Ask An Advisor


Mark Ebert

Mark Ebert has more than 20 years of experience in academic advising.  He is based at the Signal Peak Campus. 

Do you need classes only in the mornings?  Is there a professor that you really like?  Both are reasons to register early!  Spring semester registration begins in October; summer session and fall semester registration begins in March.


Early registration boosts your chances of obtaining classes at the most convenient times and locations.  Further, the academic departments closely monitor registration numbers.  If a class section is filling quickly, the department is likely to look into adding a section, which would increase options for you and other students.

Are you struggling in a fall class?  Be sure to speak with the instructor.  Your classmates might be having a similar problem.  Who knows?  The instructor might modify an assignment, go over a topic a second time, offer an opportunity to earn extra credit, or take other steps to help you.


A student may withdraw from a class regardless of reason.  Instructor permission is not needed.  If you fear that you are going to fail a class, be sure to ask the instructor whether enough assignments remain for you to be able to recover.  Also, check with Financial Aid before deciding to withdraw.  Withdrawal might affect your eligibility for future financial aid.


Here are a few questions students often ask advisors.

Is there a difference between major and program?  Both terms refer to a set of classes established by a faculty for a student to complete in order to earn a degree or certificate.  CAC uses “program” or “program version.”  To view your program, look in your student portal under

Academics à Degree Audit à Program Version.

If it is not correct, please submit a change request using an online form.  To find the form, go to the CAC homepage and select

Current Students à Student Support à Student Forms à Change of Program of Study (Degree/Certificate Plan)

Your financial aid could be affected if your program is not listed correctly.

How many credit hours should I take each semester?  It is a common misconception that a student receiving a Federal Pell Grant must register for a minimum of 12 credit hours.  The aid amount is based upon the number of hours in which a student is enrolled.  Twelve hours is the minimum enrollment required to receive the maximum Federal Pell Grant amount, but a student registered in fewer than 12 credit hours still receives aid.  The award amount would be prorated.

The more classes you take each semester, the faster you will complete your degree.  However, you should never take more than you think you can handle.  The general rule is to allow two to three hours of outside-of-class preparation for each hour spent in class.

What does full time mean?  Students carrying 12 or more credit hours during a spring or fall semester are considered full-time students.  During summer sessions, 6 or more credit hours are considered full time.  Some students enroll full time in order for their parents to receive discounts on their car insurance.  In addition, some scholarships require full time enrollment.