Frequently Asked Questions about Advising:
Where do I get an advisor? How do I get my advisee folder and records?
Every student is assigned, or chooses, an advisor. Your advisor is noted on the outside of your advisee folder in the department office. The Administrative Coordinator or Student Assistant at the main desk can check your folder out to you and you may take it to your advising session with your faculty advisor. You should review your records before you see your advisor. You may not take your folder off campus or keep it overnight. Return it promptly after your advising session. These records (except for transfer transcripts from another institution) may soon be on line through the SSU Office of Admissions and Records on the SSU Website. You pay a one-time records fee and may request a transcript of your record at any time from the Admissions and Record's Office, 2nd floor, Salazar Hall.
How often do I need to be advised?
You should see your advisor at least once each semester. It is helpful to schedule an appointment before registration to insure that you select courses appropriate to your academic pattern. You should meet with more than once a semester if you are a Freshman or second semester Junior. However, you can meet with any faculty member or your advisor during his/her regular office hours which should be posted on the office door and available in the Department Office. You should arrange your appointment ahead of time and should allow at least 20 minutes. Many faculty members can also be contacted by phone and through their e-mail addresses on campus. Do not bother a faculty member at home unless you have been given specific permission to do so by that faculty member or the Administrative Coordinator.
Before you see your advisor make sure that you have reviewed your courses and know where you stand within the major. Faculty other than your regular advisor are also available to help you with decisions and information regarding career directions or other options within the field. You should make a point of getting to know two or three faculty members during your study at SSU to insure that you get a variety of points of view and have resources for letters of recommendation and employment references.
What will my advisor do?
You should review your records and be familiar with the courses you have already taken before you make your appointment. In addition to our departmental records, you should also keep all grade records, transcripts, and copies of petitions in your own personal folder. If you have unusual courses from another institution, you should keep a course description from that institution in your personal records and provide us with a copy for your advising folder. (Copies of school catalogues are on file in the library if you do not have one.)
Your advisor will review your record of courses and will note your progress toward General Education and toward the major on an advising worksheet which is kept in your folder. You will be given a carbon copy of this worksheet for your own records and should bring it to each advising session so that it can be updated. Your advisor will determine which of your courses meets our requirements based on an "Articulation Agreement Summary." If no articulation agreement exists with your prior college or university, you will need to provide a catalogue description of the course, a course syllabus, or some other official description of the work you have done. A written record of your advisor's decisions will be made on your worksheet.
What about G.E.?
You will receive an evaluation of any prior college-level work in the mail. At the bottom of this evaluation is the name of a transcript evaluator in Admissions and Records. This evaluator will be responsible for your file during the course of your education. You should be sure you have purchased a college catalogue for the year indicated as your "catalogue year" in your admission letter and indicated on your SSU transcript evaluation. For First Time Freshmen your catalogue year is the year that you enter SSU. (This year will apply provided you do not interrupt your college studies for more than one semester at any time.)
How do I get credit for work I have done that isn't on my G.E. evaluation?
If you think this evaluator has made an error or omitted a course you should first consult your departmental advisor and if s/he agrees, then the evaluator noted on your records. If you still feel that you should receive credit for work not included on your transcript evaluation, you will need to provide a course description from that school (this could be a description from the college catalogue or a course description). Then you may need to complete a Substitution of GE Class Form petition (available in the Department Office or from Admission and Records). This form should be carefully filled out and signed by your advisor and by the Chair of the department which normally offers the course at SSU which is most equivalent to the one you took at another institution. The Associate Vice President of Academic Programs is the final level of review and approval. Your departmental advisor should be able to help you with charting your course through this petition process as well as the rest of your General Education. The Office of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management (Salazar Hall 1018; 664-2839) has help available if you do not get the answers you want in the department. Joyce Chong is the Director of the Advising Center in Salazar Hall 1070 and several student assistants are also knowledgeable and will help you. There are now new options for first time freshmen (students who have completed less than 4 of their G.E. courses) including an individualized G.E. option for 50 first time freshmen.
How to choose a G.E. course?
As you attempt to determine which G.E. courses you should take, keep in mind: Which courses are you most interested in? Are there choices that would be useful to your emphasis within the department? Is there something you have always wanted to know about or for which you have a passionate interest? How can you be most efficient (e.g. which courses fulfill one or more G.E. or major requirements simultaneously)? The lower division Art History Survey courses fulfill the G.E. C-1 category, while the department Modern Art History Requirement can also fulfill 3 of the Upper Division G.E. units (C-1) if you take ArtH 464: 19th Century; ArtH 465, Modern Art 1945-79; ArtH 455: 20th Century; or ArtH 460: American Art. There are courses outside the department which have been designed for the humanities/art student, such as Math 111: Symmetry in the Sciences and Arts(3); CALS 220: Mexican American Arts and Literature (3), CALS 393: Chicano/Latino Cinema (3); or NAMS 205: Introduction to Native American Arts(3), NAMS 338: Native Americans and the Cinema (3), NAMS 430: Advanced Native American Workshop and a number of other courses in History, Gender Studies, etc.
Entry Level Math and English Requirements
You may confer with your advisor regarding the Entry Level Math (ELM), English Placement (EPT) and Written English Proficiency (WEPT) examinations and your standing relative to those requirements. You will receive scores for the ELM and EPT placement exams that will determine which English and Math courses you are required to take. Some students may be exempt from these tests or will find specific classes noted for them, depending upon their SAT, ACT and advanced placement test scores. "Sequence sheets" for G.E. Math and English courses will guide you and your advisor through the courses you need to complete the requirements.
What about the Major?
Your advisor will review your courses in art and will note the categories they fill on your advising worksheet in your folder. As these courses and categories are complete you will be able to mark your progress through the major. Your advisor will note the course name, course number, and units of credit on this advising worksheet. You have the option of applying the requirements in place for the year in which you started your college education (provided you have not had more than a one semester break in attendance) or the year in which you graduate. If special circumstances arise you should discuss these with your advisor and the Registrar.
Credit for art courses you have taken at another institution not offered at SSU
You may still feel that you have fulfilled a requirement. There are several ways to approach consideration for credit. For example, at the lower division studio majors are required to take 6 units of studio courses from three different areas: painting, sculpture, photography or printmaking. You may have taken a weaving or a jewelry class at a junior college. Your advisor and you may discuss what was covered in the course and/or you may be asked to provide a course description from your junior college catalogue. Together you can determine whether the course fulfills this particular lower division requirement. In cases where you have had extensive work outside the classroom or at an unaccredited institution you have the option of "challenging " a course.
Procedure for challenging an art course
You should enroll in the course you are attempting to challenge and make sure to meet the deadline for dropping off slides or a portfolio to challenge that course. One day early in each semester (before the add/drop deadline) is set aside for studio course challenges. The date will be posted throughout the department. You will present a portfolio or slides of your work to several of the studio faculty, including someone from the area in which you have done your work. They will determine whether or not you have acquired the skills and knowledge included in the course you are challenging. If you are successful, you will receive credit for the course on your transcript and you should drop the course to allow space in the class for someone else. (The department will accept a "CR" grade for challenged courses only so you do not have to stay enrolled in the course in order to get a grade.) If you do not pass the challenge, you may continue as a regular student enrolled in the class.
Art History students should consult the teachers responsible for the courses they wish to challenge. After consulting with you to determine if you have adequate background and experience, those instructors will arrange for you to take an examination in order to receive credit.
Department policy stipulates that you may challenge two lower division and one upper division class in the major. Please check with the Department Office for forms and information regarding challenge procedures.
What if I took a lower division course at another institution--can it count toward an upper division requirement?
Generally, no. Sometimes students will take "Advanced Painting" or "Modern Art History" at a community college. Even though the titles seem to be the same as our upper division classes, you do not receive upper division credit. Upper division courses are those at the 300 and 400 level. Community college courses are at the 100 and 200 level. If you feel that you have acquired the skills and knowledge of the upper division course you should speak to your advisor about the challenge procedure.
What is the difference between "foundation courses ", "core courses", and "electives"?
Foundation courses are the building blocks for the major. You take these courses before or simultaneously with beginning courses in your major. A core course is required of all students for the emphasis in the major. After the core requirements are complete, there is some latitude for students to take courses in related areas for breadth. Each program outlines these different requirements in the catalogue.
In addition to a 45 unit B.A. in Art Studio (with emphases in Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, Printmaking and Photography), the department offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts Program (with emphases in Painting, Photography, Printmaking and Sculpture), for a select and limited number of Art Studio Majors. This is a degree designed for students wishing to pursue additional graduate or professional study. Students interested in this 132 unit program with 70 units of course work in art, must apply for admission to this special program. Forms are available in the Department Office and the application process for the year begins early each Spring Semester for admission into the following Fall Semester's program. You will only be considered for admission after you have completed all lower division requirements in both General Education and in Art. You will only be eligible for admission to the BFA if you have achieved a 3.00 G.P.A. in Art. You must maintain this 3.0 G.P.A. as you progress through the program. You will be asked to supply 20 slides and 2 letters of recommendation in addition to a short statement describing why the program is of interest to you. After an initial review, students who are initially selected will be interviewed. If you are one of the 6-9 fortunate students selected for admission you will have to insure that 24 of your upper division studio units must be completed at SSU. Your degree will culminate with a B.F.A. exhibition in the Spring which will be evaluated by the studio faculty. Your studio advisor and studio instructors can help you to determine if this is an appropriate direction for you to pursue.
We now offer a separate B.A. degree in Art History. The Art History Major has undergone some modifications within the last few years. The changes include the requirement of a course in non-western art (at either the lower or upper division level); the grouping of courses into five generalized categories to require chronological breadth; and a Senior Project which will function as a "capstone" experience in conjunction with the ProSeminar in Art History Methods. Students will elect to do either a 1 unit Senior Paper (ArtH 491H) or and Honors Paper (ArtH492) for 2 units (with the consent of the Art History Faculty). Under the revised program Art History majors will take only one course from the Modern Art sequence (although others may be taken as electives toward the 32 upper-division unit total).
Financial Aid, Lockers, the Art Club, Lab Fees and Other Practical Questions
Am I Eligible for Scholarships and Financial Assistance and Where Do I Apply?
The Financial Aid Office is located 1st floor, Salazar Hall, phone (707) 664-2389. Most students who have not applied for financial aid when they apply for admission to the university will want to visit the Financial Aid Office to inquire about deadlines for grants and the various options available to them. Once you have filed a financial aid application you should check regularly if you do not receive word back from them in a timely fashion. Some students will qualify for Work Study funds. Several Work Study positions exist in the Department, providing students with work opportunities in the Gallery, Tool Cribs, Slide Room and Art Office which relate to their major. In addition, there are many scholarship possibilities for Art Students including several departmental scholarships. (The Les and Alexis Brooks Scholarship; the Boyle Scholarship for Study Abroad; the Art Department Scholarship and others). The deadline for applying for academic scholarships occurs early in each Spring Semester. You will need 3 letters of reference from faculty familiar with your work. You will also be asked to write an essay describing why you want a scholarship, what you have accomplished, and your goals after college.