FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- How do I take an independent study class (also called "Special Studies")? (e.g. Spanish 49)
As the course name implies, independent study is just that – a project done independently, although overseen by an instructor. You will need to ask an instructor of your target language to oversee your project. You could find an instructor who already knows you, since this falls outside of an instructor’s assigned schedule. Then, you will need a project. Consider the following criteria when developing a project:
- The project must be something that is not replicated in the classroom. In other words, you can’t say you’re going to study grammar on your own, since classes already exist that teach grammar.
- Independent study carries 1-3 units, with each unit representing 16 hours of work.
- The project must be such that the instructor can assign it a letter grade.
- The project must be completed by the end of the semester.
Once you have a project, complete the required form and get signatures of approval from your supervising instructor, the Department Chair of World Languages, then the Dean of Language Arts. The form will be sent to Admissions and Records. You will be notified about enrolling in the designated section for your Special Studies.
- I have been trying to register for a class online and it won’t let me; what’s the deal?
There are two probable reasons. First, the computer may think you don’t have the prerequisites to take a class. If you’re trying to sign up for French 2, for example, and you took French 1 in high school or at another university, the computer won't know you have the necessary prerequisites. Similarly, if you grew up speaking Spanish at home, you’re not going to want to start with Spanish 1. So if for any reason you feel you are prepared to take a language class beyond what the computer thinks you should take, simply fill out a Prerequisite Challenge form and turn it in to Admissions and Records. This form is available online at http://admissions.santarosa.edu/forms. Once the form is turned in, you may provisionally enroll in the course and you may remain in that class pending Department Chair approval.
The other reason the computer may be booting you out is if you have taken the class before. With some exceptions, students are usually not permitted to take a class they have already completed unless they didn't receive a passing grade. You can petition to re-take a class if you feel there is a valid reason to do so. Admissions and Records may permit this if a substantial amount of time has passed (e.g. over three years). If all repeat possibilities have been exhausted, you may audit a course, with the instructor’s permission. You cannot just sit in a class without being registered.
- What is the difference between the 1, 2, 3, and 4 series of language classes and the 50A, B, and C series; how do I know what I should take?
The 1-4 series is particularly designed to satisfy requirements for transfer to the CSU or UC systems. While all classes are communicative, the 50 series typically concentrates on conversation skills, while the 1-4 series systematically builds speaking, listening, writing, and reading skills, preparing for transfer and, if desired, upper-level study. If you want to take a language purely for interest or because you’d like to be able to use it at work, the 50 series may well be for you. On the other hand, if you are looking to use German, for example, to fulfill your language requirement, German 1 may be better suited to you. Since language learning is a gradual process improved by repetition and practice, many students take both tracks, either concurrently or alternately.
- I took a language in high school; how do I know what class to take at SRJC?
Generally, one year of high school language is considered equivalent to one semester of college language instruction. Many students, even with several years of high school language experience, think they should start again at the beginning. This is usually not necessary and indeed may leave the student less motivated in a class that offers little challenge. If you have doubts about which class to enroll in, take a look at the required text. You can then assess where you feel reasonably prepared to begin. Usually, within the first day or two of class, you will be able to spot a mismatch. Don’t just sit there – move to a class more suited to you!
- I grew up speaking Spanish at home; what class do I take?
Presently, we encourage all “heritage speakers” of Spanish to enroll in a Spanish 3 section specifically designed for heritage speakers. Your needs are quite different from those of a student learning Spanish as a second language and you will probably find yourself quite at home with other students comfortable speaking Spanish but with lots of grammar and spelling challenges. We are working on expanding course offerings for heritage Spanish speakers in the near future.
- I have already signed up for a language class and would like to get in touch with my instructor; how do I do that?
If for whatever reason you wish to contact your instructor, there are a couple of ways to do it. First, see if your instructor has a direct link from the World Languages "Contact" web page. If not, all instructors have been asked to have an SRJC Outlook e-mail account. The e-mail address is composed of the first letter of the first name followed by the last name and then finished off with @santarosa.edu. So, for example, Mai Nazif's e-mail address would be email@example.com. Or, you can dial the Department at 707-527-4288 or Patty Warne at 707-527-4469 in the language lab would be happy to assist you. Once class has begun, your instructor will give you further information on how and when to reach them. Additionally, all instructors are available for meetings during their weekly office hours.