Usually when beginning a journey, it's a good idea to have a map or, better yet, a GPS! The same applies to a student's educational journey; we strongly encourage students to work with their faculty advisor to create an educational plan. Essentially, in writing an educational plan, students are writing their specific goals for the coursework they want to accomplish and when they want to accomplish them. Research confirms when someone writes their goals, they are much more likely to accomplish them. The educational plan guides a student and increases their chances of successfully completing a degree or course of study at Pierce College.
An educational plan is a quarter-by-quarter map of the courses needed to complete a degree. Here is an example of an educational planning form.
A strong educational plan includes the following information:
The proper sequencing of prerequisites of Pierce College coursework; see Example 1 below.
And, advisor confirmation that critical courses are projected to be offered during the quarters needed; see Example 2 below.
While an educational plan can be a complete map of a degree, from start to finish, it may make more sense to project out only a few quarters for students whose path is more fluid or uncertain.
To develop an educational plan, make an appointment with an assigned Faculty Advisor. At certain times of the quarter, such as during Advising Weeks, faculty is very busy. Try to request a time other than the peak of advising and registration.
Example 1: If CHEM& 161 is required for a particular degree, the prerequisite courses listed in the catalog are CHEM& 139 and MATH& 141. But, CHEM& 139 requires successful completion of MATH 98 with a 2.0 GPA or better. MATH& 141 also has prerequisites, including MATH 98 (with a 2.0 grade or better), or student must have been placed into MATH& 141 by the COMPASS test. So, in order to take the CHEM& 161 course, a student would need to start with MATH 98 or COMPASS placement, then CHEM 139 and/or MATH 141, then CHEM& 161. A faculty advisor can help with such sequencing of prerequisites.
Example 2: If SPAN& 121, SPAN& 122, and SPAN& 123 are required for a student's degree plan, they need to be aware that these courses may not be offered every quarter. Typically, SPAN& 121 is offered in fall quarter, 122 in winter, and 123 in spring.