Ask an Advisor

Listed below are some of the more common questions that students ask the online advisor. They are grouped into ten categories.

If you don’t find the answer to your particular question, then feel free to contact an online advisor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Started

Do I need to see an academic advisor?
Meeting with an advisor can be helpful to you throughout your time at CCBC. As a new CCBC student, you will be required to meet with an advisor after you have completed your placement tests to discuss your results and to plan a course of study. After registering and beginning your coursework, you may choose to meet with an advisor for a variety of reasons including academic difficulty, planning your transfer to a four year college, and/or choosing courses that apply to your major.  

Why do I need to have placement in English and math?
Almost all courses at CCBC require students to establish that they have college-level placement before they can be taken. There are many ways that students can establish their placement levels. Some of the most common documents students can use for placement are SAT/ACT test scores, high school transcripts, or college/university transcripts. Students may also take placement tests at CCBC to determine placement. If you have questions about your placement, please come in to the Office of Academic Advisement, or contact online advising.

How do I apply for a Selective Admissions program?
If you are interested in a Health Professions program, you must first apply to CCBC. Once you have applied to the college, you must then meet admission criteria before you are admitted into the specific health program. It is very important for you to meet regularly with an advisor to assure that the courses and grades are in accordance with the requirements of the program. Most selective admissions programs require the submission of a separate application to the program in which you seek enrollment. If you have questions about applying to a selective admissions program, please come in to the Office of Academic Advisement, or contact online advising.

Can I get credit for job / life experience? 

There are many ways students can earn college credit for knowledge that they already have. Visit the Prior Learning Assessment web page for more information.

Selecting Courses

How many courses should I take?

The answer depends on your own situation. You need to be the judge of how to balance your academic load with your work, social life, and other responsibilities. However, in general, students who work full-time will find it difficult to do more than two courses a semester. Students who do not work or work part-time may be able to take a full-time course load which is 12 credits or 4 courses. 

What is the difference between a full-time and part-time course load?

CCBC defines a full-time load as at least 12 credit hours (usually about 4 classes) in the main fall and spring semesters. A part-time load is anything less than 12 credits in the main fall and spring semesters. 

How much time will I need to study for each course?

Again, this will vary. We suggest that students plan to spend at least two to three hours outside of class for each hour in class per week. Therefore, a full-time student should allow 24 to 36 hours of study time per week in addition to the 12 hours of class time per week.

Are developmental classes required, especially since they do not count toward a degree?

Yes, if your assessment or placement tests show that you need them. Although these courses may not count towards graduation, they are preparation for success in college level coursework. Most CCBC courses require a certain level of English, and/or math competency in order to enroll. The course descriptions in the College Catalog list the prerequisite requirements for each course.

Online Learning

Visit CCBC Online for questions regarding online learning including:

  • Logging onto Brightspace.
  • Technical requirements of an online course.
  • Deciding if online learning is right for you.
  • Taking exams in an online course.

Continuing Education Non-Credit Courses

Program Offerings and Requirements

What types of degrees does CCBC offer?

CCBC offers 6 different types of associate degrees. Each degree is designed to meet the needs of a specific student population. Not sure about the purpose of your degree? Look up your degree requirements in the CCBC college catalog, and read the Short Description at the top of the page. 

Associate of Arts (AA) 

    • For non-science/math majors who plan to transfer to a 4-year institution.

    • Focus is on general education courses and beginning-level program courses. Upper level program courses are taken at the 4-year institution.

    • Note that some majors offer both AA and AAS degree options. Be sure to choose the one that works best for you. If you have any questions, please contact an academic advisor

Associate of Science (AS)

    • For students in science and math fields who plan to transfer to a 4-year institution.
    • Much heavier requirements in the math/science sections than an AA degree.
    • Almost all AS degrees require students to complete Calculus I (MATH 251) or higher.

Associate of Applied Science (AAS)

    • For students planning to go directly into the workforce after graduation.

    • Students who complete these degrees, and then transfer to a 4-year institution may have several classes that do not transfer, and will have some additional General Education courses to take. CCBC does have articulation agreements with some 4-year institutions so that all of the classes taken at CCBC will transfer. Check CCBC’s list of Articulation agreements to see if we have an articulation agreement that will work for you!

    • Note that some majors offer both AA and AAS degree options. Be sure to choose the one that works best for you. If you have any questions, please contact an academic advisor

Associate of Fine Arts (AFA)

    • For students in a fine arts area (art, dance, music, theater, etc.) who plan to transfer, and need to develop a portfolio in their field.
    • Slightly less focus on general education courses based on the need to create the portfolio.
    • It is likely that the students will have to take these "skipped" general education courses after they transfer, but most fine arts colleges will not accept students without a good portfolio.
    • All students in these majors should contact their program coordinator to ensure that they are taking the courses they need to reach their goals. Go to the information for your degree in the current CCBC catalog for the program coordinator contact information.

Associate of Arts in Teaching (AAT)

    • CCBC has 6 different AAT Teacher Education degrees as well as 4 AA degrees in Teacher Education and one AAS degree in Teacher Education.
    • All students an education major should contact their program coordinator to ensure that they are taking the courses they need to reach their goals. Go to the information for your degree in the current CCBC catalog for the program coordinator contact information. 

Associate of Science, Engineering (ASE)

    • For students who plan to transfer to major in Computer Engineering or Electrical Engineering.
    • Note that the Engineering degree is an AS degree, not an ASE degree.
    • Visit the CCBC College Catalog for more information on requirements to earn your degree.

What is the difference between a certificate and an associate degree?

An associate degree requires a minimum of 60 credits including general education requirement courses, as well as courses required in the chosen program of study. A certificate program is a planned sequence of courses focused on a chosen program of study only, and generally requires about 30 credits. Most students completing one of the CCBC certificate programs can continue on and earn an associate degree in the same program.

What are General Education courses?

CCBC’s General Education Program introduces students to a variety of disciplines that build a common foundation of knowledge that promotes critical thinking and lifelong, independent learning. General Education courses prepare students to meet the academic and career challenges of today and tomorrow as empowered citizens of a global society. These courses are separated into eight different categories. 

  • Arts and Humanities (A)

  • Biological and Physical Sciences (B)

  • English Composition (E)

  • Information Technology (I)

  • Mathematics (M)

  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (S)

  • Wellness and Health (I)

Some degrees will require specific General Education courses for graduation, and some degree will allow students to choose from a list of possible courses. Students who plan to transfer to a 4-year institution for a bachelor's degree should research the general education requirements where they plan to transfer to match it to their degree. To see which courses are required for your degree, log into your DegreeWorks account, or visit the CCBC College Catalog. Meeting with an academic advisor to discuss these requirements and your best options for course selection within these broad categories may be helpful.

How do I choose a major or program of study?

The most effective way to choose a major is to look at your skills and interests, and relate them to your short/long term career and personal goals. CCBC offers free career counseling services to currently enrolled students. Career counselors can help you to identify your skills, interests, personality traits and values to assist you in making an informed career decision.

How do I change my major or program of study?

You will need to complete a Program of Study or Catalog Year Change form which can be obtained from the Enrollment Services Center, or online. You can then submit the form to the Enrollment Services Center where the change will officially be made.

If I haven't taken courses in several semesters, do the credits I previously earned still count towards my degree?

Your credits will count as long as they are a part of your new degree requirements in your catalog year. Your credits will always remain on your transcript.

Grade Concerns

Will my GPA transfer?

No. If you attended another college prior to CCBC, your GPA starts over at CCBC. If you transfer to another college after CCBC, your credits may transfer, but your GPA will not. Your combined GPA may be calculated for admissions decisions, but your GPA from CCBC and other schools will not transfer to the next school.
What GPA do I need to graduate?
To qualify as a candidate for a certificate or an associate degree, students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. Students earning an AAT degree must have a GPA of 2.75 or higher.

How do I raise my GPA?

There are several ways to raise your GPA:
  • By obtaining high grades in your courses.

  • By retaking courses in which you earned a low grade. The higher grade will count in calculating your GPA, but both grades will continue to show on your transcript. Replacing a “D” or “F” grade will raise your GPA more quickly than taking new courses and averaging higher grades.

  • By carefully planning your course load and asking for help from advisors, faculty and the Student Success Centers.

How do I calculate my GPA?

To check your GPA, log into your SIMON account to view your unofficial transcript. There are many GPA calculators available online. If you would like to calculate how many credits you need to improve your GPA, you can go to Google and search “How to raise my GPA.”

Is there a way to request the removal of an “F” grade on my transcript?

Go to the current CCBC College Catalog, and look in the Academic Standards and Policies section for the current CCBC policy on appealing grades.

I received a “D” in a course; should I take it again?

This depends on the course and its importance to your major. If you feel you can do better in the course the second time around and it is necessary for your major or career (or you need to raise your GPA), it is probably a good idea to retake the course. Keep in mind that both grades will appear on your transcript, but only the higher of the two grades will count in your GPA. If you are using financial aid to pay for your courses, you should contact the Office of Financial Aid to make sure they will pay for you to take the class again.

Financial Considerations

How much does it cost to attend CCBC?

See Tuition and Fees. Tuition is calculated by the credit hour based on in-county, in-state and out-of-state rates.

What about costs for Statewide or Health Workforce Shortage Programs?

Students living in the state of Maryland, who are enrolled in these programs do not pay out-of-county rates. Please visit the Statewide and Health Workforce Shortage Programs page in the CCBC catalog for more information. 

How do I apply for financial aid?

Visit CCBC’s Help Paying for College website to view all of the options available to our students, and to learn how to apply for them!


How do I register for classes?

Visit CCBC’s Registering for Classes web page to see which semesters are open for registration, important deadline information, and links to online registration.

Transfer Information

How do I transfer classes in to CCBC from another college or university?

Visit CCBC’s Transfer Student web page for information on submitting official transcripts for transfer.

I took college courses in another country. Do these credits transfer?

If they are equivalent to the course requirements at CCBC, yes. Students seeking credit for university coursework outside of the United States should request a course by course evaluation of their transcripts by World Education Services (WES) or Education Credential Evaluators (ECE). Contact International Student Services for more information.

How can I find out if/how my CCBC credits will transfer to a four-year college or university?

If you are seeking to transfer to one of the four year colleges or universities in Maryland, you can use the ARTSYS (Articulation System) website to determine the transferability of your coursework. If you are attempting to transfer to an out-of-state institution, you need to contact that particular school. In addition, CCBC has articulation agreements with a wide variety of colleges and universities.

How do I obtain a copy of my CCBC transcript?

Visit CCBC’s Request a Transcript web page.


How do I apply for graduation?

Visit CCBC's Graduation web page for more information.