Pierce College District Running Start Tips, Reminders and Helpful Hints for RS Students
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Transferring From a Running Start Student’s Perspective

January 12

The Things I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me About Transferring
by Nataly

First off, transferring really isn’t as scary as I thought it would be, but it can be stressful.

When you are choosing and applying to universities, don’t limit yourself! I applied to six different in state universities and was accepted to all of them. This gave me the option to decide where I really wanted to go. If you only apply to one school, then you might be selling yourself short on other possibilities. The worst they can say is no and your life isn’t over if they do. So just apply to as many as you can. BUT no matter what, make sure you chose a university YOU want to go to. There are plenty of diverse schools in this state that you can choose from. Look into what feels comfortable to you. Think about these things:

How is the environment?

Could I see myself living here?

Do they offer the program or major I want to pursue?

If you need to factor in finances then think about that too. I thought I wanted to go to one university that I lived by my entire life, then the last minute I decided to attend a different university that felt more like home and gave me more options for my education.

Coming in with Running Start credits gave me many advantages at the university. I was able to register early, and had a better chance of getting the classes I wanted. The down side is you have to know what you want to major in right when you go in (that is if you graduated from the running start program with your associates degree). If you can apply to your major at the same time that you apply to the school then you will be off to a great start. If not, then you might have to wait an extra year to make the deadline or take classes for

a back up major/minor. One good thing to keep in mind is always having a back up major. Make sure it is something you will be interested in and something you would want to pursue. The more back up majors you have, the more prepared you will be. I want to major in business but still need to finish up prerequisites.  I found that I needed to take microeconomics before taking macroeconomics for my program. For other majors, look into what classes have prerequisites that need to be taken first at the university so you can be right on track when you transfer.

When you do register for classes at the university, make sure you have read through both the schedule of classes offered that quarter/semester, and you have read through the course catalog. The course catalog will give you a description of what the class is about and sometimes it tells you what other quarters/semesters that class is offered. This is nice to know incase you have other classes you need to take first. The catalog is just one extra tool to help you organize yourself when you are picking out classes.

Once at the university you will be tempted to hang out with the people at your dorm or within your living space. There is nothing wrong with making friends, but make sure you know when to say no to people when you have to do homework or study for an exam. Become friends with the people in your classes in case you miss a day and need notes. I suggest that during the week you focus on classes and homework, and try to get it done before the weekend. That way you can be free from homework and enjoy the weekend with your new friends.

Adjusting to the dorm life might be tough for some of you. Just give it time, do some of the same things you did at home, and make sure you remember to get some sleep. It is okay to call or text your parents. You will find out that there are students like you who also miss home and their families. You will have something in common to talk about with them!

For some the university workload might be really easy, for others, it can be hard and stressful. I can’t say this enough but make sure you GO TO CLASS. You won’t have your mom and dad to wake you up to remind you to go. You are on your own.

You will have advisors at your university just like you did at Pierce. Make sure you go talk to them. They can give you great insight on different options you could have for classes or how to get into a major, or give you information you need to find out about different things.

One way to keep in touch with advisors, professors, TA’s and other people on campus is through email. Make sure to check your email everyday! In the morning and at night! Professors will send crucial information via email. Whether they are telling you class is cancelled or they are giving you insight about an assignment that is due, or even assigning you more homework, it is all worth looking at!

Lastly, I want to leave you with something I hope you will always keep in mind. Don’t ever give up and don’t ever get discouraged. You are there to learn and better yourself. Take time to worry about yourself everyday. Take 5 minutes of quiet time to collect your thoughts. If you don’t do so well the first quarter/semester, remember that it was only your first! You can do better the next time. The first quarter/semester is all about adjusting to your new life. It really is trial and error at this point in time. Upperclassmen can give you advice on classes to take, things to get involved in, cool hang out spots, but it is up to you to figure out what advice you are going to take and what you want to discover on your own. Ask for help when you need help and remember you aren’t the only one going through the problems you have.

The effort you put forth at the university will show up in your grades, your experiences, the amount of friends you have, and your ability to be successful.

Nataly is a former Running Start student.  She graduated from Pierce College in 2010 and is now a junior at the University of Washington.

Checking your registration day and time

October 21

At Pierce College, registration times are based on seniority.  That means that students who have more credits register before students with fewer credits.  This also means that each student has their own unique registration day and time.

To find your registration day and time, do the following:

1. Go to the Pierce College Student Online Services page: http://www.pierce.ctc.edu/sos/

2. On the left side of the screen, under the Registration and Records heading, click on the link called Your Registration Time. You will be directed to the When to Register page.

3. On the When to Register page, enter your Pierce College student ID number and your inquiry pin (usually your birthday) into the appropriate boxes.  Then choose the quarter you are trying to register for.

4. You will then be directed to the page that will tell you when you can register.  Your registration date is called “Appt. Date” and your registration time is called “Appt. Time.” Please be aware that this is NOT an appointment with a Running Start advisor. This is the earliest time you can register.  You still need to call and schedule your own appointment day and time for advising, preferably before your registration day and time.

To schedule an advising appointment with a Running Start advisor, call the following numbers:

Puyallup students: 253-840-8329
Fort Steilacoom students: 253-964-6520

How to Plan Your Schedule

April 28

Registration deadline for RS students is December 7.

We always like for you to come prepared to your advising and registration appointments.  One of the ways you can be prepared is by bringing at least two planned schedules.  We like you to do this because it may happen that your first choice of classes is not available when you are able to register.

In order to plan a schedule, you can try a few different methods:

1. Students can view the quarterly class schedule on the Pierce College Web site.  You can look in the schedule to see what classes are offered each quarter.  This is available online at the Pierce College web site, usually about three weeks prior to the start of registration.  You can search by subject, campus, class type, days of the week, time of day, instructor, or keyword.

You also can combine search criteria. For example, if you are looking for English classes offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Puyallup campus, select English from the subject drop down menu, Puyallup from the location drop down menu, and make sure the boxes next to Tuesday and Thursday are the only ones checked in days of the week.

First, you will need to choose the quarter and campus you want to attend – Puyallup or Fort Steilacoom.  You then also have the option of choosing specific days and times you want to attend, specific instructors, or subjects available.  (Note that you don’t have to search by these criteria – they are just available if you want to use them.)  The schedule is then organized by course type.  For instance, all Accounting classes at the Fort Steilacoom campus will be located in the Accounting section. Each course that is offered will be listed, followed by a brief description of the course and a list of any prerequisites the course has.   Below that, it will list, from left to right, the four-digit item number, the section, the number of credits, the instructor’s name,  the days the class meets, the time the class meets, and the location.  If the course is offered at more than one time, you will see other options listed.For detailed information regarding open seats in a class, exact start dates, and other information, click on the item number of the class. A separate window will open in your browser.

Remember that classes fill up quickly, so just because you see that a class is offered, it doesn’t mean it is open.  You can use the Student Online Services to make sure the classes you want to take aren’t full.

2. Use the Student Online Services.  There are a number of tools available at the Student Online Services page.

  • Class Availability by Item Number – This works great for students who know exactly what class they want to take.  Just find the class in the schedule, locate the four digit item number, and type it into the box.  A window will open showing how many seats are available in this class.
  • Schedule Planner – This works well for students who have specific times when they are available and have a pretty good idea of which classes they want to take.  The Schedule Planner can help you find classes that will work with your schedule. You input the times you are available for classes and which classes you’d like to take. It will develop a sample class schedule for you to consider.
  • Matrix – Search Courses by Discipline and Time – This tool works well for students who have certain times available to take classes and are flexible about which classes they want to take.   First, choose which campus you want to take your classes at.  It will then open a schedule that is organized by time and discipline.   This helps in finding courses that fit the specific time you are available.
  • eSchedule – Quarterly Course Schedule – The eSchedule is an online Quarterly Course Schedule you can use to search the current quarter for specific class offerings or to check class availability at a specific Pierce College campus.

All of the tools above will help you to choose the classes, days, and times you want to attend at Pierce College.

3. When viewing the class schedule and the scheduling tools above, you may see classes that look interesting, but you’re not really sure what they are about.  There is another great tool available in the Student Online Services page that will allow you to learn more about the classes you are thinking of taking.  It is the e-Catalog and it lists program information, course information (including course content and course abilities), and the current syllabi for most courses.

The above tools will help you to create your own class schedule.  If you still have questions or are unsure about how to plan your schedule, always feel free to contact the Running Start office.  Remember, one of the ways college is different from high school is that you are the one who will be deciding what times you will come to school and which classes you will take.  Your Running Start advisor will help you to make decisions about which courses are best suited for your high school requirements and educational goals, but ultimately the responsibility of creating your schedule lies with you.

Expected Costs

April 23

While tuition for college-level courses (up to 18 credits) is covered by your school district, Running Start isn’t free.   You should expect, when entering the Running Start program, the following costs –

  • Testing fee – $15.00.  Please see the Testing Center website for fee information.
  • Admissions fee – $25.00 effective August 1, 2010
  • Comprehensive student fee: parking, transcripts, and graduation expenses: $1.50 per credit ($15 maximum)
  • Technology fee: to advance the use of technology by students: $3.50 per credit ($35 maximum)
  • Fort Steilacoom Recreation Center Fee: building costs of a multi-purpose student recreation center for students at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom: $3.50 per credit ($35 maximum)
  • Puyallup Fitness and Recreational Fee: the costs of a fitness and recreational center for students at Pierce College Puyallup: $4.25 per credit (No maximum)
  • Textbooks – All students are expected to pay for their own textbooks.  Textbooks can be very expensive, ranging from $50 – $200 per class.  Please plan ahead so you can cover these expenses.
  • Course fees – Certain courses have fees attached to them.  For instance, all full-online courses have a $40 fee per course.  Science or art courses may have a materials or lab fee.  You will see this fee when you look at the course in the bulletin.
  • Transportation – Students are responsible for their own transportation.  Both campuses are served by Pierce Transit.  Parking is available on campus for students who prefer to drive themselves.
  • Food – Students must pay for their own food.  Because students will be creating their own schedules, if they want a break to eat, they will need to plan their schedule accordingly.  Both campuses have a cafeteria and the Fort Steilacoom campus has a coffee stand where students can purchase snacks.

Please note that many of the fees are based on the number of credits you are taking and are quarterly fees, meaning you will have to pay them each quarter.

Student and course fees will need to be paid at the time of registration.  Students will be withdrawn from their classes if they do not pay their fees.

Pierce College does offer a fee waiver and a book assistance program to qualifying students.  For more information about this, please view the Running Start Student Fee Waiver and Book Loan Application.  Please review the document carefully and note that the fee waiver does not apply to all fees.

Fees are subject to change at any time.

See an example of fees and textbook costs for a possible schedule below.

This student is taking courses at the Fort Steilacoom campus.  Students taking 10 credits or above at the Fort Steilacoom campus all pay a mandatory $85 fee each quarter unless they have a fee waiver.   (Fees above 10 credits at the Puyallup campus are slightly higher.)  Two of the courses this student is taking also have a class fee, bringing the total fees to $111.50.  Please keep in mind that even if you qualify for a fee waiver, it only applies to the mandatory fee, not class fees.

Notice that there are two prices listed for each book – a used price and a new price.  If you purchase used books, you’ll save a lot of money.

The fees and textbook expenses would be $454.16 with new books and $368.52 with used books.

The above is an example of how much fees and books can cost each quarter.  Your own fees and books costs will depend on what classes you take.

Winter 2011 Registration for Current Students

April 23

Registration deadline for RS students is December 7.

The Fort Steilacoom and Puyallup Running Start offices will start advising current students for winter registration starting November 4.

Make sure to meet with your high school counselor prior to your advising appointment to fill out your pre-enrollment form and discuss your winter classes.  Remember that all forms need to be completely filled out and signed by your high school counselor and, if you are under 18, a parent or guardian.

Please come to your advising appointment prepared.  Bring at least two planned schedules and any other paperwork (such as your fee-waiver or high school release form) you may need to enroll for winter quarter.

If you are planning to take any classes below 100 level, make sure you bring a high school release form signed by your high school counselor.

Starting November 4, you will be able to view a pdf version of the winter schedule at http://www.pierce.ctc.edu/pubs/schedule/.

You can call to schedule an advising appointment starting October 18.  Don’t procrastinate!  Classes fill up fast and, if you wait, you may not be able to register for the classes you want.

Please call the campus you are planning on attending to schedule an advising appointment.

Puyallup: 253-840-8329
Fort Steilacoom: 253-964-6520