Handbook Introduction and Desired Outcomes
The purpose of this handbook is to familiarize the future student at Lake Superior College with possible problems, and to alleviate the strain of future college life with desirable and purposeful solutions and outcomes. In this guide I will be touching on some genuinely important and relevant issues to both the casual and the serious college-goer. It’s always important to see the full scope and the purpose of what college really is. I look at it more as a practice of survival than finding comfort in the future. I think it is unwaveringly important to take college seriously, and with a positive, hardworking attitude; after all it is your future, and your money. During the course of this handbook I’ll be covering explanations on degrees, complaining procedures, and course credit transfer procedure which can be detrimental to a student’s well-being in college. This guide will instill confidence and understanding, therefore making the future student’s time at LSC a bit more enjoyable.
Explanations of the Various Degrees Offered at LSC
When I first started here at LSC, I wasn’t exactly sure what degree was best for me. I intended to transfer to UMD or an equal or better school upon two years of general college work. I had a science degree in mind; however I was foggy on which degree I would need to achieve at LSC. I went along with my advisor’s advice and went for an A.A. degree without batting an eye. I didn’t even really think it through, as I was stressed out and nervous about the whole going to college thing. About one year in I changed my program to an A.S. to more accurately meet the requirements for my future schooling. The point is, no matter how nervous you are or how much you just want to stick your head into the door, evaluate everything that involves your future. You will be a lot more comfortable and therefore, focused on what is truly important; your schoolwork.
Associate in Arts (A.A)
- The Associate in Arts degree is a general degree which meets a broad standard of classes. Highlighted areas usually entail a background in liberal arts and sciences. In order to be awarded with an A.A. degree students must complete 60 semester credits and finish with a 2.0 grade point average or better (policy 3.17). Usually students who attend college with hopes of an A.A. are planning on transferring for specific job required classes or training in a certain area.
Associate in Science (A.S)
- Usually A.S. degrees are more intensive than A.A degrees because students are expected to meet certain professional-level requirements. Students with an Applied Sciences degree in mind will then transfer to another college to study the specific field of interest that they are interested in. Students will need a required 60-72 credits and a grade point average of at least a 2.0 to receive an A.S. degree (policy 3.17).
Associate in Fine Arts (AFA)
- The Associate in Fine Arts Degree is primarily intended for students participating in a designated area in fine arts. The purpose of the AFA degree is to eventually transfer into a baccalaureate degree after completing the specific schooling requirements at another college or university. Requirements for obtaining an AFA degree include 60-64 semester credits with 20 semester credits earned at the faculty awarding the degree (policy 3.17). Additionally, a grade point average of at least 2.0 must be earned.
Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.)
- The purpose of an A.A.S. degree is to prepare the student for employment upon completion of the required course material. Usually, people who are attending college for certain job fields such as firefighting and nursing are generally going to obtain an A.A.S. degree. A.A.S. requirements include 60-72 semester credits and a grade point average of 2.0 or better (policy 3.17).
How to Successfully Complain
I hear a lot of complaining going on at LSC, usually involving unfair treatment or grading by in instructor. Others complain about classroom conditions and some think that their instructors are not teaching a class properly. There are a few things that you can do about it and I will cover the specific processes and rules that must be followed to successfully and professionally complain.
Proper Procedure for handling complaints and /or grievances
It is important for the college student to realize that certain processes and steps must be taken if you want anything to get done. You can’t just whine about it or go up to a counselor or advisor and say, “that’s not fair;��? you have to professionally handle your complaint in a respectable manner. After all, isn’t professionalism what we’re trying to achieve by attending college?
1. A student must present a claim, either oral or written stating that he or she was treated unfairly or arbitrarily.
2. LSC willingly admits that at any point a student may seek legal counsel, so if you have been so severally wronged that a lawyer may be deemed necessary, then it would be encouraged.
3. The student must bring the concern to an appropriate staff member. It the student is uncomfortable with the accosted college employee, than he or she may enlist the assistance of a counselor or advisor.
4. If at this level the problem isn’t sufficiently resolved a grievance may be filed. These forms will go to the Vice President of Student Services and the offending administrator will be asked to send in a written response of the complaint within ten working days from notice.
Students do have the right do go through all of these steps if they feel it’s necessary. Most often simple meeting with the instructor or administrator can be the better option in a lot of cases (Policy 3.6.1).
Information Regarding Course Credit Transfer
It is important to be familiar with the concepts of course credit transfer as they relate to you. Here at LSC, it’s very common that a student will transfer to another college or university after completing two years at LSC.
Some high schools in Duluth offer a selection of college-level courses, which upon completion will be credited to a local college. It’s important to understand the rules for course credit transfer to avoid disappointment and wasted time in the future. For instance, when I was attending East High School I opted to participate in college composition 1 class. I received an “A,��? and I was optimistic about attending college because I knew that I had a good head start. It wasn’t until enrollment here at LSC that I learned that the college composition class that I completed only counted towards credit for Fond-du-lac College, and not LSC. I was pretty disappointed so learning at least some of the rules will give the future LSC student a head start in how things work.
- Classes labeled “developmental,��? are used to prepare students for more challenging college level courses. These courses will not be transferred to another college or university, and won’t contribute towards a diploma or a degree.
Determining Transfer Credits
- LSC will determine if specific transfer credits will be applied to its’ requirements and/or graduation of the student. In other words, LSC will have the final say in whether your college level classes will be credited at LSC or not.
Course Comparability or Equivalency
- All courses either intended for transfer to LSC curriculum or that of a more intensive university from LSC will be compared to determine whether course requirements are achieved with regards to nature, content, and difficulty level.
Regionally Accredited Institutions vs. Non-regionally accredited Institutions
- For the most part LSC will accept any credit obtained at a regionally accredited institution so as it follows MnSCU standards where as credits obtained at non-regionally accredited institutions will be subject to evaluation procedure.
- If a student is dissatisfied with a college’s transfer decision, the student is allowed to appeal the decision to be evaluated further (Policy 3.21).
Overview of Previous Concepts
Although relatively brief and basic, I covered what I consider three of the most important things a future Lake Superior College Student should know. If properly understood and exercised, students will have a smooth and relatively stress free time at LSC, leaving one’s mind to focus only on coursework and personal details rather than on their future and worriment about mistakes that could have been made in the course selection or transfer processes. Overall, no sleep should be lost over any of these details, as they are fairly basic and easy to grasp.
lsc.edu. 28 Nov. 2008. Lake Superior College. 28 Jan. 2009 www.lsc.edu/policy/policy/3171.cfm
lsc.edu. 28 Nov. 2008. Lake Superior College. 28 Jan. 2009 www.lsc.edu/policy/policy/3_1_8.cfm
lsc.edu. 28 Nov. 2008. Lake Superior College. 28 Jan. 2009 www.lsc.edu/policy/policy/3211.cfm