New Student Academic Advisement
Essential Academic Plan Terms and Definitions
College Catalog: http://www.hostos.cuny.edu/catalog
The College Catalog includes all the information you need regarding your academic career at Hostos. If you change majors, you are bound by the guidelines of the Catalog for the year you entered the major, not any previous versions. You should reference the Catalog for a complete list of degree requirements, course descriptions, and course pre/co-requisites. It is a valuable resource that should be used as a reference from semester to semester as you select your courses.
Schedule of Classes: http://www.hostos.cuny.edu/oor/schedule
The Schedule of Classes is a listing of all the courses offered in a particular semester. It provides the course title and number, section numbers, registration codes, days and times of class meetings, classroom locations, and, in many cases, the instructor’s name. Additionally, it indicates if a course is Writing Intensive, has an On-line component, and if it is reserved for an academic major, academic department or special program.
Degree Works: This easy to use, web-based self-advisement tool can help you regularly track your progress towards completing degree requirements and plan for future enrollments. Students can access their Degree Works account through the CUNY portal: https://portal.cuny.edu and then click on Student Advisement/ Degree Audit (Degree Works).
Academic Plan: The academic plan is the academic program of a specific field of study a student is pursuing for graduation from Hostos. It can also be generally described as a ‘major’. Different academic plans have different course requirements and academic unit accumulations for graduation.
Grades and Academic Credit: To earn academic credit for a course you must earn a grade of ‘D’ (or higher for select academic plans). Academic units are NOT awarded for grades of ‘F’, ‘INC’, ‘FIN’, ‘R’, ‘WU’, ‘WN’, ‘W’. You may repeat a maximum of 16 units of failed courses. If you receive a passing grade in a course but wish to repeat it for any reason, both grades will remain on your transcript, and both grades will be computed in your GPA; however, you will receive credit for the course once.
General Education/ Liberal Arts Requirements: The General Education and Liberal Arts requirements are lower division courses that provide graduates of Hostos the preparation necessary to succeed in a diverse and changing work environment and to develop as thoughtful and responsible citizens ready to participate and contribute to their communities.
Pre-Requisite and Co-Requisite: A pre-requisite is a course that must be successfully completed prior to the semester that you are enrolling for a particular course. For example, you must first pass English 110 in order to take History 201. In some cases, the prerequisite is an examination, such as passing a CUNY Skills Assessment Test or a department placement examination. A co-requisite is a course that can be taken either prior to the semester you are enrolling or during the same semester as a particular designated course. Certain courses will have both a pre-requisite and a co-requisite.
Electives: An elective is an academic course that can be chosen from a set of options, as opposed to a required course. Elective options can be generally categorized into three types: Major, Liberal Arts, and Free. Major electives are courses that are specialized for the degree. Liberal Arts electives are courses that are intended to prepare students to be holistic citizens of the world. (Refer to the academic plan worksheet or consult your academic advisor for a complete listing of liberal arts courses). Free electives are any course within the Hostos College Catalog. Academic units from developmental courses can be counted as free electives wherever applicable for select academic plans.
Academic Units vs. Billable Units: Understanding the difference is essential for billing, financial aid, and timely degree completion. Academic units are units which are counted towards degree completion. Billable units are generally the same as academic units except for courses below the 100 level (with few exceptions). In courses below the 100 level, billable units are equivalent to the contact hours of the course and you are billed for the contact hours. For example, a developmental class might offer one (1) academic degree unit, but account for three (3) billable units towards your full or part-time status.
What is the CUNY Portal?
The CUNY Portal is a gateway to all CUNY information and resources. With your new CUNY Portal account you can:
- Enroll for classes using e-SIMS. You can also print out your schedule. To learn how to access e-SIMS, click here.
- Check your Bursar balance and financial aid award.
- Access Degree Works/ Hostos Academic Degree Audit (HADA) so you can check your progress towards completing your degree.
- Access FACTS to check that your classes are TAP eligible
- Access Blackboard courses. To learn about Blackboard click here. To learn how to access Black Board, click here.
CUNY Assessment Tests: When students apply to Hostos they are given a series of placement tests. Results of the CUNY and Hostos tests are used to determine placement into the appropriate level of classes in reading, writing, English as a Second Language (ESL), and mathematics. Students can also be tested for foreign language placement. No student is permitted to enroll without taking the required placement tests or showing acceptable proof of exemption by the University. CUNY also requires that all students pass the CUNY Assessment tests as a graduation requirement for all community colleges, unless they are exempt. In addition, students who wish to transfer to senior colleges must also pass the mathematics skills test prior to transferring.
Students who do not pass their placement test(s) are placed into the appropriate developmental course(s) and will have an opportunity to retake the test(s) after completing those course(s). The Hostos Academic Learning Center (HALC), located in C-596, offers Basic Skills Preparatory Workshops during the summer (June-August) and winter (January) to assist students in preparing for the CUNY Writing, Reading and Math I and II Assessment Skills Test.
Writing Intensive Courses: All entering students are required to take two (2) Writing Intensive courses prior to graduation. These specially designed sections are to help students improve their writing skills along with their understanding of the course material. Academic units from Writing Intensive courses can also be counted towards the total units required for degree completion if the course satisfies applicable academic plan requirements either as a required course or a type of elective.
GPA Graduation Requirement: For most majors you must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 to be eligible for graduation. The GPA requirement may be higher depending on the major. If your GPA is below 2.0 you may be on academic probation. Refer to the College Catalog for detailed information regarding satisfactory academic standing.
Academic Plan Worksheets
The Worksheets are intended to be used only as guide for academic planning. They are not a substitute for academic advisement. You should contact your academic advisor within your respective academic department for questions about degree requirements. It is strongly recommended that you seek academic advisement early for course-load preparation and timely enrollment.