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Academic Advising

 

Quick Guide to Academic Advising for GENE Students

 

 

University-level

Academic Advising

College-level

Academic Advising

Department / Program-level Academic Advising

Please visit or contact this office for…

  • Questions about university academic policies and standards
  • Referrals to campus resources
  • Tutoring resources for courses outside of the College of Engineering
  • Switching to a major outside of the College of Engineering
  • Academic support for student athletes
  • Academic support and coaching
  • Multicultural Engineering Program
  • International Exchange Program (Study Abroad)
  • Degree progress and planning
  • Tutoring resources and referrals
  • Advising on campus policy and procedures
  • Changing majors within or into College of Engineering
  • Academic probation
  • Re-admission into College of Engineering
  • Undergraduate paperwork
  • Questions about GENE program, curriculum, and careers
  • Questions about ICS form
  • Questions about technical content of courses, course substitutions
  • Forms requiring approval from GENE director

Location

Mustang Success Center

52-D37

Engineering Student Services

40-111

General Engineering Office

13-263

E-mail

success@calpoly.edu

eadvise@calpoly.edu

gene@calpoly.edu

Phone

(805) 756-6211

(805) 756-1461

(805) 756-6339

Website

advising.calpoly.edu

eadvise.calpoly.edu

gene.calpoly.edu

If you still have questions, please contact the Mustang Success Center.

Is General Engineering Right for Me?

GENE is designed for students who are interested in pursuing a course of study whose scope reaches beyond the established curriculum of any single existing department at Cal Poly.  This can be accomplished through the Individual Course of Study concentration (ICS) in GENE.  Examples of some of the courses of study pursued by GENE majors include chemical engineering, sustainable energy, engineering entrepreneurship, product design, audio engineering, and pre-medical studies. 

GENE is also intended for students desire a broad-based education in engineering that covers several major engineering disciplines in detail.  This is done through the General (or Multidisciplinary) concentration: see flowchart (PDF).

GENE is not ideal for students who are undecided as to which engineering discipline they want to major in.  If you are trying to decide between several engineering departments and GENE is not among them, it is strongly recommended that you select one of the departments that you are interested in rather than GENE.  (The rationale for this is that it can spare you from having to go through the change of major process.  If you declare GENE as your major but do not intend to eventually major in it, you will likely have to go through a change of major process that could have been avoided by declaring your major in one of the departments that you are considering.) 

If you’re not sure what major you’d like to pursue, you can contact the Career Services Office and ask about their Aptitude Assessment Tools that can highlight your strengths and interests and help you select a majorIt is also recommended that you talk with faculty and other professionals who work in the discipline(s) in which you are interested to get a better understanding of the discipline(s) and of the career opportunities in the discipline(s).  Joining a club, participating in a faculty research project, job shadowing, and working in an internship associated with a particular discipline are other ways in which you can learn more about that discipline.

GENE Concentrations

GENE majors select one of two concentrations:

  • General (or Multidisciplinary) concentration: The curriculum for the General Concentration (PDF) is designed for students who want a broad-based education in engineering that covers several major engineering disciplines in detail.  Note: A GENE major is assumed to be pursuing this concentration by default, unless (s)he declares an individual course of study concentration.
  • Individual Course of Study (ICS) concentration: The flexibility of the curriculum for the ICS Concentration (PDF) allows students to create – in consultation with  the GENE Director – a plan of study that enables them to reach their individual academic and professional goals.  The curriculum for the ICS concentration includes more than 40 units of technical electives in order to provide students with the latitude to develop depth in their particular area(s) of interest.  Examples of emphasis areas pursued by GENE students under the ICS concentration include audio engineering, chemical engineering, sustainable energy, engineering entrepreneurship, product design, and pre-medical studies.  To select the ICS concentration, an ICS form must be submitted to the GENE Office and approved by the GENE Director and Engineering Advising.

ICS Flowchart - 4 Year (PDF)

ICS Flowchart - Transfer 2 Year (PDF)

ICS Flowchart - Transfer 3 Year (PDF)

Students who successfully complete the GENE curriculum receive a B.S. in General Engineering, with their concentration noted on their transcript.  (Note: The emphasis area – such as audio engineering, sustainable energy, product design, etc. – is not noted on the transcript.)

How might GENE’s lack of accreditation affect my career?

One of the trademarks of the GENE curriculum is its flexibility, which enables self-motivated and focused students the freedom to create their own course of study.  A trade-off for this flexibility is accreditation:  Because GENE students pursue widely different courses of study, it is difficult to guarantee to an accreditation board that all GENE students have studied certain topics.  However, because Cal Poly is well-regarded, a General Engineering degree from Cal Poly will also be well-regarded despite its lack of accreditation.

GENE’s lack of accreditation may have an effect in positions where Professional Engineer (PE) licensure is required.  These positions are mainly those where the government is a major customer (e.g., government contractors, expert witnesses for legal testimony, etc.)  The main effect is that it can take longer to receive PE licensure for a graduate from a non-accredited program, chart summarizing the PE licensure process more information about what it means to be a PE can be found on the NSPE website.

If you are planning to work for an organization where the government is not a major customer (e.g., most companies) or go to graduate school. The main effect is that it can take longer to receive PE licensure for a graduate from a non-accredited program (see chart summarizing the PE licensure process: more information of what it means to be a PE can be found on the NSPE website.)

Switching Your Major Into GENE

Please read the Change of Major information from the Cal Poly academic policies website.  Please note that the Engineering Student Services Office (not the GENE Office) manages switches into GENE.

  1. If you have not yet successfully completed your first quarter at Cal Poly, you are not permitted to change our major.  You must successfully complete at least one full quarter at Cal Poly before you are allowed to switch majors.  There are no exceptions to this university rule.
  2. If you have successfully completed your first quarter at Cal Poly:  Please follow the Instructions for Changing Majors.  Not following these instructions will complicate and delay your switch.
  3. Please note that you must be in good academic standing in order to change majors.  If you want to switch into GENE, you must have at least a 2.0 Cal Poly cumulative GPA.  There are to exceptions to these conditions.

Please note that submitting an ICS form does not constitute switching into GENE.

ICS Form

Download a fillable ICS Form (PDF).

For GENE majors, it is important to have a current ICS form on file at the GENE Office (Bldg. 13 Room 263) and at the Engineering Student Services Office. This is because your academic progress is measured by successful completion of the courses you’ve listed on your ICS form, and your academic progress in turn affects your registration priority.

The ICS form may be filled out electronically using a fill-in PDF form (preferred) or by hand. If completed by hand, please fill out the form using ink (your form will not be processed if it is filled out in pencil).

An ICS form is shown below. Please read all of the numbered instructions below before filling out your ICS form. An example of an acceptable ICS form can be found below:

ICS example

 

Downloadable ICS Example (PDF).

1. Start by filling in your name, Cal Poly EMPL ID number, and your proposed graduation term.

ICS with labels

Downloadable ICS Form with Table Labels (PDF).

2. In the space next to “Catalog” (marked A), please fill in the years of the Cal Poly course catalog from which you are selecting your courses (see the left column of Table 1 for a list of catalog years). For example, if you are selecting your courses from the courses listed in the 2015 – 2017 Cal Poly course catalog, please write “2015 – 2017” in the space marked with an A. You may not select a course catalog that is earlier than the quarter of your first enrollment at Cal Poly. However, you may select any course catalog that includes a period that you were enrolled at Cal Poly.

3. In the space next to “Concentration” (marked B), please write a brief description (up to 3 words) of your course of study. Examples of this include “Sustainable Energy”, “Product Design”, “Engineering Entrepreneurship”, “Audio Engineering”, “Pre-Medical”, etc.

4. In Table 2, please list the courses you propose to take for your technical electives (e.g., ME 347) and the number of units for each course. The sum of the units of the courses you list in Table 2 must meet or exceed the number of units shown in Table 1 for the catalog you’ve selected. Please interpret the number of units listed in Table 1 as minima (for example, a minimum of 40 units of technical electives must be listed in Table 2, of which a minimum of 33 are at the 300 level or above, if you’ve selected to follow the 2015 – 2017 catalog).

Please note that General Education courses will typically not be approved as GENE technical electives because their technical level is usually not appropriate to serve as a technical elective. It is your responsibility to meet the prerequisites for any course you’ve listed in Table 2 by the time you enroll in that course. If you wish to enroll in a course without having completed all of its prerequisites, you must receive permission from the course instructor to do so. It is your responsibility to seek this permission from the course instructor; the GENE Director and Engineering Advising are not able to give you permission to enroll in a course.

5. Requests to substitute other course(s) for a GENE required course are listed in Table 3. The number of units of the course(s) that are requested as a substitute must equal or exceed the number of units of the GENE required course being substituted. In addition, the content of the course(s) that are requested as a substitute must be equivalent to the content of the GENE required course being substituted. You should consult the GENE Director if you are not sure whether the content of course(s) proposed for substitution is equivalent to the GENE required course.

If more than one course is being used to substitute for a GENE required course, please clearly indicate this by entering these courses on adjacent rows and using a bracket symbol { to group these courses together and point to the GENE required course for which they substitute. Courses may be “split”: for example, suppose you are requesting course X (2 units) + course Y (3 units) to substitute for a GENE required course with 4 units. Assuming that the content of course X + course Y is equivalent to the content of the GENE required course, you could substitute 2 units from course X + 2 units from course Y to substitute for the 4 units of the GENE required course. The extra 1 unit from course Y may be applied to your technical elective unit count (list the 1 unit from course Y in Table 2).

Note that double counting of units is not permitted: any units used to substitute for a GENE required course may not also be counted towards technical electives.

The GENE Director serves as the faculty advisor for all GENE majors and must approve your ICS form. It is not uncommon for the GENE Director to ask you to make revisions to your ICS and re-submit your revised ICS form. Please make sure your ICS form satisfies the checklist below before submitting it to the GENE Director to reduce the chances your ICS form will be returned to you for revision:

* Form has student’s name, EMPL ID number, proposed graduation term, catalog, and concentration

* Form is legible

* Form is filled out in ink or is filled out in PDF format

* All course numbers are correct

* The number of units for each course is correct

* The minimum number of technical elective units is met (see Table 1 in ICS form above)

* The distribution of technical elective units between upper and lower division courses meets requirements (see Table 1 in ICS form above)

* Appropriate technical elective(s) are selected. Examples of inappropriate technical electives include courses that don’t clearly support your course of study, courses for which you do not plan to complete the prerequisites, general education courses (since their technical content is not at an advanced level), and courses that are not offered.

* The number of units associated with substitute course(s) in Table 3 in the ICS form above must at least equal the number of units of the required GENE course for which you are requesting substitution. (Please refer to the GENE flowchart [link to GENE ICS flowchart] to determine the number of units for each required GENE course.)

* The content associated with substitute course(s) in Table 3 in the ICS form above is equivalent to the content of the required GENE course for which you are requesting substitution.

Completed ICS forms may be submitted to the GENE Office either electronically or in hard copy form. If submitted electronically, please send the completed electronic ICS form in PDF format or a scan (not a photograph) in PDF format of the completed hard copy of the form to gene@calpoly.edu. Completed ICS forms in hard copy format can be dropped off at or mailed to the GENE Office (13-263).

Academic Probation

If you are a GENE student who has been on Academic Probation more than once: Please visit the Academic Probation Support site.

To paraphrase from the video: Academic Probation is a wake-up call that you may be dismissed from Cal Poly if your academic performance does not improve. Please do not ignore this wake-up call. It is in your best interest to identify as soon as possible the factor(s) affecting your academic performance, and the action(s) that you commit to taking to improve your academic performance. While this may be unpleasant, the situation will likely become worse if appropriate and concerted action(s) are not taken in a timely manner.

Some things to consider as you identify the factor(s) affecting your academic performance and the action(s) for improving your academic performance:

  • Which factor(s) are within my control (either completely or partially) and which factor(s) are beyond my control? Focus your action(s) on the factor(s) over which you have complete or partial control.
  • Which factor(s) are one-time occurrences, and which factor(s) are recurring? For recurring factors: Are you able to predict when these factors will happen? If so, identify the triggers for these factors and focus your action(s) on eliminating or reducing the frequency and impact of these triggers.
  • What do you need to do in order for your grades to be an accurate reflection of your academic ability and performance? Focus your action(s) on meeting these needs.
  • Often identifying a support team can help you stay on track with your action(s) for academic improvement. This support team can be drawn from family, friends, mentors, members of the Cal Poly community, etc. Ask your support team members to periodically check in with you to make sure you are on track with your action(s).

While Cal Poly is committed to providing the maximum opportunity for students to earn a degree, it is not necessary that the degree must be an engineering degree. If poor grades in engineering and / or technical support courses are contributing to your Academic Probation status, please give careful consideration to whether engineering is a good fit for you. It is in your best interest to be as honest and as accurate as possible in assessing your interest in and aptitude for engineering. If you decide that you have the interest and aptitude to continue with engineering, it is important that you identify as soon as possible the factor(s) affecting your academic performance and the action(s) that you commit to taking to improve your academic performance to avoid being placed on Academic Probation again.

If you decide that you do not have the interest and / or aptitude to continue with engineering, please rest assured that you are *not* a failure. Rather, you have made the important decision to spend your time and energy pursuing a major that is a better fit for you – one where you can find success and fulfillment, which are ultimately the keys to a rewarding career.

Below are some resources that can help you get started on this new journey:

Self-Assessment Tools

Explore Cal Poly Majors

Learn More about Majors

Departments and Programs – Course Descriptions

Flowcharts

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