Student Handbook Provides Answers

El Vaquero Staff Writer

Many GCC students are not aware of their credit status and graduation requirements. While many students know about the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC), which is a list of classes necessary for graduation, many students, according to counselors, are still oblivious of their academic goals and standings.

The GCC handbook, created to help solve some of these problems by providing an organized space to write notes and homework in. It also contains information about school graduation requirements and other useful notes in the back and is easily available to students because it is practically given out everywhere and it is free. It even contains a section in the back called, Frequently Asked Questions. It may be that very few students actually take their time to observe the handbook carefully to find such helpful pages, or simply don’t know that such pages even exist. That is why many students do not know what classes to take and when they are planning to leave GCC. Some don’t realize the importance of going to see a counselor to discuss such dilemmas.

GCC counselors are aware of such problems and try to instill the importance of using the handbook, with its useful notes in the back, as well as using the internet to access the GCC web site, (, to find answers to questions regarding what classes to take and when to take them. “Some students think they can take English and math in the summer for (transfer to) UCs but they can’t,” said Rosette Aghekian, a GCC counselor and EOPS associate professor. “Students tend to leave critical courses for the last semester, but some don’t do well. They’re not eligible for certification.”

The reason for this is because most schools expect required classes, like math and English, to be completed before admission (in the fall or spring). “Basic minimum, which includes English and math, is required to be complete before transfer is to be accepted,” said (need her title) Jolie Morris, of the Transfer Center, regarding admission to Cal States and UCs. Yet many students are not aware of such expectations and wait until the last moment to complete necessary classes before transferring to the university of their choice. This, in turn, holds many eager students back from successfully completing their classes on time, and completing them with quality.

Contrary to that, some students are completely prepared to graduate, but are not aware of it. “Many students don’t even know they could graduate,” said Dean of Admission and Records Sharon Combs. “Students have finished their degrees and don’t realize it.” Students eventually find out their status once they meet up with counselors, which further emphasizes the importance of meetings between counselors and students.

The dean also said that students do not need hard copies of the catalog, which is a book describing GCC classes and their transfer credits, because they can get their information online, thus the purchase of one is not necessary. Perhaps if GCC students pay more attention to the handbook and meet with their counselors more often, the problems of what classes to take and how many credits should be completed to graduate, will be answered and solved.