How to Be A Successful Student
Attending class is vital to your success, particularly the first few days of class as you are introduced to the requirements and topics you will be covering. Therefore the college limits when you can add classes. Please check our registration page regarding when classes can be added. You may drop a course through Friday of the first day of class and be eligible for a refund although withdrawing may affect your financial aid. If you are thinking of withdrawing, please speak with your instructor first and then a financial aid counselor: ASK FAS.
Showing up is the first step in ensuring your academic success. Active participation is the next step - whether you are in a classroom or taking classes online. Each of your faculty will give details in the syllabus about their attendance policies. If you are going to miss a session, or be offline for any reason, please let your instructor know in advance. If you don't attend during the first two weeks of a term you will automatically be withdrawn from the class and this can cause serious problems if you receive financial aid. In fact, if you withdraw prior to completing 60% of a class and receive any form of federal financial aid (grants or loans) you will be required to repay a portion. So if you are thinking of withdrawing, please speak with your instructor or a financial aid counselor ASK FAS.
St. Petersburg College is supported by the state of Florida so it's important for you to know the state rules that affect your academics. A student may repeat a course once for which a grade of "C" or higher has been earned. Retaking the course may be allowed if it is required in certain circumstances. See the college procedure.
Your grade point average is used to determine financial aid eligibility, entrance into certain programs, and warnings, probation, and suspension. If you repeat a course, at SPC or another college, only the last attempt will be used in computing the grade-point average. The Office of Accessibility Services is available to assist you if you have a documented disability or think that you may have a disability. Please make an appointment with the Accessibility Coordinator on your campus or online. Registering with Accessibility Services is especially important if you are on campus and will need assistance during an emergency classroom evacuation. For contact information, please see the Accessibility Services website.
It is important that all of your attention be focused on the content to be learned so when you are in class you shouldn't be using your computer, cell phone, and tablet for casual use, only academic purposes. Any use of these devices (including texting) for non-academic purposes draws your attention away from the course work and is therefore subject to disciplinary action. Whether you are taking a course online, blended, or in the classroom, you may be required to have discussions of class assignments and share papers and other class materials with instructors and classmates online. The learning management system, MyCourses, will be used for this purpose and you should complete the Introduction to MyCourses so that you are comfortable with the system and can complete your assignments. Whether you are in an online class or a physical classroom, certain behaviors are expected when you communicate with your peers and your instructors. You need to contribute to a positive learning/teaching environment, respecting the rights of others and their opportunity to learn. No one has the right to interfere with the teaching/learning process. Below are the traits of a successful student. These guidelines pertain whether your course is online or in the classroom. When communicating, you should always:
- treat everyone with respect in every communication
- use your professor's proper title: Dr. or Prof., or if you are in doubt use Mr. or Ms.
- use clear and concise language
- remember that college level communication should use correct grammar, whether written or spoken. Avoid slang.
- use correct spelling and avoid texting abbreviations
- avoid using the caps lock feature as it can be interpreted as yelling online
- be cautious when using humor or sarcasm as tone is sometimes lost in an email or discussion post and, even when spoken, your message might be misunderstood
- be cautious with personal information (both yours and others')
When you send an email to your instructor, department chair, dean, or classmates, you should:
- use a subject line that describes what you are writing about
- avoid attachments unless you are sure your recipients can open them
- be clear, concise, and courteous
- sign your message with your name
- use your SPC email account to ensure delivery. Sometime emails from non-SPC accounts are stopped by the spam filter and the recipient may not receive it.
Your faculty member will include in the syllabus expectations for response times on email.
When posting to a discussion board, you should:
- write posts that are on-topic and within the scope of the course material
- take your posts seriously; review and edit your posts before sending
- be as brief as possible while still making a thorough comment
- always give proper credit when referencing or quoting another source
- read all messages in a thread before replying
- avoid repeating someone else's post without adding something of your own to it
- avoid short, generic replies such as, "I agree." You should include why you agree or add to the previous point
- always be respectful of others' opinions, even when they differ from your own
- express any differing opinions in a respectful, non-critical way
- not make personal or insulting remarks
- be open-minded
The instructor has the authority to ask a disruptive student to leave a classroom or lab. The instructor may also delete posts or materials from an online or blended class and/or take disciplinary action if disruptive behavior continues. This ensures that all students in the class have an opportunity to learn. We expect you to be honest in all of your academic work. By enrolling at the College, you agree to obey all of the standards of academic honesty and integrity and you should understand that failing to observe the rules may result in academic and disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion from the College. As members of the College community, you also have an ethical obligation to report violations of the SPC academic honesty policies you may witness. The academic honesty policy and procedures are available online:
These documents include details on what is meant by:
- Duplicate submissions
- Academic misconduct
- Improper calculator, computer or online use
Some of your courses may include online material that is protected by copyright. This means that the work is available for you to use in your studies but you can't copy and share the materials ( http://www.copyright.gov). It's your responsibility to be academically honest in all of your work.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
We want to make sure that you are comfortable on campus and feel secure in your learning environment. The SPC campuses are very safe but you should be aware of your surroundings, just as you are anytime you are in a public space. In each classroom there is an Emergency Response Guide to help you during an emergency. It is also a good idea to be familiar with evacuation routes in buildings that you use frequently. If you have an emergency, dial 911 immediately. For information on campus safety and security policies, please call 727-791-2560. More information is also available on the Campus Safety website.
The college website ( www.spcollege.edu) is the best source of information in the event of an emergency. It's possible for something like a hurricane to disrupt classes on campus; if this happens there are plans on how to help you continue your education. You should be comfortable using MyCourses as the learning management system will be key in communicating with faculty about course materials and assignments. Make sure you complete the Introduction to MyCourses so that you are familiar with sending and receiving emails, participating in discussion posts, navigating through course materials, and submitting assignments. It is important to be able to use MyCourses for learning activities if your campus is closed.
Federal and state law requires a person designated as a "sexual predator or offender" to register with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). The FDLE is then required to notify the college if the person attends, or is employed, by a college or university. You can find out more information by calling the FDLE hotline (1-888-FL-PREDATOR) or by visiting http://offender.fdle.state.fl.us/offender/. A list of sexual offenders or predators registered for classes at SPC is also available.
As an SPC student it's vital that you know Titans Care. You can access resources through SPC's Student Assistance Program (SAP), a collaborative resource for students with mental health or general life issues. SAP provides help and education in suicide prevention, mental health, substance abuse awareness and more. It is SPC's belief that supporting mental wellness is everyone's charge and that one loss as a result of substance abuse, mental illness, or suicide is one too many. If you or a loved one are considering suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
St. Petersburg College wants to make sure that you are able to receive prompt and fair resolutions to any concerns that you might have. If you feel that you have had a bad experience with a college employee, or you have a concern about college facilities, please bring it to our attention. Begin by speaking directly to the person responsible for the department; direct conflict resolution is an important skill to develop and usually brings about the best results. If you aren't satisfied with the outcome, or are not comfortable approaching the person directly, you may submit the information using an online form: https://web.spcollege.edu/survey/13002/
If you're not able to submit the form online yourself, feel free to ask a college employee to submit the form on your behalf.