Academic Advising

Academic Advising

Academic Advising services are available by appointment or on a drop in basis.

For more information on our drop in hours or to schedule an appointment online, please review the Academic Advising Appointments web page.

Academic Advising

Academic Advising by Field of Interest (FOI)

Our Academic Advising team is committed to helping you succeed over the course of your college career at South Mountain Community College (SMCC).

Academic advisors are professional staff who help students understand the requirements for their associate’s degree or certificate pathway.

  • Fields of Interest (FOI) organize degrees and certificates into groupings that share similar areas of study.
  • You will work with a specific academic advisor based on your degree pathway and Field of Interest. Meet Our Staff | South Mountain Community College

The preferred method for academic advising is by appointment, so we encourage you to plan ahead.

How to contact the Field of Interest (FOI) Academic Advising team

  • General Inquiries: Email advise@southmountaincc.edu from your Official Maricopa Student email account.
  • Schedule an appointment online and review Field of Interest advising walk-in hours on campus: southmountaincc.edu/aaa.
  • Staff contact information is available on our webpage.

Academic Advising

Review available degree and certificate pathways on the web: Degrees and Certificates | South Mountain Community College

  1. Associate in Applied Science (AAS) Degrees (Occupational Pathways)
    • Designed for students who intend to enter the workforce immediately following graduation from their program. 60 + credits (varies)
    • Not designed to meet all of the general education requirements of a bachelor’s degree program.
    • If you want to transfer, meet with your academic advisor to discuss your plan and any additional requirements you may need to prepare for transfer (if that is your goal!)
  2. Certificates
    • A Certificate prepares you for entry-level work in your chosen field and requires fewer classes than the associate’s degree or university transfer options.
    • There are several types of certificates available, including career, trade, and academic certificates.
    • Sometimes, credits earned in a certificate program can often be used toward an associate’s degree. For more information, work with your advisor.
    • Some certificates are not financial aid eligible.
  3. Associate Degrees with emphasis (Designed for University Transfer)
    • Earned after completing at least 60 credit hours of required courses at a community college.
    • Upon transfer to the university, a student with an associate degree should need only an additional 60 university credit hours to complete a bachelor’s degree (120 credits).
    • The Arizona General Education Curriculum (AGEC) is the foundation of the degree (35-37 credits).

  1. Identify the degree or certificate pathway that you want to study at SMCC.
    • Review available degree and certificate pathways on the web: Degrees and Certificates | South Mountain Community College
    • Still unsure about which pathway to pursue? Create an account with Maricopa Pipeline AZ. You can complete a career interest assessment to identify your top three Fields of Interest (FOI), including related careers and education and training options available at the Maricopa County Community Colleges.
  2. Be prepared to discuss your career interests and goals.
  3. Complete required pre-enrollment steps.
    • If you want to register for classes after meeting with your Academic Advisor, it is important to complete the required pre-enrollment steps. Review the Pre-Enrollment steps section for more information.
    • First time college students (including all recent high school graduates) receive academic advising and registration support through our New Student Orientation program.
    • Transfer students (students transferring from a college or university outside of the Maricopa County Community College District). Enrollment Steps | South Mountain Community College
  4. Establish your financial plan.
    • When you enroll in a class, you are accepting financial responsibility for the tuition and fees associated with the class. You will secure your classes by making a plan to pay your tuition by the due date using one or more of the following methods: Ways to Pay | Maricopa Community Colleges
    • Pay for College with Financial Aid. SMCC offers in person and online support to students to help you apply for Federal Financial Aid, for more information, please visit Paying for College and Financial Aid.
  5. Think about your outside commitments (work/family obligations) and how that will impact the scheduling of your courses.
    • Each course is assigned a credit value which indicates how many credit hours that class counts towards your degree requirements.
    • Most classes are worth three credit hours.
    • Science classes with labs are worth four credit hours.
    • Part - time enrollment: 11 credit hours or less (2-3 classes)
    • Full-time: 12+ credit hours (4 or more classes)
    • Time - Study Formula: For every 1 hour of in class time per week, dedicate 2 hours of study time