Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Should I see a counselor?
    If you want to verify that you are taking the correct courses for your educational goal, it is important to meet with a counselor. A counselor can also provide other options to consider for career preparation, transfer, and refer you to other student services for assistance in the achievement of your educational goal.
  2. What is the difference between an Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degree?
    Associate of Science degrees are earned for majors in science, mathematics, and most career technical education related majors. Associate in Arts degrees are for all majors.
  3. How long will it take me to complete a certificate or degree?
    All associate degrees require a minimum of 60 degree applicable units. Generally, it takes two years to complete a degree. Certificate programs can take from one semester to four semesters depending on the certificate requirements.
  4. What does "catalog year" mean?  Which catalog year should I use for my graduation requirements?
    Catalog year refers to the academic year when you started your courses at SBVC.  Consideration of a catalog year is very important. At times, it may be more advantageous for the student to follow the current catalog because of many changes to a major from the time they first enrolled. Using an older catalog may necessitate obtaining approval for course substitutions on a "Modification of Major" form available from the department offering the major. Another consideration is the increase of English and Mathematics requirements effective in the 2006-2007 catalog. Previous catalogs up to 2004-2005 allowed students to take a five year break in enrollment; subsequent catalogs require continuous enrollment in order to maintain catalog rights.
  5. Is there a general associate degree?
    The Liberal Arts major is designed for students seeking a broad knowledge of many subjects without a focus on a particular major. Liberal Arts is a defined major, and students complete 18 units chosen from one of the following areas of emphasis: Biological and Physical Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Humanities and Fine Arts.
  6. What is a prerequisite clearance?
    A prerequisite is a course or skill that must be met before a course is taken. Students registered in a class without having completed the prerequisite(s) may be dropped from the class. Prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of C or higher. Prerequisite courses completed with  grades of D or F indicate unsatisfactory performance in the course and do not satisfy the prerequisite.
  7. Where do I go to clear a prerequisite and how long does it take to clear?
    Come to the Counseling Center in AD/SS-103 and meet with a counselor. Once the counselor has reviewed your transcripts, you will take the prerequisite form to Admissions/ Records Office, in AD/LSS-100 at SBVC, and it will take one business day to process.
  8. Do I need official transcripts for a prerequisite clearance?
    No. However, your unofficial transcripts should include the name of the institution, your name, and grade(s) earned.
  9. What is a corequisite?
    A corequisite is a course that must be taken during the same semester as another course in which a student would like to enroll.
  10. What is an overload and what is the maximum number of units a student can take per semester?
    An overload of units requires a counselor's signature for registration. An overload is considered to be anything over 18 units for the fall or spring semesters and anything over 8 units for the summer.
  11. What are the requirements for an Overload?
    Meet with a counselor to discuss your academic history and grades. Permission may be granted if you have completed 15 units successfully within the last three years, earned a cumulative 2.7 GPA or higher, and demonstrated the ability to manage overall level of coursework, that is, without recent withdrawals, outstanding incompletes and/or unsatisfactory grades.
  12. What is an Academic Renewal?
    Students who feel that past substandard grades earned from San Bernardino Valley College no longer reflects their current level of academic performance may petition to have the grades from any two consecutive semesters eliminated from the computation of their total grade point average.
  13. What are the requirements for Academic Renewal?
    The number of units under consideration for these two consecutive semesters may not exceed 30 semester units. Also, you must have completed at least two semesters after the semesters being considered and have completed at least 24 units with a cumulative GPA of 2.0.
  14. How many times can I petition for academic renewal?
    One time only.
  15. Can I petition for academic renewal for “C" grades in courses?
  16. How will the academic renewal appear on my transcripts?
    The cumulative GPA will be recalculated.  However, the academic renewal process will not remove the course, units, grades, or any information from the student's permanent record. A notation is made on the transcript so that all work attempted, once entered on the record in accordance with Title V, California Code of Regulations, remains legible and reflects the student's complete academic record.
  17. Can I request an academic renewal at SBVC for courses taken at another college/university?
    No. Students must contact each institution individually to request an academic renewal.
  18. What if I don't have a major?
    Enroll in Student Development 103 class, a Career Exploration and Life Planning course. Visit the Transfer and Career Services in AD/SS-203 to take a career assessment. Also, use the free resources in Then, schedule an appointment to meet with a counselor to further explore your career options.
  19. What is academic probation, and how can I avoid this?
    A student will be placed on academic probation when his/her cumulative GPA in 12 or more units fall below 2.00 in all units attempted. A student on Level 2 of academic probation will not be allowed to register for additional courses until the student completes an online probation presentation and meets with a counselor to release the hold. A counselor will discuss strategies to avoid academic probation and academic improvement.
  20. What is progress probation?
    A student will be placed on progress probation when he or she has completed at least 12 units and has received course completion symbols of W, I, and/or NP in 50% or more of these units. If the student on Level 2 of progress probation also has a GPA of less than 2.00, he or she will not be allowed to register for additional courses until the student completes an online probation presentation and meets with a counselor to release the hold. The counselor will discuss with the student strategies for academic improvement to avoid the dismissal status.
  21. What happens if I am on Dismissal or Disqualification?
    A student on academic and/or progress probation shall be dismissed for one semester when one of the following conditions exists:
    • The student has earned a cumulative GPA of less than 2.00 in all units attempted in each of three consecutive semesters.
    • The student has received course completion symbols of NP, I, and/or W in 50% or more units attempted.
    • The student has received a combination of the two patterns listed above in each of three consecutive semesters.
  22. What happens after disqualification?
    A student may be reinstated one semester after the date of dismissal. Students enrolled following dismissal shall be on probationary status for one semester. If, after this semester, the scholastic achievement of readmitted student continues at a probationary level, the student may be dismissed for one more year. Students must see a counselor and complete readmissions documents.