Dual Credit College Survival Guide | BCTC

Dual Credit College Survival Guide

College differs from high school in many ways. The major difference is the management of time. In college, you will be responsible for managing your own time (due dates, test dates, reading assignments, etc.).

The primary differences between high school and college are outlined in the following table.

  High School College
Personal Freedom
  • Mandatory
  • Others structured your time
  • Teachers will remind you of responsibilities
  • Voluntary
  • You structure your time
  • You must balance your responsibilities
  • Outside of class, you may have spent as little as 2 hours a week studying
  • Assignments are discussed and re-taught in class
  • Usually told in class what you need to learn from assignments
  • Outside of class, you should expect to study for 2-3 hours for each class hour
  • Assignments may not be directly addressed in class
  • You must read and understand the assigned material for yourself
  • Frequent and covers small amount of material
  • Make-up tests are often possible
  • Test dates are often rearranged to avoid conflict with events or other courses
  • Mastery of course content is usually seen as the ability to reproduce what you were taught or to solve the kinds of problems you were shown how to solve
  • Infrequent and may cover large amounts of material (cumulative)
  • Make-up tests are seldom possible
  • Tests will be scheduled without regard to the demands of other courses or activities
  • Mastery of course content is usually seen as the ability to apply what you have learned to new situations or to solve new kinds of problems
  • Given for most assigned work
  • Good homework grades may help raise overall grade when test grades are low
  • Extra credit is often available to help increase your grade
  • Initial test grades may not affect final grade
  • May not be given for all work
  • Grades on tests and major papers usually provide most of the course grade
  • Extra credit is typically not offered
  • Initial tests are often used as "wake-up calls" for expectations
  • You spend 6 hours each day (30 hours a week) in class
  • The school year is 36 weeks long; some classes extend over both semesters and some do not
  • Teachers carefully monitor attendance
  • You are provided with textbooks at little or no expense
  • You are not responsible for knowing what it takes to graduate
  • You spend 12 to 16 hours each week in class
  • The academic year is divided into two separate 16-week semesters
  • Professors may not formally take roll
  • You need to budget substantial funds for textbooks
  • You must know your graduation requirements, which differ by major and sometimes by year
Teachers (or in college, Professors)
  • Check your completed homework
  • Remind you of your incomplete work
  • Approach you if they believe you need assistance
  • Are often available for conversation before, during, or after class
  • Have been trained in teaching methods to assist in imparting knowledge to students
  • Provide you with information you missed when you were absent
  • May not always check completed homework
  • May not remind you of incomplete work
  • Most expect you to initiate contact if you need assistance
  • Expect and want you to attend their scheduled office hours for conversation
  • Have been trained as experts in their particular area of research or academic discipline
  • Expect you to get from classmates any notes from classes you missed

Since college is a new experience, there may be some unfamiliar terms. The following is a list of terms associated with college and their definitions.

  • Associate Degree - The Associate Degree is granted upon completion of a program of at least 2, but less than 4, years of full-time equivalent college work. Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees are conferred upon students who successfully complete programs designed for transfer to a senior college. The Associate Degree requires completion of a minimum of 60 credit hours, including general education courses along with courses within a specific program of student, with a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 (a "C" average).
  • Bursar Office - The Bursar Office, also known as the Business Office, is responsible for all financial transactions of the college.
  • Course Numbers - All courses are identified by numbers usually containing 3 digits, for example Freshman English might by 101. The first digit indicates the class year in which the subject is usually taken. A course number beginning with a "0" indicates that it does not carry credit hours applicable to a degree.
  • Credit Hour - A unit of measure that represents an hour of instruction that can be applied to the total number of hours needed for completing the requirements of a degree, diploma, certificate, or other formal award. Courses taken in college are usually measured in terms of credit hours. To earn one credit hour, a student must attend a class for one classroom hour (usually 55 minutes) per week for the whole semester (usually 15 weeks).
  • Degree Requirements - Those requirements prescribed by institutions for completion of a program of study are generally termed degree requirements. Requirements may include a minimum number of hours, required Grade Point Average (GPA), prerequisite and elective courses within the specified major and/or minor areas of study.
  • Electives - Credit courses of choice which may be taken for credit toward a degree of certificate in any curriculum. They may be chosen from a wide variety of courses.
  • Enroll/Register - This is the procedure by which students choose classes each semester.
  • Final Exams (Finals) - These exams are usually given during the last week of classes each semester. The type of final administered in a course is left to the discretion of the instructor. Final exams are given on specified dates, which may be different than the regular class time, and are usually listed in each semester's class schedule.
  • Full-time Enrollment - A full-time student is enrolled in 12 or more credit hours in a semester. A part-time student is enrolled in less than 12 credit hours in a semester.
  • Grade Point Average (GPA) - Your grade point average is the equivalent of your average for curriculum course work. Each letter grade has an equivalent point value: A = 4, B = 3, C = 2, D = 1, E =0. You can determine the grade points fo reach course by multiplying the number of points a grade is worth times the number of credits the course carries. So a "B" grade (worth three points) in a three-credit course is worth 9 grade points; and an "A" in that same course would be worth 12 points. The grade point average is found by adding the total grade point values for all courses and and dividing by the total number of credits attempted during the same period of time.
  • Hold - A hold is placed on a student's academic record when an outstanding obligation, monetary or material occurs. The Hold is released when the obligation has been satisfactorily met. Any person who has a HOld placed on their record will not be allowed to register, receive transcripts, or receive any other services from the college until the Hold is released.
  • Hybrid Classes - A hybrid course is one that combines online learning (accessible from the Web) and face-to-face instruction. The schedule and structure (which includes online assignments and discussion forums as well as required labs) can significantly vary from one class to another.
  • Midterm Exams (Midterms) - During the middle of each semester, instructors may give mid-term exams that test students on the material covered during the first half of the semester. Some classes have only two tests, a mid-term and a final.
  • Prerequisite Courses - This is a condition or requirement that must be met before enrolling in a course.
  • Schedule of Classes - Colleges prepare a Class Schedule for each semester during the previous semester.
  • Syllabus - The syllabus includes college, division, and departmental information and explains expectations, policies and requirements for a particular course.
  • Transcript - The transcript is a permanent academic record. It may show courses taken, grades received, academic status, and honors received. The college will not release the transcript of a student who owes any money to the college.
  • Withdrawal - When a student drops a course(s) after the published add/drop period in a given semester. Dual Credit students can only withdraw from courses through their Campus Dual Credit Contact in conjunction with their High School Counselor. Withdrawing from a course required for high school graduation will adversely impact a student's academic career.

If I am going to be absent from on campus class?

Prior to class, send an email to your college instructor(s) using your KCTCS email account. On the first day of class, each instructor will have provided you with a course syllabus that includes their contact information.

The Dual Credit staff will not contact your instructor(s) for you. Remember, email is the official form of communication and it MUST come from your KCTCS account.

If the BCTC campus is closed but my high school is not?

If the BCTC camps you attend is closed, there is no need to come to campus. You are still required to attend your regular high school classes at your high school if in session.

If my high school is closed, but the BCTC campus is not?

If the BCTC campus you attend is open and holding classes on a regular schedule, you are required to attend. For example, if BCTC closes for Spring Break in April and your high school closes Spring Break in March, you are expected to be in college classes during your high school Spring Break.

If there is snow, inclement weather, or an emergency?

BCTC seldom closes because of inclement weather or emergencies. If a campus is closed, that information will be posted on the BCTC website or found through local broadcast media such as WKYT, WLEX, etc. Typically, the decision to close is made early in the morning.

You should always check your KCTCS email for additional information from your campus or instructor

Closing and delay information is available from the following sources:

You can activate your account through the "User Account Center" online.

  1. Click on "Setup User Profile"
  2. Enter your:
    • Birth month
    • Birth day
    • KCTCS ID (found on your printed schedule, admissions letter, or BCTC student ID)
  3. Verify your identity by having a code sent to your personal email address OR mobile phone number
  4. You will receive your User Name and create your password. The username will be the first letter of your first name, your last name, and a series of four numbers. For example, bsmith0012. Write it down!

This User name and the password you created will be your login for Student Self Service, KCTCS email account, Blackboard, and access for campus computers.

  1. Go to the bookstore website and choose "Textbooks" from the options at the top of the page.
  2. Choose your campus from the dropdown box
  3. Find your course textbooks by entering the department (e.g. ENG), course (e.g. 101 or 110), and section (e.g. 6401) information for your classes.
    • All your course information can be found on your schedule and registration form.

Some courses do not have a textbook. For example, MAT150 students will pay for access to MyMathLab which includes an electronic textbook (ebook). THis program is not purchased at the Bookstore; it is part of the tuition for the class and will need to be paid for through Student Self-Service.

Kentucky Community and Technical College System's (KCTCS) official method of correspondence with students is via the assigned KCTCS email address. As a student of BCTC, you agree to be responsible for regularly (not less than once per week) accessing your KCTCS assigned email account and for taking any required actions indicated in official college correspondence sent this way.

Dual Credit students are expected to observe the same Financial Responsibilities as other BCTC students.

  1. Log into Student Self-Service
  2. Select the "Account Balance" tile
  3. From the left-hand menu, you have the option to view the "Account Balance Due Now", "Make a Payment", or view "Charges Due".
  4. Select "Make a Payment", which will open the payment process. Follow the instructions on screen and complete each step.
  5. Select the payment method from the dropdown list.
  6. Confirm your payment amount displayed.
  7. This may bring up a third party page if you are paying with Credit Card or a similar method. Enter your credit card account number and information.
  8. A payment summary will be displayed for accuracy. If everything looks correct, Submit the payment.
  9. The Payment Result screen will then display with confirmation details. Click the exit button in the upper left-hand corner.
  10. Your balance will be updated.
  11. Click the Home icon to return to the Student Homepage.

Academic Calendars for each semester include important dates including semester start and end dates, add/drop deadlines, holidays, and exam schedules. 

View the academic calender for your semester and make a note of the important dates!

BCTC offers a variety of resources to help with you succeed.

Library Services

Our Library Services are available even if you are off-campus. The majority of their resources can be accessed online.


BCTC offers free Tutoring Services if you find yourself falling behind, having trouble with tests, or just want some help with your courses.

Find out more about tutoring and availability on the Tutoring Center's website.

Disability Support Services (DSS)

BCTC's DSS office provides a full range of services to those with disabilities with the goal to ensure equal access and full participation.

Learn about all that DSS offers on their website.