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Excellence, Collaboration, Integrity, Respect.

The Parent Of A Student?

Student with their parent looking at some papers

The Parent Of A Student?


Preparing for college can be a challenge – for students and for families! The staff at Carl Sandburg College strives to make it easy for your son or daughter to get enrolled and start taking classes. We have gathered resources about how you can help your student prepare for college. Hopefully this information will help your student make a smooth transition to college. Take a look at some of the important information below to help you get acquainted with Sandburg.


Frequently Asked Parent Questions:


When should my student apply/begin the Admissions process?
Most students apply during the fall or spring term of their senior year in high school. If they have taken a Sandburg course while in high school, the application needs to be updated through the online application process at Admissions


How does the COMPASS placement testing work?
Prior to registering for classes, all incoming students must take the COMPASS test. Also, returning students who have not had COMPASS are required to complete the exam prior to registering for entry level Math and English classes. The COMPASS assessment will not only help place students in courses most beneficial to their needs, it will also orient them to the many programs, activities and resources offered by the College. In addition, the results of the COMPASS testing will provide the Student Services staff with a valuable tool for more effective counseling of students.
Arrangements can be made through the Assessment Center by calling (309) 341-5323 for the Galesburg Campus, (217) 357-3380 for the Carthage Campus or (309) 772-2177 for the Bushnell campus. For more information about the COMPASS Placement Test, please visit Placement Testing


What is financial aid?
There are several types of financial aid:
Grants--financial aid that does not have to be repaid
Loans--borrowed money from the federal government that must be repaid with interest
Work study--lets you earn money while enrolled in school by working on campus
Scholarships--can be merit-based or need-based


The Financial Aid Office assists students in applying for federal, state, and institutional funds to help them meet their educational costs. Students may apply for grants, loans and work assistance. Most of the funding is based on the family's financial situation; therefore, the student must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility Sandburg's  Federal School code is 007265.


For more information, go to the Financial Aid or call (309) 341-5283.


What if my student is struggling in one of his/her courses?

Counseling/Advising – All new students meet with a counselor the first time they register for courses. Counselors assist all students with academic, transfer and career planning. Students may discuss personal concerns and receive appropriate referrals and/or resources from the Counseling office as well. Call (309) 341-5237 to set up an appointment with one of the Student Services Counselors.


Academic Support Services – This center provides a variety of services in one location to all Sandburg students. These services include web accessibility, one-on-one tutoring, open tutoring in the Math and Writing Labs and assistive services and accommodations for students with documented disabilities. Call (309) 341-5262 for more information.


Can I access my student's grades?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 ensures confidentiality for the student's academic record. Therefore, grades and other information are not able to be released to parents without the student's written consent. For further inquiries into this policy, contact the Records Office at (309) 341-5260.


When does a major/program of study need to be declared?

Every student must declare an academic program when he/she applies and registers. However, a student can certainly change programs as appropriate. Counselors are the best resource for a student needing career guidance. To set up an appointment with a Student Services Counselor, please call (309) 341-5237.


Why is it so important to decide on a major right away?

Students are not required to declare a major right away at Sandburg. However, it is very beneficial for students to have some knowledge of their career path. This knowledge will help students make a smoother transition to a 4 year school or into a vocational program, will help determine core and major coursework, and will lessen the amount of time at either Sandburg or at a 4-year institution.


What does "general education" mean?

General Education courses are those general courses that every Bachelor Degree seeking student must complete regardless of the degree one is seeking.


What is a college credit hour?

Each course at Sandburg is offered for a certain number of credit hours. The exact number of hours is determined by the number of lecture, laboratory, seminar or field experience hours necessary to complete a class. A credit hour reflects the number of hours per week a student is in class. In general, one hour of lecture per week equates to one credit hour. Two hours of lab time is equivalent to one credit hour. For example, one “3 credit hour” course meets three times a week for 50 minutes OR two times a week for an hour and 15 minutes OR one time a week for 3 hours.


What is full time? What is part time?

To be considered a full-time student, one must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours, which equals 4 classes. Anything less than 12 credit hours is considered part-time.


How do we know which classes transfer?

Most students experience successful transfer to a baccalaureate school by following one of the approaches presented below. Of course, all students are encouraged to consult with a faculty or counselor to plan coursework that will best meet their individual educational goals. Visit Academics for more detailed information on transfer and articulation agreements.

Approach 1: Earn an Associate in Arts or Science degree, an Associate in Arts in Teaching degree or an Associate in Fine Arts degree at Carl Sandburg College, requiring 62 – 64 semester hours.

Approach 2: Complete the Illinois Articulation Initiative General Education Core before transferring, requiring 31 – 43 semester hours.

Approach 3: Select courses at Carl Sandburg College that will help the student satisfy general education requirements and major requirements at the transfer institution.