Want to Become an FCC Student? Here’s What You Need to Know!

Fall_Summer Registration

We’re proud of all our area-high school students who’ve completed a major milestone and graduated this month. We know many of you are considering next steps, and we hope FCC is at the top of your list!

Registration for our Fall 2014 Semester is underway, and our Admissions office (located on the first floor of J-Building) is open all summer long to welcome new students. You should know our College offers many benefits to our students, including a small student-faculty ratio, one of the most affordable tuition rates in the region, and a high rate of successful transfer to four-year colleges and universities.

No matter where you choose to enroll in Fall 2014, I wish you success and feel confident that, whatever your educational goals, you’ll find your experience at Frederick Community College challenging and rewarding.

E-mail admissions@frederick.edu for more information or visit us online.

Also, make sure to read our 12-Step Checklist that outlines everything you need to know to become an FCC student!

1. Submit an Application for Admission (It’s FREE!)
Apply online or pick up a paper application from the Admissions Office in the J-Building.

2. Attend an Admissions Session
It is suggested that all new FCC students attend an Admissions Session. Veterans may contact Veteran Services. Single parents and displaced homemakers may contact the Office of Adult Services.

All other students may contact the Admissions Office, where a representative from Admissions will review the enrollment process including financial aid, assessment requirements, class registration, programs, and more. Walk-ins, scheduled appointments, individual and group sessions are all available.

3. Complete your records
Send official college and high school transcripts, SAT & ACT scores as well as any CLEP or AP scores to the Welcome Center at least 2 weeks prior to your academic advising session to allow sufficient time for evaluation.

4. Apply for Financial Assistance
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to apply for federal, state, and institutional grants, work study and student loans. The priority deadline for the FAFSA is March 1 each year. Allow at least 4-6 weeks for processing. You can still apply after March 1, but you will miss out on Maryland State Funding options. FCC’s school code when filling out the FAFSA is 002071.

Be sure to apply for scholarships. June 30, 2014 is the deadline for our Fall 2014 scholarships. You’ll need an FCC student ID number to begin the scholarship application process.

5. Complete Placement Testing
Review and demonstrate your current academic skill levels in reading, math, and English at the FCC Testing Center. You may be exempt from testing if you can demonstrate other forms of college readiness (see below). In order to test, you must show a valid photo ID and provide your Student ID number. You do not have to make an appointment to test, and tests are not timed.

Be sure to arrive at least 2 hours prior to close to ensure that your scores are accurate.
Visit our Testing Center’s website for hours, study guides, exemption information, and frequently asked questions. If you need to request any accommodations for placement testing, please contact the Services for Students with Disabilities office in advance at 301.846.2408.

There is no cost to take the Accuplacer tests. You are exempt from one or more tests if you have recent ACT scores ( English 21, Math 21 and Reading 21), SAT scores (Reading 550, and Math 550), Math/English AP scores (3+), B or higher in FCPS Algebra II or higher math courses, or other college readiness scores listed in the college catalog.

6. Meet with an Academic Advisor
An Academic Advisor will assist you in developing an educational plan, reviewing your general education & program requirements, selecting courses for registration, and understanding the pathway to your academic goal. Walk in advising is available in the Counseling & Advising Office. Bring any documents that might be helpful (unofficial transcripts, test results, ACT/SAT scores). Always bring your photo ID for service.

We have specialty advisors available for veterans, individuals with disability, multicultural, single parents/displaced homemakers, please make an appointment with one of these specialists for assistance.

7. Activate Your myFCC E-mail Account and Peoplesoft Login
To access your student email, go to our homepage and click on myFCC under “In the Spotlight.”

Login Info: Your Username is w + Student ID (Example: w1234567). Your Default Password is the first two letters of your last name plus the last five digits of your student ID (Example: sm34567). You can also access Peoplesoft by through the resources provided by “In the Spotlight.”

8. Register for Classes
Log-in to PeopleSoft and go to the student center to register for classes. Make sure to read available schedules first.

9. Complete the Payment Process
Full payment, enrollment in the automatic deferred payment plan (FACTS) or acceptance of full financial aid including but not limited to signing up for the pending aid payment plan is required by all “DROP ZONE” payment deadline dates. If enrolling in classes after the term starts payment is due the day prior to each session start date. If you miss the payment deadline, you will be dropped from your classes. All of our payment options are published online.

FCC processes all refunds through HigherOne. You will receive a refund debit card in the mail (watch for the green envelope.) Once you receive it follow the directions to activate your card and select your refund preference. For more information on the HigherOne Refund Card, please visit the Cashier’s Office or call the main line at 301.846.2456.

10. Purchase or Rent Books & Get Supplies
Bring your printed schedule to buy your books and supplies at the FCC Bookstore in the Classroom/Student Center Building.

11. Connect with Student Engagement Office
All Recent High School graduates will receive an invite to the New Student and Parent Convocation.

Stop in the Center for Student Engagement to learn about how you can be involved in student clubs!

12. Attend Classes and Be Successful!
In order to receive your official FCC Student ID, bring a photo ID to the Welcome Center. The card gives you access to the library, computer labs, and other services on campus.

Review your schedule, note your professors’ names and the location of your classes.

Identify campus resources available to help you succeed (i.e. tutors, study skills, mentors).

We have everything you need to make the most of your college experience.


Tackling Common Student Concerns: Part II

You can meet FCC Admissions staff in J-Building.

You can meet FCC Admissions staff in J-Building.

In my last post, I reviewed and addressed some common student concerns that we typically see in the Admissions Office. For this entry, I will continue addressing these concerns because we are currently in registration mode for January term classes and our spring semester!

Time sure flies by! Credit course registration for both January term and Spring term courses has been open since November 4th. Here is the good news: You still have time to register for classes, but you should definitely start the application process as soon as possible!

• January term courses start January 3, and registration for these courses ends the same day.
• Our first session of Spring semester credit courses will start on January 27th, and registration deadlines for these courses will vary based on which session you begin. Detailed information is available on our FCC schedule of courses.
• For our Continuing Education courses, registration has been open since December 2nd, and the registration deadlines will vary depending on the class start and end dates. If you are planning to register for continuing education or credit courses, it’s best to register early or as soon as possible!

Now, onto continuing our list of “Student Concerns” – our last entry tackled “Student Concerns” #1 and #2 – here’s our approach to Student Concerns #3 and #4!

Concern #3: “I know I want a change, but I’m not yet 100% of what my new career and/or educational goals are.”

This is a pretty common concern that students have. I always ask students when they come in for information what program they plan on pursuing. The response I get helps me get an idea of where the student may be in terms of goal setting and career planning. If you already know that a bachelor’s degree or even a more advanced degree is your goal (even if you aren’t sure of the subject area), I can tell you that one of our associate degree programs will be the direction you want pursue. One of the many good things about pursuing your associate degree with us at FCC, is you have a window of time to explore some of your options. Each associate degree has some general education course requirements that transfer across different programs or majors with ease. Academic advising will typically recommend that you start off with these courses first, so you can have a little more time for planning. And guess what? We have staff to help you with that planning as well!

The Career and Transfer Center is a great resource to help you decide a direction for a career path, choosing a major, searching for a job, and planning for transfer into a ‘four-year’ institution for advanced study after FCC. Even if you are not yet sure if you want a letter of recognition, certificate, associate degree, or want further study, the Career and Transfer Center can help you explore your options. Call the office at 301-846-2594 to make an appointment! The department is located in Office J-201.

Concern #4: “The last time I was in school, I found it challenging. I’m nervous about being successful in college.”

This is also a common concern! Even when students have a high GPA from high school or a previous institution (if transferring in), I think it is normal to be a little worried about your success here at FCC. I am currently a graduate student, and although I do well each semester, I always feel a little nervous about being successful, too! Frederick Community College has many services and a supportive staff that are here to help you be successful. You just have to seize the opportunity for this assistance.

If this is one of your concerns, you may want to take some time to reflect and ask yourself, “What specifically did I find challenging before?” For some students, studying the subject of math is intimidating, for others, managing time or completing long reading assignments is a challenge. We have workshops and even coursework for study skills such as time-management, test-taking, and studying. We also have tutoring services, and a Math Learning Center, and a Writing Center. Another great resource is working closely with your teacher. Each instructor has scheduled office hours, where you can come in to have questions answered, get feedback, etc. You are not alone on your path to meet your educational and career goals at FCC.

As always, if you have any questions about what options you may have with FCC, please stop by our office (J101) or contact us (301-624-2716). We can’t wait to meet you!

Don’t be Nervous about Going to College: Tackling Common Student Concerns

You can meet FCC Admissions staff in J-Building.

You can meet FCC Admissions staff in J-Building.

Any given day in the Admissions Office, you will meet individual prospective and current students from a wide variety of backgrounds. In my role as a recruiter and admissions advisor, I’ve found that it’s best to ask each person I advise the open-ended question of, “How can I help you today?” What a person may need today may be different from what he or she may need tomorrow.

One student type I encounter is the student who has no idea what he or she wants to do, but does know that a change is in order. My point is this: Not knowing what kinds of potential student needs will walk through my door each day can be one of the most challenging aspects of my job, but it is also what I often love the most about working here. I have the opportunity to meet hundreds of people each month and I can say that after working here for one year that each day is truly a new experience.

In my experience, no student has a one-size-fits-all experience –– even students with similar career or academic interests. Getting to know each person in a short amount of time allows me to best serve his or her needs and concerns, which also can run the gamut.

The reason why I choose to work for community colleges, and FCC specifically, is that I get to help make the process of coming to school an easier one by providing clarification and reassurance. Below, I’ll tackle a few of these concerns, because nearly all prospective students have at least one.

Concern #1: “I haven’t been to school in years! Am I the only one?”

Absolutely not! Approximately 22% (about 1,345) of our current student population are students who range in age from 30 to 59 years old. This is a popular concern, whether someone has been away from school five years to 30 years. Coming back to school can feel overwhelming and often people I advise are concerned about being in a student role again or ‘not fitting in.’ The great news is you are NOT alone. From application to course registration (and beyond), we have staff and faculty to meet your needs and answer your questions. Have more questions? Meet with of our Admissions Office staff in J101 to get started in the process. After getting started in the application process with Admissions, you may also benefit from student support services provided by the Office of Adult Services.

Concern #2: “Some of my friends are going straight into a four-year college/university from high school. Am I missing out on the ‘four-year’ experience?”

Particularly if you are planning to transfer to a four-year college or university, your first two years of coursework (full-time) with us are the same as what you would be taking at the more expensive college/university option. Students who begin their education at FCC before transferring can save anywhere from $25,000-$90,000 in tuition – you will not find a better value for your education! Students who transfer from FCC also typically perform better academically than students who enroll directly in four-year colleges or universities.

Our small class sizes, dedicated faculty, and abundance of student services to help you along the way may have something to do with that.

Four year schools will often have residential campuses. While FCC is not a residential campus, our Center for Student Engagement provides plenty of opportunities to socialize, build leadership skills, and learn outside of the classroom with clubs and service learning. Wherever you decide to attend school, your experience will be what you make of it. Take it from one of our current student bloggers, and check out her experience here at FCC.

These two concerns by no means cover the range of issues we hear in the Admissions Office. I look forward to dispelling misconceptions and answering common concerns and questions in future posts.

If you have any questions about what options you may have with FCC, please stop by our office (J101) or contact us (301-624-2716)! We can’t wait to meet you.

Applying to FCC in Four Easy Steps

It’s the question dreaded by countless graduates: “So what are you going to do now?”

You have many possible paths ahead of you in life, and many ways to answer that question. Of course we hope you consider coming to college with us. Here’s a quick look at how our application process works.

Step 1: Apply online. You can apply easily online, without worrying about the hassle of application fees, interviews, or essays. After you apply, you should receive a welcome packet in about a week with your student ID number.

Step 2: Submit your official high school transcripts, and any AP exam scores or SAT/ACT scores to the college. Depending on what math courses you took in high school, or what scores you have or will receive for your AP exams or SATs/ACTs, you may be exempt from our placement tests.

Step 3: Take Placement Tests (unless exempt). All students are required to take our placement tests in reading, writing, and math, or provide acceptable materials to be exempt from these tests before taking most of our available course options.

Step 4: Visit our Enrollment Services (J) Building for advising. When you drop by for advising on a walk-in basis, you will learn how to use your online student account, learn about our campus resources, and learn how to schedule your first semester for classes.

If you have any questions about what options you may have with FCC, please stop by our office (J101) or contact us (301-624-2716)! We can’t wait to meet you!

Christa has earned a B.A. in Psychology from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and is currently pursuing a M.Ed. in School Counseling at Loyola University Maryland. She has at least five years experience working with students in higher education environments in the area of Student Life and Engagement and currently works for our Admissions Department as an Admissions Advisor and Recruiter. Her passion includes working collaboratively with FCC staff to promote student success and a welcoming environment for all students.