Now that you’ve registered you probably have questions about what to do now. This week, Sharon Mueller, Director of Advising and Policy and Kathy Barrett, Associate Director of Advising for Engineering Student Services join The (Not So) Secret Guide to Being a Berkeley Engineer this week to discuss “What’s Next!”
In this episode, Sharon and Kathy go over the adjustment period, shopping for classes, Golden Bear Prep, Golden Bear Orientation and more. Take a listen as you find out how to continue making the best choices for classes in your first semester at UC Berkeley.
- Make an appointment with your ESS Adviser. If you are not local you can make a phone appointment with your adviser through the same system – just note in the comments that you will be calling. You’ll need to call our main number at (510) 642-7594 at your appointment start time and you’ll be connected with your adviser.
- Registration Troubleshooting
- Academic Deadlines are listed on the left side of the ESS homepage and updated throughout the semester.
- Early Drop Deadline – Open the accordion for “Enroll in/Drop a class” and click on the pdf for Early Drop Deadlines
- CalCentral registration support
LAURA VOGT: Hello my name is Laura vote and I’m the communications and event manager for Engineering Student Services. And welcome back to this week’s (Not So) Secret Guide to Being a Berkeley Engineer. This week I’m excited, we’re going to talk about what’s next. So most of the freshmen and incoming transfer students have gotten to register on Monday and Tuesday, July 10th and 11th. And so today we’re bringing in two advisers from engineering student services Kathy Barrett and Sharon Mueller and they’re going to talk about what’s next. What does it mean now that you’ve done your registration. Kathy do you want to tell us a little bit about yourself before we start.
KATHY BARRETT: Hi everyone. I’m the associate director of advising in Engineering Student Services and I work with mechanical engineering students and students of the joint majors.
SHARON MUELLER: And I’m Sharon Mueller and I’m the director of the Advising and policy and Engineering Student Services.
LAURA: Thank you both for being here. So the biggest question I think is for students is going to be what’s next. Now they’ve gotten to do this initial registration, what does that mean they’re going to do next.
KATHY: Now they just get to relax. Well yes a little bit because now they’ve done the hard parts. Hopefully they’ve enrolled in all the classes they hope to take for the semester. One thing I would say is students can still be making changes to their schedules so even though they registered and they have some classes, if they hear about some awesome class that they want to take, they can still go back in on their central and make a change they can and they can add up to 17 and a half units. So it may be that they’re currently at 12 and they might want to add one extra class just to have an extra class to try out in the fall. So it’s not like this was their only time to enroll. Enrollment is open and they’re ready to enroll and anything up to seventeen point five units.
LAURA: Is there a time limit on when they have to stop enrolling that there’s a pause. Because I know we have continuing students I’d have a phase two coming up.
SHARON: No. They can continue to make changes during, up until August 13TH and that means starting on August 14th. That’s called the adjustment period and that’s when all students will be able to enroll in up to twenty point five units. Now we don’t recommend that new students take twenty point five units. But certainly if students want to leave some options open, perhaps they’re not sure which American cultures course they want to take and they kind of want to try out a few. They can certainly enroll in more units than they planned to keep and just be really mindful of the drop deadlines to make sure they drop back down before the drop deadline which is September 22nd.
KATHY:By the way. I’m a big proponent of shopping and dropping because I do think students whether they’re coming from high school from a community college they pretty much knew kind of what courses, who the teachers were, what they want to take. Here, it’s a whole new world with teachers they’ve never taken before, classes they’ve never heard of, majors they didn’t know existed. So they may enroll in something thinking it sounds really interesting and walk in the first day and just absolutely hate it. They don’t like the instructor. It’s not what they expected at all. So it’s nice to have a couple options if they can in their schedule. You know maybe have two H/SS courses that you want to try out and go and see what they’re both there like and then pick one by the end of the fifth week. So yeah, I think chopping and dropping is great. Unlike high school where you may have chosen a schedule that was your schedule and you stuck with it. You have the opportunity to make some changes.
LAURA: And I know I’ve gotten a couple of e-mails now about students asking about what pass/not pass is. Is there any tips that we have for students or regulations that they need to keep in mind as they’re signing up for something pass/no pass?
SHARON: So they of course all of their technical courses that they’re going to be taking to fulfill requirements for their major have to be taken for a letter grade. But humanities and social sciences courses can be pass/no pass. Reading and composition has to be be letter graded. So what pass/no pass means, it just takes a little pressure off with the grade. In order to get a pass grade the student has to finish the course with a C minus or better. And then the student get a Pass and if the grade ends up being below the C minus it will be a No Pass. In either way the pass or no pass does not affect the student’s GPA.
KATHY: Yes, so we really recommend and you have the first 10 weeks of the semester to decide whether you want to do it pass/no pass or letter graded for an H/SS. So 10 weeks is two thirds of the semester so you have a long time to try it out. So try it out letter graded, see how it feels by the end of the tenth week. You can make a change to pass/no pass if you want. So that’s a pretty flexible deadline. I mean in that while the deadline is hard – it’s the 10th week but you have 10 weeks to make a decision which is nice.
LAURA: I see we’ve got a note here about P.E.
KATHY: Now I know for some people they may never want to take another course again. For those who took it in high school and hated it they’re like why would I want to do that. But if you love P.E. and want to have an activity in your life, P.E. courses do tend to fill up. So that’s why the enrollment limit is seventeen point five because P.E. classes are point five units so gives you that chance to add a P.E.. So it was out there thinking about all I would like to do tennis or do some swimming or you know dance. Sign up for it now because they probably will fill up. There’s lots of other opportunities to do sports, there’s the rec sports facility and so there’s lots of other ways to exercise it and do things. But if you like having a regular kind of activity in your life through P.E. now’s the time to sign up for it.
SHARON: And that might be a good option to take pass/no pass. Kathy, isn’t your grade dependent upon how often you show up for your P.E. course?
KATHY: Yes, and your ability. I took a class in and I was terrible but I was really enthusiastic and they were like I don’t care you’re terrible. So yeah.
SHARON: So what did you get?
KATHY: I just I think I got to B which was sad, but it was fencing. So you know so don’t ever challenge me to a duel.
SHARON: So you didn’t ever hurt anybody.
KATHY: No, just myself and my pride. But be sure to take them, unless you are really good at your sport and then you can try. You run the risk if you get sick for two weeks and you just don’t want to go. You’re going to not pass and you’re going to get a failing grade because you just got sick for two weeks and you just didn’t want to go swimming. So you know take a pass or pass the should just be fun.
LAURA: We’ve got quite a few students that their task list on Cal Central is not necessarily updated showing that they’ve done their models for Golden Bear Advising. What do we want to tell them?
KATHY: Don’t worry.
SHARON: Don’t panic. You’ll still be able to enroll. You should have been able to enroll. There seems to be a little delay in getting those marked off.
KATHY: And you’re also getting probably noticing on your task list if you are required to send in transcripts for admissions was asking for transcripts or test scores. And those are not showing as updated. And I did contact our liaison in the admissions office and she said don’t worry and she said definitely don’t send duplicates. It should say that it’s been received. I think the received part of it is updating pretty regularly. But even so be patient. It’ll show received and then there will be a next step that shows completed. It’s going to take awhile. As you can imagine there’s like thousands, literally thousands of pieces of paper coming into the admissions office transcripts and test scores. So it’s taking them awhile to get that all official. But she did want to say don’t panic, if you are missing something, your admission counselor will send you an email to your @berkeley.edu address and let you know what you’re missing. Give you an opportunity to submit that missing documents. So she is very clear, don’t panic. They’re not going to cancel anyone’s admission or block you from registering because it doesn’t appear like you’ve completed a task. So be patient if you know it’s arrived. If you have confirmation that it’s been sent, hang on it’ll happen.
LAURA: And going back to the idea of shopping for a class or looking at classes, as a student I think I would really want to figure out what classes can fulfill more than one requirement. Where should students look for something along those lines that could help them out?
KATHY: Well there’s a little bit, I mean I would say for our students the one where that happens the most is the American Culture’s requirement. So all American Cultures courses by default satisfy the H/SS requirement are a just as a requirement. So if it’s an American Culture’s course, it’s going to satisfy an H/SS requirement. So that’s a place where it does double duty. Some majors have to do an ethics requirement and I think some of the ethics courses can satisfy H/SS, so that’s another place where things can kind of double count but other than that not a lot of other double counting that I can think about.
LAURA: Now that they’ve finished Golden Bear Advising, because we’ve now gone through our modules and we’ve done a registration, what’s next in the Golden Bear world?
KATHY: So they have Golden Bear Prep which starts on July 18th. And apparently they’ll be invited through their task list on CalCentral. So it will appear on their tasklist as something they need to do. They should go on and take a look at it. Golden Bear Prep covers things like Berkeley traditions. It covers how to find your community. It talks about safety and wellness. So it’s kind of a general welcome to the Cal community, here’s what Cal has to offer. So students should all look forward to doing that. I think it runs through July in early August, gives them about a month to do it.
LAURA: And Sharon we’ve had students saying that they don’t live locally but they still want to be able to talk to their advisors are they able to do that? Is there a way that they can make appointments?
SHARON: Students can go to our Engineering Student Services website which is engineering.berkeley.edu/ess and students can click on the blue box which is something like schedule an advising appointment. So even if you’re out of the area you can still have a phone appointment with your advisor. And the way that works is that you set it, you choose a time and then in the notes, note that it’s a phone appointment and then call our front desk at that time. The phone number for the Engineering Student Services front desk is (510) 642-7594. If students call that at their appointment time they will be connected with their adviser.
LAURA: I will also have instructions on welcomengineer.berkeley.edu to let students have a quick link straight to our appointment system and have the phone number for them.
KATHY: And I think on that page Laura don’t you to have some troubleshooting advice for students as they’re enrolling for classes?
LAURA: Yes we do. We’ve got in as students are having problems for updating the troubleshooting pages we go to try to help students make this registration process as easy as possible. And that is engineering.berkeley.edu/registrationtips.
KATHY: Thank you. And you can find that when you go Not So Secret Guide webpage.
LAURA: Is there anything else that comes of the top of your head that students seem to be thinking about now. I know we’re going to have Golden Bear Orientation in August.
SHARON: Yes I would say one thing about just another enrollment note. Students who have submitted a schedule and the schedule was approved, Let’s say when they go to enroll they choose a different H/SS course or a different American Cultures course, that’s fine. They don’t need to let their adviser know now I think what’s important is to make sure that they’re in communication with their advisor if they’re changing a technical course. So let’s say you want to take Engineering 7 instead of Physics 7B. That would be important to communicate with your adviser because your adviser is going to make sure that your combination of courses makes sense and also that you’ve met the prerequisites. But if it’s an H/SS course or maybe you want to take English R1A instead of Rhetoric R1A, that’s fine. Just go ahead and do it. And there’s no need to contact your advisor about that.
KATHY: And I would say too I know a lot of students who are able to access their AP scores this weekend so people have made some changes they’ve got they got a higher score on their AP English than they thought they might get. So now they don’t have to do English R1A. And I’ve had a couple calls from students asking if it’s okay if I do English R1B or if I just defer that for a semester. You have to get your R & C requirement done, the A & B, done by the end of your sophomore year. So if you don’t feel like you want to take one this semester if you want to wait till fall semester to take your B course. I think that’s totally fine. And again it was great that they contacted me but I trust students to make those decisions too. But you know happy to talk to students they want to contact me but I think that’s something that they want to do on their own that’s good too.
LAURA: OK great. Should we talk about Golden Bear Orientation is mandatory.
KATHY: Yes, the Golden Bear Orientation is mandatory.
LAURA: Golden Bear Orientation is the week before school starts. And most of it is being done through the University. But we do have some college portions that you’re going to be pulled out just for College of Engineering.
KATHY: Right, so we’re going to have a whole college day on Wednesday August 16th. So that’s going to be a whole day where you’re going to spend with us. We have some fun activities there’s going to be lunch. You’ll get to meet your adviser in a big group setting and you’ll get to meet your department advisers and hopefully some faculty and other students will be there. That’s a whole day of fun. And then we’ll have 2 half days on the Friday and the Monday, where we’ll get to have smaller meetings with your adviser, have some student do some student panels, and other fun activities. Yeah we have lots of things planned. There’ll be ice cream. Yes. So important yeah. Food. Ice cream snacks at some other point too. We have games one day where I think we have some giant game. So I mean they’re not like 20 feet tall but they’re bigger than that average size games so. Yes. So those are going to be fun so yes we have some fun things. We really want students, I mean besides being able to meet their adviser and kind of learn a little bit about you know policies, but how to be happy make a successful first start. We really would like students to spend time and meet other students in their majors, really start forming their community, that’s the people they’re going to study with, hang out with, for the next two to four years. So we really want them to have that chance to kind of get to meet each other and get to know each other. During Golden Bear Orientation they’ll have a group that they’ll be in and they’ll have a Golden Bear Orientation leader and that group will be students from all across college that are the university. Which is really cool so they’ll get to meet students. I think it’s sort of by housing units, so they’ll get to meet students who are in their dorm which is fantastic but we also want him to get a chance to engineering students because that is the folks they will spend a lot of meaningful time with in the next few years.
LAURA: Fantastic. Well thank you both for coming in talking to us today. I know our students are probably excited that they finally got to actually register for classes and that’s it’s going to be more real now. You have made choices, you made decisions, it’s happening.
KATHY: Yes, but you can still change your mind. I mean we could still make changes and adjust things. But yeah it’s it’s there it’s happening. Yeah they’ve got a schedule.
LAURA: I’m excited.
SHARON: I’m excited to meet everybody in August
KATHY: I know. I guess, so rest up is going to be a very busy week.
SHARON: I think I need to rest up too.
KATHY: I’m going to go take a nap right now.
LAURA: So thank you for coming today and thank you for tuning in. And we will talk to you again next week.