Guidelines for Advisors

Find information about transfer credits, financial aid and more.


Academic Advising Handbook


On-Campus Resources (that you can recommend to your student advisees)
Health and Wellness concerns:

  • Health Services at the CWC: no out-of-pocket costs for general medical visits; trans-care available; by appointment is best (ext. 4254); services available Monday and Wednesday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday 1-5 p.m.; Friday 8 a.m. to noon.
    • After Hours Care – call the nurse advice line at ext. 4433
  • Mental Health Services at the CWC: individual by appointment (ext. 4254) and group sessions available; appointments for emergencies are available immediately during working hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Academic and skill-building (temporarily virtual):

  • Schedule an appointment with a Student Writing Assistant (SWA) at the WRC (
  • Visit the Quantitative Resource Center for help with math, chemistry, physics, statistics and computer science. The QRC is located in Cook Library at the west end of the first floor (across from the WRC)
  • The Office of of Student Success (Anjali Cadena, Director: and Kaylie Stokes, Asst Director: helps students with study skills, test prep, and time management.

Disability Services:


  • Regina Rodarte is an outstanding resource for all kinds of issues including financial concerns. Have your advisee contact her directly for an appointment ( or fill out a report on the SST.

    Key Steps in Advising

  • Each semester, be sure to check your advisee’s progress towards graduation requirements in the Student Evaluation System (SES):
    • Under “Reports and Tools,” check the “Liberal Arts Curriculum (LAC) Progress” report. The LAC requirements are described in the right-hand margin, and your advisee’s progress is summarized in the body of the report;
    • Under “Detailed Student Profile,” check the “Units Counter,” at the bottom of the page. Thirty-one units must be completed for graduation.
  • Beginning early in a student’s career, be sure to talk with them about plans beyond simply their coursework. Study abroad, internships, and other similar activities can be crucial components of a student’s education, and they also take some planning and preparation.
  • Review the Mid-Semester Progress Reports for your first- and second-year advisees. Advisees with multiple concerns should engage with our Student Success Program.
  • In fall semester, be sure that advisees who will need to do January ISPs are working on their plans, especially first-year students.
  • In both fall and spring semesters, meet with your advisee to prepare Preliminary Plans for the following semester.

Minimum Units on Contract

Each contract must contain at least three units of educational activity that will be evaluated for transcript entry both before and after contract renegotiation. Students must maintain enrollment in at least three units throughout each contract. For this purpose,

  • One full-semester course, tutorial, or IRP is equal to one unit
  • One module-length (or module-equivalent) course, tutorial, or IRP is equal to 1/2 unit

A contract reflects full-time status and normally includes four units of educational activity. This allows some flexibility for the advisor and student, in case of contract renegotiation. If the advisor agrees that it is appropriate, extraordinary activities (such as a senior thesis) that require significantly more work than a single full-time unit may be divided into multiple units (with each unit receiving a separate evaluation).

Internships The Center for Career Opportunity and Engagement, has information on how internships can be added to student contracts.
Cross Registration
— this pilot program allows eligible students to be accepted on a space-available basis at four other local colleges after the host institution’s regularly enrolled or continuing students have registered.

Contract Renegotiation

After the student submits the contract to the Office of the Registrar, the student may revise it in consultation with the sponsor, a process called “contract renegotiation.” Educational activities may be added or dropped, and the certification criteria must be revised accordingly. The sponsor must endorse the changes. The deadline for contract renegotiation is Friday of the 12th week of the semester.

Four-Week Financial Aid Unit Drop Grace Period Deadline for Financial Aid Purposes

Beginning with the Fall 2014 semester, courses dropped via contract renegotiation through the fourth week of classes will not count toward unit attempts in calculating Maximum Time Frame or Pace to Graduation for financial aid purposes.  The deadline for this is published as the “Financial Aid Unit Drop Grace Period Deadline” in the academic calendar.  (Other contract renegotiation may be submitted through the “Contract Renegotiation Deadline” published in the academic calendar).

AA Degrees and Transfer Credits

  • Students who have earned an Associate of Arts degree through the Florida College System receive credit for three contracts, one Independent Study Project, and 15 units upon entry to New College.
  • Because of the compressed time frame in which transfer students operate, both they and their advisors should be particularly mindful of deadlines and AOC requirements. Be sure to verify the circumstances of transfer students.
  • Since transfer students face a compressed timeline for the completion of their Provisional AOC and Thesis Prospectus forms, they can request an extension of this deadline from the Associate Provost. The deadline will be granted up until the point that the student is on par with their entering cohort. For transfer students with AA degrees earned through dual-enrollment in high school, this extension does not impact their progress with respect to the “Excess Credit Hour Surcharge.” However, for all other transfer students, their work at previous institutions does count toward their total accumulated hours, and they should be very mindful of the potential financial implications of extending these deadlines and, hence, their stay at NCF.

The 31-Unit Graduation Requirement

The program requirements for graduation include satisfactory completion of the following:  Seven semester contracts, three ISP’s, the Liberal Arts Curriculum requirements, a senior project or thesis, and a baccalaureate exam. Satisfactory completion of at least 31 units of educational activity is a new graduation requirement. Units are defined here:

  • One full-semester course, tutorial, or IRP is equal to one unit
  • One module-length (or module-equivalent) course, tutorial, or IRP is equal to 1/2 unit
  • One ISP is equal to one unit
  • Four semester hours of credit accepted in transfer equal one unit

Students planning to graduate within four years would follow one of these schedules:

  • Seven contracts averaging at least four satisfactory units each, plus three ISPs; or,
  • Eight contracts averaging at least 3.5 satisfactory units each, plus three ISPs.

Academic Warning, Academic Probation, and Academic Dismissal

For more information on student academic progress, consult the Faculty Handbook section 6.5.5 SASC Review.

A student receives an Academic Warning following either:

  • One unsatisfactory ISP.
  • Failure to complete three satisfactory ISPs by the end of the sixth semester.

A Student is placed on Academic Probation following either:

  • One unsatisfactory contract.
  • Two unsatisfactory ISPs.

A student may appeal his or her probation to the Registrar on procedural grounds only (i.e., in cases of error or misunderstanding).

A Student is Academically Dismissed in any of the three following situations:

  • Two unsatisfactory contracts, which need not be consecutive.
  • In any order, one unsatisfactory contract and two unsatisfactory ISPs; again, they need not be consecutive.
  • One unsatisfactory contract, for students who were readmitted after having previously been dismissed.

The Registrar will notify the student and the advisor of the pending dismissal and schedule a hearing with the SASC. A student has the option of appealing his or her dismissal to the SASC.

Notes about Financial Aid

Faculty are not expected to advise students regarding financial aid. The College’s Enrollment Services staff automatically audit all students for their academic eligibility for financial aid, in January and in the summer. They will contact students when that aid status is restricted or terminated, and when students come close to reaching their eligibility limit.

Timely evaluations and contract certifications are critical. In financial aid decisions, designations of “incomplete” and “work all submitted” are essentially equivalent to “unsat” and could cause a student to lose funding. The importance of timely evaluation cannot be overemphasized including timely ISP evaluations. Students may need to discuss outstanding evaluations or certifications with their faculty in an effort to clear their academic eligibility for aid.

In addition to satisfactory contracts and ISPs, academic eligibility for aid requires a progress rate of satisfactory completion of at least two-thirds of all cumulative units attempted. This is calculated by dividing the number of satisfactory units by the number of all units attempted. “All units attempted” may include units that are not important to the student’s contract. In accordance with the U.S. Department of Education aid guidelines, these are included in “all units attempted”:

Units dropped through renegotiation

  • Units that are incomplete
  • Units lost through withdrawal or emergency leave
  • Units for which all work has been submitted, but for which the evaluation is in progress or has not been submitted
  • Units accepted in transfer via work at a prior college or university or off-campus study
  • Units attempted via off-campus study for which a transcript is still outstanding
  • Units evaluated as satisfactory or unsatisfactory

There is some flexibility for satisfactory completion of a lower proportion of all units attempted. At least one half of all units attempted must be satisfactorily complete for students in their first three contract attempts. (Contracts assigned through transfer credit count toward these contract attempts.) It is, however, very difficult to rise from a proportion of one-half to two-thirds in the course of one semester; it is even more difficult when larger numbers of unit attempts are involved.

Academic eligibility for financial aid also requires that the student can meet graduation requirements within 46.5 total unit attempts. Enrollment Services staff will terminate aid if a student cannot meet graduation requirements within 46.5 unit attempts, with satisfactory completion of a typical load of four units per contract. In some unusual cases, a student could meet graduation requirements within 46.5 total units but only with satisfactory completion of more than four units per contract. In this case, termination can be appealed with a letter of support from the advisor indicating that the student is likely to be successful with a greater workload.

For additional detailed information, consult the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Financial Aid Purposes.