 hours of college credit. Fill out this form completely or we will place it in "File 13". Take the form to the Admissions Office, pay the required $20 graduation fee (which pays for the processing and the diploma which you hope to receive). We will take the form and you will hear from us shortly. If you are lucky (and an advisor likes you) and if you filled out the form completely, you will get good news.
When we do decide to smile upon you and do your Graduation Check, you will be notified by mail. When you receive your Graduation Checklist. PANIC!! Approximately 99% of you will be shocked and surprised by how much you have left. Call your advisor. Schedule an appointment. We will be more than happy to show you that you are wrong and we are right.
- If you decide to change your major/minor certification catalog year, you MUST let us know in Admissions.
- If you decide to change how your name is printed on your diploma, you MUST let us know in Admissions.
If you have ANY questions AT ALL please call our office and speak with a graduation counselor, or make an appointment to meet with one. Contrary to popular belief, we Do want you to graduate...it makes us look good!!
Services and Misc. Stuff – Address Changes
This has already become recreational sport for some of you; for others, it remains a complete mystery. Let’s try to simplify this process....
If you move, you MUST turn in an Address Change Form. If you want to change your local address, your permanent address, your billing address, and/or your alumni address, fill out the form. The Address Change Form will tell us where to send such things as grades and account statements (i.e., to your parents or not). The address(es) you give us will remain the same until you make another change. We do not automatically change ANY address of ANY student, not even the ones we don't like!
The form is a relatively simple one, gone through many transfigurations, and mutations. If however, you have any questions on how to complete this form, ask us. Do NOT throw it down on the floor and walk away in disgust. We will be forced to send your account statements to you and your grades to your parents, instead of vice versa. Also, we will tack a $165.73 fine onto your bill for littering.
Services and Misc. Stuff – Deferments
If you are notified that you need a deferment or that your loan agency shows you are not attending, fill out the deferment and give it to the Admissions Office. We will certify your attendance for any semester you tell us EXCEPT for future semesters (even if you are preregistered) and semesters from other schools (you must get deferments from those schools).
DO NOT fill out the part that needs to be certified by our office. We become extremely agitated and will, without ceremony, tear your deferment to shreds and refuse to complete another one at any time during the rest of your life.
After we certify your attendance periods and status, we will hold the paperwork in our office for you to come pick up.
If you do something wrong, we will send you back the deferment with a scathing letter of contempt.
WARNING: If you ever take out a student loan, not only will you be plagued by creditors and thugs named "Bubba", you will have to deal with deferring your loan. On the face of it, this process looks like it will be no problem...Wrong!! There are many loopholes and pitfalls to capture you. Only the skilled staff in the Financial Aid Office and the Admissions Office can keep you from an eternal visit to the dungeon of doom.
Confidential – FERPA
We know it sounds like an incurable disease, but this really is important!
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is one thing we take seriously in this office. This is the law that requires us to release certain information about students to the public. This includes, but is not limited to, address and phone number, major, and academic classification, any degrees and awards received, and date and place of birth.
For a complete list of what is information will be released, (and what cannot be released without your written consent), contact the Admissions Office.
You may request at any time that information about you not be released. However, we do not say "no" to judges who issue court orders that request.
Forget about your diploma!! The only thing anybody is ever interested in is your transcript. You can make up all kinds of stuff when you just have your diploma, but your transcript tells "...the rest of the story!"
Your transcript is your OFFICIAL record of what you did while you were at John A Logan College.
To request your OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT, you must fill out the Transcript Request form or write to us. Either way, we need:
- Full name - All of the names you have EVER had
- Social Security Number
- Date of birth
- Current address and phone number
- Did you attend our college before 1986?
- Address where you want the transcript sent
- and MOST IMPORTANTLY...YOUR SIGNATURE!
You must send all of your attempted work from other colleges and universities to us.
Admisssions Gang Glossary
- Academic Problems: Your attempt to think of a really good excuse so that you don't have to follow all of the rules.
- Address Change: So we can track you down with dogs.
- Audit: You pay but no grade.
- Complete Withdrawal: Dropping out to work full-time on that tan.
- Concurrent Enrollment: Attending two schools at once because you are a glutton for punishment and love running back and forth to Carbondale.
- President's List: Recognition of your hard work.
- Deferments: How we help keep you out of trouble with Uncle Sam.
- FERPA: How to delay or prevent us from letting your parents know your grades when they call because you have hidden them.
- Final Grades: Don't even think of hiding them from your parents, they'll just call us.
- Grade Point Average: The rest of the story.
- Graduation: The impossible dream.
- Honor Roll: Think of it as a reward with no acclaim and no money.
- Incompletes: A small reprieve from actually having to complete the course.
- Probation: A very undesirable state to be in...the edge of disaster.
- Repeating Courses: Gotta let us know!
- Refunds: Money you think you are going to get back when you drop a class.
- Registration: Regular and Late -- We keep all of your options open.
- Residency Requirements: If you're gonna get a John A Logan College degree, you really should come here, at least for a little while.
- Schedule Changes: What to do when you are failing or when you suddenly realize you need that PE class to graduate.
- Suspension: Take a semester off to find yourself.
- Transcripts: The substance of things hoped for...the evidence of things not attained.
Contrary to popular belief, we are really lovable, honest, warm, open, loving human beings. Just don't do anything to irritate us and don't come by after dark, if you value your life or your GPA. The following comprise the Staff of the Admissions Office:
Admisssions Office Staff
- Dean for Student Services:A good-hearted man who is generally so busy that it is impossible to see or talk to him; actually he does not exist, we just made him up. Do you remember "The All-Powerful Oz"?
- Academic Counselor: Good-hearted people who know a little about everything, but nothing about any one thing. They are your only hope for graduation! By the way, be very nice to them. They know the most difficult instructors and the easiest; the nicest and the most vicious. If you are rude to them, what sort of teachers will they "sic" on you? And would you? And would you like classes on Tuesday night and weekend afternoons? We knew you would understand...
- Admissions Specialist: Great people in the Admissions who do a wealth of work (transcripts, applications, grades, voodoo chants, etc.) for very little pay. They have been known to work for $1.25 an hour and all-you-can-eat!
- Student Workers: Don't give them a hard time; they're trying their hardest to be just like the staff -- a noble ambition, to be sure!
...one last note!
This Survival Guide has been prepared especially for you in a lighthearted attempt to make your transition into the college environment a smooth one. Although most of your questions can be answered by reading the catalog and student handbook, this guide is a fun and quick reference to many college procedures.
The Admissions Office understands your frustration sometimes with college! We have been listening ... and we know you have often found yourself saying, "NOBODY TOLD ME." So...read on, oh college-bound one, and don't ever say "NOBODY TOLD ME."
Advisement - Nobody Told Me...
- To see an advisor.
- Classmates are not advisors (sometimes known as Cafeteria Counselors or Sidewalk Advisors).
- The catalog is a student's Bible.
- AA and AS and AAS degrees are different.
- Withdrawals do not affect your GPA (if they are done early enough in the semester).
- John A. Logan College has a repeat policy for classes you mess up in.
- To apply for graduation.
Registration - Nobody Told Me...
- To register early.
- Schedules are available before registration.
- Students are responsible for registering, dropping, and withdrawing from classes.
- There is no refund for withdrawals after a certain period of time.
- One is dropped for non-payment of tuition.
- Part of the tuition is due on-the -spot if you register late.
Financial Aid - Nobody Told Me...
- Direct Loans SchooLinks - This is a U.S. government web site offering information on direct loans for students.
- I need to apply for Financial Aid early.
- The Financial Aid process takes time.
- I should follow-up on my paperwork/process.
- I can get a deferment for my fees.
- I can get a short-term loan.
- I can apply for a Guaranteed Student Loan.
- I can see Financial Aid for work on-campus programs.
- If receiving Financial Aid, I may be penalized for Withdrawing.
- I need OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS from all of the other colleges that I attended. I must supply them. I cannot say “let’s just forget about that other college I attended”.
Xtra! Xtra! - Nobody Told Me...
- There are free tutors in the Student Support Office.
- There is a Student Government Association (but there are no interns).
- The Cafeteria has good, reasonably priced food.
- Services are available for Minority students.
- Assistance is available for Veterans.
- I don’t need to get a parking decal for my vehicle. Faculty – not students – have stickers.
- There is no substitute for studying!
- I really need to attend class.
Remember...don't be afraid to ask questions! Even if you think they are "dumb" questions, ask them. Here’s a few examples of the questions we’ve been asked in the past:
"Can I change my major from nurse’s aide to astronaut?"
"Can I wear a hat inside the school?"
"Can I add another class because I have 13 hours and the number 13 is unlucky, and I don’t want to go through the semester with an unlucky number of hours?"
"Since I recently married my former stepmother, and my ex-wife recently married my dad, can I schedule my classes so that I don’t have class with any of them?"
By the way...the answers to all of these questions were "yes". We’ll try to help your situation too!