Student Focus

Navigating College Life

Wednesday, September 7, 2022


Let’s Talk College or post-secondary school, just one of many new phrases that you’ll learn in this major life transition you’re experiencing right now. Elementary school is also known as primary school, followed by high school or secondary school. College and university come after or post-high school so we refer to colleges and universities as post-secondary institutions. Do you remember when “recess” turned into “break” or “spare”? As we progress through life the language we use changes to suit each environment. You aren’t going to find a Principal at ACC or a Guidance Counsellor, and you’ll notice rather quickly that at ACC we don’t really use salutations (Mrs, Mr, Dr). We call students by their first names and most of us ask for the same in return. None-the-less, asking someone how they would like to be addressed is always a smart idea! Rather than a Principal, ACC has a President, Vice President Academic and International, Deans in every school, and Chairs for specific programs within each school. Each school here at the college also has its own Student Success Advisor (SSA) who is available to help you navigate your way to successful completion of your program.

You’ll start thinking about your GPA (grade point average) rather than simply the marks you get and you’ll start hearing terms like “early return,” “probation,” and “suspension” which all relate to your academic status if your GPA gets too low. You should receive a course syllabus for every one of your classes from the instructor of each class and those syllabi will include program and course learning outcomes; these outcomes are the overall goals of the course along with how each particular course fits within the goals of the entire program you’ve enrolled in. All important information from the College is going to be communicated to you electronically through your individualized ACC student email; checking your college email daily (or setting it to forward to your personal email) is incredibly important. You’ll quickly find that there is a form that needs to be filled out for almost everything at the college; we have forms for application, registration, transfer credit, adding and dropping courses, medical and disability related accommodations, even graduation. All of these forms are how the College maintains consistency and efficiency in its overall operations. Much like forms, the College also has official policy for most circumstances that may occur. Being aware of ACC policies and, at the very least, knowing where to find them will do nothing but enhance your overall college experience by allowing you to be aware of your rights and responsibilities as a student.

Welcome to College; now let’s talk!

– Brandy Robertson, Wellness Student Success Advisor