Frequently Asked Questions

  1. If I will be a new student, what do I need to do before registering for classes?
  2. Do I have to take a placement test to attend NMJC?
  3. How are ACT/SAT scores used?
  4. What is the COMPASS test?
  5. Is there help available if I don’t know what career or major I want to pursue?
  6. Do I need a GED® or high school diploma to attend NMJC?
  7. Can I afford college? Is there help available?
  8. What is a degree or certificate plan?
  9. What is the difference between an Associate of Arts, an Associate of Science, and an Associate of Applied Science?
  10. What are the differences between counselors and faculty advisors?
  11. What can I do if I’m struggling or not passing classes?
  12. What are the differences between transitional/developmental courses and other courses?
  13. How do I challenge a course or get credit for prior learning?
  14. How do I know if NMJC courses transfer to other colleges?
  15. What is a syllabus?
  16. When and how may I change my schedule of courses?
  17. What do I need to do to graduate from NMJC?
  18. How many credit hours do I need to get an associate degree?
  19. How long will it take to graduate from NMJC?
  20. How many credit hours can I take per semester?
  21. Does NMJC provide accommodations for students with disabilities?
  22. What does it mean to audit a class?
  23. What do I need to do to transfer to another college?

1. If I will be a new student, what do I need to do before registering for classes?

back to top

2. Do I have to take a placement test to attend NMJC?

  • New students who will be seeking a degree or certificate or are taking their first math, English, or reading class in college must have an assessment.
  • Students may be placed into classes using ACT, SAT, ASSET, COMPASS, or ACCUPLACER scores.

back to top

3. How are ACT/SAT scores used?

  • ACT/SAT scores are used to place students into the appropriate levels of math, English, and reading courses. If ACT or SAT scores place students into courses below college-level, they may try to improve their course placement by taking the COMPASS test.

back to top

4. What is the COMPASS test?

  • The COMPASS is a computer adaptive test designed to assess a student's math, English and reading skills. The test is used to determine what a student remembers and maybe has forgotten. The test is not a pass or fail kind of test, but an assessment to determine the best class for a student. This test is given to students who have not taken the ACT or SAT, and may also be given to those students who have taken the ACT or SAT but are dissatisfied with their scores.
  • There is no charge (for NMJC students) for the COMPASS the first time the test is taken. A student may choose to retake the test after two weeks or longer, and at that time the test will cost $5.00 per test section.
  • The test is administered in the Testing Center in the Ben Alexander Student Learning Center, and it is given all day long. It will take approximately 1 to 2 hours to complete, but it is not a timed exam.

back to top

5. Is there help available if I don’t know what career or major I want to pursue?

  • Yes. A career assessment, which is an array of questions that indicates to a student his or her job interests and strengths, is one of the tools useful in making career decisions. The Career Exploration page has links to a free career assessment and occupational information.
  • Counselors and faculty advisors from departments across the campus are available to talk with students and assist them with the career decision-making process.

back to top

6. Do I need a GED® or high school diploma to attend NMJC?

  • A high school diploma or GED® is not required for admission to NMJC. However, students must have a GED® or high school diploma before being admitted to some specific programs at NMJC.
  • A GED® or high school diploma is required if a student wants to obtain federal financial aid.
  • Students seeking to eventually transfer to a four-year college are strongly encouraged to get a GED® or high school diploma.

back to top

7. Can I afford college? Is there help available?

  • NMJC maintains low tuition and fee charges in an attempt to make college affordable.
  • Financial aid is available to those students who qualify.
  • The NMJC Foundation offers scholarship opportunities to students as well as providing information about outside scholarships.

back to top

8. What is a degree or certificate plan?

  • A degree or certificate plan is a set of courses needed to complete a specific degree or certificate. The requirements of plans vary according to a student’s program of study. Most associate degrees at NMJC require a minimum of 60 credit hours. The requirements for each NMJC certificate and degree are listed in the college catalog. Printed copies of the college catalog are available from the Counseling Office or Registrar’s Office in the Ben Alexander Student Learning Center. Students should contact their faculty advisor or a counselor to discuss their plans.

back to top

9. What is the difference between an Associate of Arts, an Associate of Science, and an Associate of Applied Science?

  • The Associate of Arts (A.A.) and the Associate of Science (A.S.) are designed to meet the lower-level general education requirements of most four-year college degrees. Flexibility is built into these two degree plans so that students, with the help of advisors or counselors, may select the most appropriate classes to transfer to the college of their choice. Most humanities, education, and business majors will fall under the A.A. plan, while most math, science, and engineering majors will fall under the A.S. plan.
  • The Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) is a two-year degree for students who want to enter a career after completing their education at NMJC. It is not designed for transferring to a university. The AAS requires a specific major.
  • NMJC also offers certificates, specially designed sequences of courses to provide opportunities for people seeking to obtain or improve skills in an occupational field. Courses in certificate programs are also applicable to appropriate associate degree programs.

back to top

10. What are the differences between counselors and faculty advisors?

  • Counselors at NMJC are located in the Ben Alexander Student Learning Center. They help students in selecting classes, exploring career choices, and completing degree plans. They also provide assistance to students experiencing academic and personal difficulties.
  • The Counseling Office assigns faculty advisors for students. The selection is based on a student’s documented program of study. Faculty advisors also help students with selecting courses and completing degree plans. Faculty advisors can be located in their offices. The Counseling Office posts the advisor's name for each term in the T-Bird Web Portal under the "Academic Profile" section under the student tab. Some students will be assigned to the Counseling Office for advisement rather than to a faculty advisor.

back to top

11. What can I do if I’m struggling or not passing classes?

  • Visit with your professors during their office hours or make an appointment.
  • Get a tutor! NMJC offers free tutoring to students through the Academic Success Center, located in Mansur Hall.
  • Consider enrolling in PS 113A (College Success) in a future semester.
  • If you know you absolutely will not be able to pass a course, you may need to drop/withdraw from it. Discuss dropping/withdrawing with your advisor and be aware of each semester’s deadline for drops and withdrawals. If you are receiving financial aid, it is also wise to discuss the impact of dropping/withdrawing on current and future financial aid with the Financial Aid Office.

back to top

12. What are the differences between transitional/developmental courses and other courses?

  • Transitional/developmental courses are classes such as Basic Math, Review of English, and Reading Improvement that help students prepare for college-level courses. Transitional courses are currently designated with a “TS” prefix in the course number. In previous years, the course numbers began with the prefix “DS.” Transitional/developmental courses are not counted toward a student’s degree plan.
  • Credits earned from college-level courses may count toward a student’s certificate or degree plan.

back to top

13. How do I challenge a course or get credit for prior learning?

  • NMJC has three ways students can challenge classes and demonstrate their prior knowledge in an area. The three different methods to challenge a class are:
    • Advanced Placement (AP)
    • College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
    • Institutional Challenge
  • Detailed information about each method can be found at How to Challenge a Class.

back to top

14. How do I know if NMJC courses transfer to other colleges?

  • Most general academic courses taught at NMJC transfer to other colleges whereas courses designed to teach job skills are not as likely to transfer.
  • NMJC maintains a transfer matrix which shows course to course equivalencies between NMJC and five area colleges/universities. NMJC counselors can assist you with information on other colleges besides these five.
  • However, sometimes course transferability is not the real issue for students. Whether a transferable course is applicable to a particular degree is the real issue. For example, a college algebra course may transfer to another college but may not apply to degrees in Engineering or Business, which often require specialized math courses. The NMJC Counseling Office houses some catalogs from other colleges and universities. In addition, counselors can access catalogs over the Internet, help you locate appropriate degree plans, and select the courses that best fit the degree plans.
  • The Counseling Office maintains an Academic Planning webpage which has links to degree plans or transfer curriculum for some specific universities and majors. These Transfer Curriculum Guides are updated and added to as time permits each year.

back to top

15. What is a syllabus?

  • A syllabus is a contract between the instructor and the students. It describes the goals, objectives, rules, and policies of the course and NMJC. It also outlines when class assignments are due and the dates tests will be given. A syllabus also has the faculty member’s office hours, office building and number, and information on getting in contact with him or her.
  • Students may access syllabi each semester by logging on to the NMJC web page. Hold the mouse over the word "Current Students" and then click on "Faculty Pages." Select the name of the faculty member teaching the course in which you are interested. The faculty member's schedule and courses for the specific semester will appear. Select the course number and click on it, thus bringing up the syllabus for that given semester.

back to top

16. When and how may I change my schedule of courses?

  • Adding and dropping courses is the responsibility of the student. There are specific dates posted in the college catalog detailing the dates students may add/drop classes. Generally, students may add/drop prior to the start of classes and also during the first week of class in the Fall and Spring semesters and during the first two days of class in the summer terms or eight-week sessions.

back to top

17. What do I need to do to graduate from NMJC?

  • When a student is enrolled in the last semester of required courses or will be lacking approximately twelve hours or less, the student needs to initiate a meeting with the assigned faculty advisor or counselor. The advisor or counselor will complete a degree plan form for the student which the student then submits to the Registrar’s Office.
  • The student fills out an Application for Graduation in the Registrar’s Office or online. There is not a fee associated with graduation.
  • The student then successfully completes the required courses needed to get a degree or certificate. An overall grade point average of 2.00 is required.
  • Graduation ceremonies are held once a year in May. A student actually graduates at the end of the semester or summer session when she/he takes her/his last class(es).
  • Students who desire to participate in the May graduation ceremony should contact the NMJC bookstore to order their cap and gown.

back to top

18. How many credit hours do I need to get an associate degree?

  • Degrees vary in the number of required hours, but require a minimum of 60 credit hours.
  • Applied Science degrees vary in the amount of general education and have specific departmental and non-departmental required classes.

back to top

19. How long will it take to graduate from NMJC?

  • Associate degrees are referred to as two-year degrees. However, not all students complete an associate degree in this length of time.
  • The length of time it takes to graduate depends on a number of factors. These factors include: how many credit hours a student enrolls in and successfully completes each semester; whether any transitional/developmental courses are required; and which certificate or degree a student is pursuing.

back to top

20. How many credit hours can I take per semester?

  • Twelve credit hours is the minimum for a full-time load in a fall or spring semester, while 18 credit hours is the maximum load. Any student wishing to take more than 18 hours in a fall or spring semester (an overload) must have the approval of one of the academic deans.
  • Twelve credit hours is the minimum for a full-time load in the summer, while 14 credits is the maximum load. Again, a student wishing to enroll in an overload must see the appropriate academic dean.

back to top

21. Does NMJC provide accommodations for students with disabilities?

back to top

22. What does it mean to audit a class?

  • Auditing a class means that no credit is being awarded for the class. The class does not count toward graduation nor count toward a student’s grade point average. The class is being taken simply for information purposes. An “AU” notation will be entered in place of a grade. Students who audit are charged the same tuition and fees as credit students.

back to top

23. What do I need to do to transfer to another college?

  • Access the other college's web site and read about transfer admission requirements and admission deadlines.
  • Visit with your advisor for assistance in understanding the requirements.
  • Apply for admission. Many colleges have on-line applications on their web site.
  • Request that your transcript be sent to the college that you wish to attend. You can request your transcript from a link on NMJC's homepage www.nmjc.edu.
  • Students who attended other colleges or universities besides NMJC need to contact the previous schools and request that they also send official transcripts to the chosen school.
  • Some colleges will require official high school transcripts or GED® scores even for transfer students. The ACT, SAT, or other tests may be mandatory for admission or enrollment in another college. NMJC advisors can help students find out about these various admission standards and policies.

back to top