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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How do I register for a course that has a prerequisite?
2. What is (academic/progress) probation or dismissal and how do I avoid it?
3. Do I have to take the English or English as Second Language (ESL) and Math Assessment?
4. Am I allowed to repeat a class in which I received a D or F grade or a “W” for withdrawal?
5. I finished all my Certificate and Associate Degree classes. How do I get my degree issued?
6. How do I apply for financial aid?
7. How do I obtain a transcript?
8. How do I meet with a counselor?
9. What is a Pass/No Pass course? Should I take a course P/NP or for a grade? How do I take a class P/NP?
10. If I have a disability, where do I go for help?
11. How do I drop a class?
12. How many units do I have to take to be considered a full-time or part-time student?
13. What do I do if a course is closed?
14. What is my next step?


1. How do I register for a course that has a prerequisite?
To clear a prerequisite using courses taken outside the Peralta Community College District, you have 3 options:

  • Finish reading the Frequently Asked Questions, complete our Confidentiality Agreement, and proceed to our e-Counseling intake form.  Toward the end of the intake form, you’ll find directions about how to submit appropriate documentation to clear the prerequisite.
  • Drop in or make an appointment to see a counselor in the Counseling Center, Room R-109A.  You MUST bring transcripts (unofficial are OK) and/or other supporting documentation showing that you have completed the prerequisite course with a grade of “C” or better (a “C-” is not acceptable).
  • If you do not have any documentation, you can petition for a pre-requisite challenge using this form.   Complete the petition, attach any documentation you have, and submit it to a staff person at the Merritt College Admissions and Records Office (Student Center, Room R-112) where you will be enrolled in the course.  The petition will then be submitted to the Department Chair for their review.  Your challenge will be resolved within five (5) working days.  If your petition is approved, you will remain in the class.  If it is denied, you will be notified and disenrolled from the class.

2. What is (academic/progress) probation or dismissal and how do I avoid it?

  • Academic Probation: If you have attempted at least 12 semester units and have a cumulative GPA of less than 2.0 at the Peralta Colleges, you will be placed on academic probation.
  • Progress Probation: If you have enrolled in a total of at least 12 semester units as indicated on the total academic record district-wide, you will be placed on progress probation when the percentage of W, I, and NP’s recorded reaches at least 50% of all grades recorded. You will remain on progress probation until your percentage of W, I, and NP grades falls below 50% of all grades recorded.
  • Probation Procedures: After you receive the notification that you are on probation, you must meet with a counselor to gain clearance for registration and to discuss strategies for improving your academic performance, including possible reduction of your study load.
  • Academic Dismissal: If you have been placed on academic probation and you earn a cumulative grade point average of less than 1.75 in all units attempted in each of three (3) consecutive semesters, you shall become subject to dismissal. Summer session is considered a semester.
  • Progress Dismissal: If the college has placed you on progress probation, you shall be subject to dismissal if the percentage of units in which you have been enrolled reaches or exceeds 50% in at least three (3) consecutive semesters for which entries of W, I, and NP are recorded.
  • Dismissal Procedures: If the college places you on dismissal, you must either make an appointment to see a counselor or attend a workshop to address the reasons you are on probation and petition for readmission. A counselor will make a recommendation to the Vice President of Student Services about the possibility of continued registration. You will be notified within a specified time regarding whether or not your petition for readmission is approved or denied.


3. Do I have to take the English or English as Second Language (ESL) and Math Assessment?
We recommend that students take the assessment early in their academic careers and then meet with a counselor who can advise you about the most appropriate English, ESL, and/or Math classes. There are some English, ESL, and/or Math classes for which you must either have taken the assessment or have passed a prerequisite course with a grade of “C” or better.


4. Am I allowed to repeat a class in which I received a D or F grade or a “W” for withdrawal?
Yes, students are allowed to repeat a course in which a D or F grade was received or a ‘W” for withdrawal. If a student repeats a course in which they received a D or F grade and receives a grade of C or better, s/he may petition that the original grade, units, and grade points not be computed in the cumulative GPA. Authorized Repeat Petition forms are available here.


5. I finished all my Certificate and Associate Degree classes. How do I get my degree issued?
Students must file a petition for an Associates Degree or Certificate of Achievement by the deadline shown in the Academic Calendar for the semester in which he/she plans to complete degree or certificate requirements. Petition forms are available in the Admissions and Records office. Students must see a counselor to complete the petition and it is the student’s responsibility to file the petition with Admissions and Records. The petition for an AA/AS degree is available here.  The petition for a Certificate of Achievement is available here.


6. How do I apply for financial aid?
You can apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application on-line for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and fee waiver application available in the Financial Aid Office or on the FAFSA website.

Before beginning the FAFSA, you should apply for a U.S. Department of Education personal identification number (PIN), available here.  The PIN will allow you to sign your FAFSA electronically and to correct your processed FAFSA information online. After you receive the PIN assigned to you, we recommend you change it to something easy to remember. Don’t share your PIN with anyone! If you are providing parent information on the FAFSA, one of your parents must also sign your application. To sign electronically, your parent must apply for his or her own PIN.


7. How do I obtain a transcript?
You may request official transcripts by Internet, mail, or in person at any of the four college admissions offices. The quickest and most convenient way to send a transcript is online over the Internet. Your transcript will include all coursework completed at College of Alameda, Laney College, Merritt College, and/or Berkeley City College.
Students are expected to clear all financial obligations and other transcript “holds” before transcripts are mailed. A transcript request should be made well in advance of the time when the record will be needed. Same day transcripts are not available.
To order a transcript and/or get information about fees and procedures, click here to visit the Peralta transcript information site.
PLEASE NOTE:  Grades are posted to transcripts approximately 2-3 weeks after each semester.


8. How do I meet with a counselor?
There are two ways to see a counselor.
The first is Drop-In counseling, available throughout the day in the Counseling Center, Room R-109A, on a first-come, first served basis. This type of meeting is limited to 10 to 15 minutes and is intended for short and simple questions and/or issues such as:
- Excess Units
- High School Student-Concurrent Enrollment
- Prerequisite Review
- Matriculation Hold
The second way to see a counselor is by scheduling a 30-minute appointment at the front desk of the Counseling Center, Room R-109A, or by calling 510-436-2475.
Appointments offer an opportunity to develop an educational plan, review transcripts and discuss many other issues related to your progress.  We encourage all students to make counseling appointments to make sure there is time to meet your needs.  If necessary, counseling appointments may be canceled in advance by calling 510-436-2475 (with at least 24 hours notice if possible).
Examples of issues requiring a counseling appointment:
- Dismissal Re-admit Petition
- Student Educational Plan (initial & update)
- Financial Aid Petition
- Graduation Petition (AA/AS degree or Certificate)
- Out of District Transcripts (be sure to bring copies to your appointment – unofficial copies are acceptable)
- Crisis Counseling and Referrals
- Career Exploration
- Transfer Planning
- Military Veteran Student Educational Plan
At the beginning of each semester, appointments are not available; all students are seen on a drop-in basis only. This allows counselors to see as many students as possible to provide maximum assistance for scheduling and enrollment.


9. What is a Pass/No Pass course? Should I take a course P/NP or for a grade? How do I take a class P/NP?
In designated courses you may elect to take the course Pass/No Pass rather than receive a letter grade. You must make this decision prior to the 4th week of instruction (30% of instruction for summer session and short-term classes) and you must enter this information through Passport (the online enrollment system). Upon successful completion of the course, you earn the specified number of units, and the record will show P (which indicates a C grade or better). If your work is unsatisfactory, the record will show NP (which indicates a D grade or below). All units of P will satisfy community college curriculum requirements but will not count in the computation of GPA.
You may not repeat a course for which you earned a grade of “P”. Once designated, a Pass/No Pass (P/NP) may not be changed to a letter grade. If you are planning to transfer to a four year institution, be aware that institutions may not count a course toward your major in which you earned a grade of “P” and institutions may limit the number of units for which you earned a “P” that they count toward a Bachelor’s degree. Talk with a counselor and/or consult the catalog of the transfer institution for more specific information on this subject.


10. If I have a disability, where do I go for help?
Each college in the Peralta District offerers Disabled Student Programs & Services (DSP&S).  At Merritt College, the DSP&S Office is located in the Counseling Center, Room R-109A, and can be reached at 510- 436-2429. DSP&S offers a range of services including supportive counseling, disability assessment, academic accommodations, mobility services, and the like. Contact DSP&S directly to see a counselor to discuss the range of services and eligibility requirements.


11. How do I drop a class?
Students may drop classes online using the Passport System up until the last day to drop (refer to the current academic calendar). You may also drop a class in person by obtaining a Drop Card at the Admissions and Records Office, or you may download it by clicking here and then delivering the completed card in person to the campus Admissions and Records Office.
Note: Non-attendance does not mean that you have dropped a class. It is the student’s responsibility to withdraw from a class.


12. How many units do I have to take to be considered a full-time or part-time student?
For the Fall and Spring semesters, a full-time study load is 12 units. For summer session, a maximum unit load is 10 units. A student may not carry more than 18 units during the Fall and Spring semesters without special permission. Students who wish to take 18.5 to 21.5 units may see a counselor for approval of excess units. Students who wish to enroll in 21.5 to 25 units must obtain permission from the Vice President of Student Services. Such permission ordinarily is not given to any student who has not maintained a grade-point average of 3.0 the previous semester.


13. What do I do if a course is closed?
During registration, if you try to register for a class that is designated as “Closed – Wait Listed” you will be given the option to sign up on a wait list until it fills.  Remember, being on a wait list does not guarantee you a seat in a class. If seats become available, those on the wait list will be registered for open seats in the order they were placed on the list.
Important:  Although the Passport System will allow you to get on a wait list, when the nightly run checks for problems, you will be removed from a wait list if you have any holds (including a cashier’s hold), time conflicts, repeat or prerequisite errors, duplicate courses, excess units, or any type of registration error.
Can anybody get on a Wait List?
When there are openings, anyone can get on a wait list. However, you are only eligible to remain on that wait list  if you meet the class prerequisites, the class time does not conflict with another class in which you are already registered, you have no repeat errors, you have no holds on your record (including a cashier’s hold), or the class units will not exceed the maximum allowed.
Be aware: If you sign up for a wait list wait list and any of these errors occur when the nightly run moves students into classes from the wait list, you will be dropped from the wait list. Also, you cannot be on a wait list for another section of the same course.
Who gets into a class?
If class seats become available, students will automatically be enrolled in the class in the order in which they entered the wait list.
It is important to remember that placement on a wait list does not guarantee a seat in the class. Students on a wait list after classes begin should attend the first class meeting to see if space is available.  If so, the instructor will give you an add card that you must complete and return in person to the Admissions & Records Office located in the R Building, Student Services Center.
How do I know if I got into a class?
If you are moved into a class from the wait list, you will be notified by email to your Peralta email account. It is important that you activate and monitor your Peralta emails during the registration period. If you are enrolled in a class from the wait list, it will be your responsibility to pay all fees 2 weeks before the beginning of the term.  Students who are added after this deadline are required to pay their fees immediately or a hold will be placed on your account and your debt will be sent to collections.
When do I pay for the class?
Fees will be assessed after a student is officially registered in a class and must be paid 2 weeks before the beginning of the term. Students who are added after this deadline are required to pay their fees immediately or a hold will be placed on your account and your debt will be sent to collections. A student on a wait list must monitor their email during the registration period to see if they are moved into a class and if so, must pay their fees immediately.


14. What is my next step?
Proceed to the e-Counseling Confidentiality Agreement.  After certifying that you have read the agreement, you will be given a pass code to record in an Intake Form that will allow you to ask a question of an e-counselor.  To go to the e-Counseling Confidentiality Agreement, click here  (NOTE:  link inactive during summer break and will activate when e-Counseling services resume Monday, August 18, 2014).