The Importance of Academic Referencing

By Dru Macasieb

Academic referencing is giving attribution (credit) to the sources of information one has used in written work, typically in an academic environment such as a college or university (“Referencing Styles & Academic Writing,” 2018). When someone does not adequately reference ideas that are from outside sources, this is called plagiarism, a form of cheating, which is usually in reference to academic works such as papers, essays, or reports. 

When a student plagiarizes, he or she is cheating. Plagiarism can be confusing as this term can be applied to anyone that not only does it on purpose, but also to anyone who does it accidentally (Francis, 2015).  Students who plagiarize accidentally do so because they either do not know much about plagiarism or they just have sloppy work habits. For example, if you forget to put quotation marks around a sentence you pulled directly, word-for-word from a source, you are accidentally plagiarizing, but plagiarizing nonetheless.

References:

Francis, B. (2015).  Are you misusing other people’s words? What plagiarism is and how to avoid it. Berkeley Heights, NJ. Enslow Publishers. 

Referencing styles & academic writing: referencing. (2018, September 21). In The University of Adelaide. Retrieved from https://libguides.adelaide.edu.au/referencing 

Appeals Process & Mitigating Circumstances

By Dru Macasieb

Originally written: June 14, 2019

Hello Everyone,

Below is the appeals process for CCSD. This blog post also outlines what constitutes a mitigating circumstance. As a reminder, this is not an official guideline from the college, as current changes may not be reflected. Rather this is a resource that you may use that is to the best of my knowledge.  If you would like the official policy regarding this manner, please refer to the most current college catalog.

Below is direct verbiage from the college catalog 2019:

“A student dismissed for failing to meet the minimum standards of academic progress has the right to appeal the dismissal. The appeal must be done in writing and submitted in the form of a letter to the Dean. The letter must include the following:

  1. Explain the reasons why the student was unable to meet the minimum standards of academic progress including any mitigating circumstances;
  2. Provide documentation in support of any mitigating circumstances (i.e. court orders, emails, receipts, obituary, doctor’s note);
  3. Describe what has changed that will allow the student to be able to meet the minimum standards of academic progress; and
  4. Detail what the student will do moving forward to ensure that he or she will be successful in his or her program of study and will be able to achieve the requirements for graduation.

The appeal will be reviewed by an institution Appeals Panel. The student may be requested to meet with the Panel to discuss the appeal and provide additional information. Once the appeal letter and documentation are reviewed, the student will be notified if his or her appeal has been granted or denied.

If the appeal is granted, the student may be reinstated to his or her program of study. The student is placed on academic probation for one evaluation period, and during that time, access to financial aid is reestablished. If the appeal is denied, the student will not be allowed to reenter institution nor will the student be allowed to transfer to an affiliated institution within the system.

Mitigating circumstances are those conditions which the student has little control over, and most often have an adverse effect on academic progress. Mitigating circumstances must be documented and are limited to the list below:

  1. Death of an immediate family member;
  2. Illness of an immediate family member where the student Is the primary caretaker or is the primary source of financial support;
  3. Student illness requiring hospitalization;
  4. Abusive relationship;
  5. Prolonged divorce proceeding;
  6. Previously undocumented disability;
  7. Work-related transfer during the evaluation period;
  8. Change in work schedule during the evaluation period;
  9. The unexpected loss of employment;
  10. Natural disasters
  11. Financial hardship such as foreclosure or eviction; and
  12. Loss of transportation where there is no alternative transportation.”
Disclaimer: As a reminder, the contents of this article are the opinion-based and that these opinions do not reflect the ideas, ideologies, or points of view of California College San Diego or any of its affiliates. The information within the article is to the best of the author's knowledge and should only be used for entertainment and informative purposes, not for professional advice. Please see you an authorized school official for matters pertaining to your academic record and status.

Dropping From School

By Dru Macasieb (March 2, 2017)

It is not recommended to disrupt your academic journey, however, we do understand that sometimes students need to for various reasons. Here is what you need to know before dropping from school.

NOTE: In order to remain an active student at CCSD you must have a class assigned. If you drop your one and only class, you will be may be dropped from the college.

Discuss Dropping with your Associate Dean First

Students should first discuss dropping with their associate dean so that he or she can advise you on possible ways to overcome challenges so that your academic journey does not get disrupted. Another good reason to discuss dropping with your associate dean is so that he or she can advise you on the best way to drop with minimal consequences. 

Consequences of Dropping A Class

Dropping a class is not as simple as it sounds. It comes with consequences.

  1. If you have attended any classes, even logging in once, you will be charged.

Because CCSD is an accelerated environment, you will be charged for any portion of class you attend, either online or on-ground. Dropping during the first week, you can still get a “W” grade for withdrawn. It will charge your student account a prorated amount, credit units will be factored in your course completion percentage, however, the “W” grade not be factored in your grade point average calculation.

Dropping after the first week will garner you an automatic grade of “F.”

1. If you have a scholarship, you will lose it. Please read your scholarship documentation.

Scholarships from CCSD have very specific guidelines, one of them being that you complete your academic journey without breaks. Remember, scholarships get factored into your student account after you have finished your program. Kinda off topic, but there is a minimum of 3.0 GPA required for scholarships.

2. CCSD does not offer a “time off” or “leave of absence.”

If you take a “time off” from your academic journey, you will be dropped. When you decide to come back from your “time off” you must reapply to the college (again) and go through the enrollment process as well as the financial aid process (again).  Please note, students are not guaranteed to be accepted upon enrollment, which is why you must reapply for admissions.

3. You may not be able to come back to school right away due to the possibility of classes (that you need) not being available.

When students drop or fail a course it sends them off their scheduled track. We can no longer guarantee graduation date or course availability. However, we do our best to schedule you as effectively as possible. The sooner you finish, the better it is for both parties.

4. Similar to #3 above, if you drop during weeks 3 and 4, you may not be able to return to the mod after next.

Everything goes through a process. When students drop we have to process your drop paperwork. It goes through the associate deans, the registrar’s office, financial aid, and the business office (to name a few). Re-entering also goes through a process. We cannot re-enter a student if the student has not been completely processed through drop side. Because of these lengthy processes, students who drop in weeks 3 or 4 may not be able to re-enter until the mod after the next one (for instance you drop in week 3 in mod 1, you probably not be able to re-enter until mod 3).

5. If you drop, you will not maximize your financial aid (Title IV funding).

We want you to maximize your student loan. When students do not maximize their student loans, it causes them to refund unused amounts. Students end up reaching their borrow limits and have to borrow additional funds from a private lender to compensate for the missing federal funds. I know this may sound confusing, it best to speak with your financial aid adviser on this topic.

6. If you are receiving VA benefits, you may be required to pay them back.

The Veteran Affairs distributes education benefits depending on enrollment factors (i.e. full-time, part-time, on-ground, online etc.). Depending on the nature of your circumstances, the VA may decide to recoup any benefits distributed based on non-attendance or failures aka “F” that the student received because of non-participation.

7. Other charges involved with dropping.

Students that drop must return their laptop, any outstanding books, and any other school property in their possession. Failure to do so in a timely manner will create a charge in their student account.

When you drop there is a $150 admin for processing your drop.

8. Upon the last day of attendance, students will enter student loan repayment after six months for federal loans. 

As a reminder, be sure to speak with financial aid to find out who your student loan servicer is and communicate with them regarding repayment plans. Please note this grace period is for federal loans only, not private loans.

Conclusion

It is best not to drop and work with your instructor and associate dean to overcome obstacles. If you have to no better choice but to drop, you associate dean will provide you with guidance as to how to best approach dropping with minimal consequences.

Professional Development (San Diego)

Professional Development 2018

California College San Diego presents the 2018 professional development workshops that are designed to provide you with skills and tools necessary to be a successful professional upon graduating from CCSD.  The faculty and staff at California College San Diego encourage continued personal and social growth, and these workshops will aid in your development.  Please join us at for each workshop at the San Diego main campus at 11:00 am in the auditorium.

Friday, January 26, 2018 Career Services
Friday,  February 23, 2018 APA format
Friday, March 23, 2018 Social Media/ Networking
Friday, April 20, 2018 Soft Skills/Work Environment
Friday, May 18, 2018 Basic Computer Skills
Friday, June 15, 2018 Microsoft Office
Friday, July 27 , 2018 Self-Reliance/ Attendance
Friday, August 31, 2018 Time Management
Friday, September 28, 2018 Writing Skills
Friday, October 26, 2018 Public Speaking
Friday, November 30, 2018 Professionalism
Friday, December 14, 2018 Conflict Resolution

 

Upon completion of all 12 workshops, each student will receive a blue cord at the time of graduation as recognition of professional development.

*If you have any questions, please see Student Services*

In Danger of Being Dropped

By Dru Macasieb

Originally Written: January 9th, 2017

Students need to log into Canvas at least 4 days a week, preferably on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of the week. Friday, Saturdays, and Sunday are optional, however, it is best to log in and complete the daily checkpoints on those days, as more than 4 daily checkpoints correct in a week, turns into extra credit.

Students that do not login consecutively or post attendance for more than 5 days are placed on an attendance watch list.

Students may be dropped for:

  • not attending online or on-ground for the first week of the mod
  • failing to attend online and/or on-ground for 14 consecutive days
  • poor attendance or academic performance, as recommended by a school offical

Dropping is not automatic as not all students’ circumstances are the same and there are various factors involved in this process. Therefore, students must take the initiative to communicate with the education department to inform us of their situation, and if they wish to remain enrolled or would like to drop.

If you need to drop from the college please contact the education department as soon as possible. For best results please send an email that:

  1. States you would like to drop
  2. Give a reason for dropping. Be detailed and specific as possible so that someone may give you the best possible advisement, provide you with possible alternatives to dropping, provide you advisement on how dropping will affect your academic and financial aid status, and provide you with advisement on re-entering
  3. Provide your availability so that we may schedule the best time for an exit interview and to drop off books and your laptop  (to avoid additional charges).

Note: If you drop in the middle of a Mod you will receive an “F” grade. Please visit this review the site “Consequences of Failing a Class

Consequences of Failing a Class

By Dru Macasieb

Originally Written: December 16th, 2016

All students, including VA students, must progress satisfactorily toward meeting graduation requirements. Academic progress is measured in two ways: (a) grade point average, and (b) course completion. The academic progress of each student will be reviewed at the end of every term. A student is considered to be making academic progress if his or her grade point average is above the minimum requirement and the student has successfully completed at least 67% of the credits attempted, otherwise known as the completion rate standard. The evaluation points, grade point average standard, and the completion rate standard are provided in the table listed.

  • Required Evaluation Point and Minimum GPA with 67% of Grades Completed for Associate’s Programs
    • First Term (4 Months/Mods)    1.0
    • Second Term                         1.5
    • Third Term +                         2.0
    • Graduation                            2.0

The consequences of failing a course can be detrimental to your academic future. 

The consequences of failing a course are as follows:

  • You will waste time and resources
  • You will have to retake the course
  • You basically paid to get an F
  • You will be charged for retaking the course (so basically one F will cost you twice as much!)
  • Your GPA will significantly drop
  • Your graduation date will be pushed further

Consequences of a trend of failing courses:

  • Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards apply to all students at a college.
  • Failure to achieve a 2.0 GPA for each term will put you on Academic Probation, called a Financial Aid Warning Status (FAWS)
  • Failure to complete 67% of credits attempt will also put you in a FAWS
  • Once in FAWS you need to demonstrate positive progress by having 2.0 or above GPA for a term (which is 4 months).

So what happens if I get dropped for not achieving Satisfactory Academic Progress?

  • Financial aid may stop loaning you funds for your education with us.
  • You will be dropped from the college and cannot attend at our college.
  • Your chances of future financial aid benefits may be in jeopardy.
  • For VA students, you may be decertified from the VA benefits program and you may have to pay them back.
  • If not in school, you will have to repay any student loans after 6 months.
  • If you do not pay student loans and go into default, it will harm your credit score and the government may garnish your wages and intercept any tax refunds.

OPINION: Why You Should Not Fail A Course

By Dru Macasieb

Students that have a history of poor academic performance at ANY school may be denied enrollment based on multiple variables which include: GPA, grades, financial aid borrowing history, and repayment history to name a few.

The reason this may happen is that, when colleges admit students, they are accepting reasonable responsibility to educate, graduate, and place these students in careers related to their field of study, as well as ensure that graduates make payments to their student loans. This is why college typically asks for transcripts. If a student’s transcripts have a history of poor academic performance (like a low GPA, or its plagued with Ds and Fs, or they have taken many courses but have not completed a degree), the student may be denied admission as this becomes a liability for the school.

The school’s financial aid department will also see how much money a student has borrowed, thus far, and can deny a student admission based on the amount of debt the student has acquired versus the amount the student needs to graduate. For example:

  • Say you went to ABC College and racked up $25,000 in student loans.
  • You apply at XYZ College, but in order to complete an associate’s degree, it will cost $50,000.
  • The total amount the student will owe after graduation will be $75,000 for an associate’s.

The school will be responsible to educate, graduate, and place student in careers related to their field of study, as well as ensure that student make payments to their the student loan (as default rate is also known as the rate in which students’ do not pay their loan on time, is also a metric that a school must achieve).

This is why it is crucial to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP). Schools that are impacted (have a surplus of applicants) often deny students based on academic performance at other schools (including High School).

If you are struggling with achieving good grades and attending class, I recommend speaking with your school’s student services, your area of study’s department head (like the associate dean), or any school staff in the academic department. The worst thing a student can do is nothing.