FAQ for Faculty and Staff Advisors

Advisor FAQ

Student Advisement

What is a student's catalog year? Will it change due to semester conversion?

A student's catalog year determines the degree requirements a student must fulfill in order to graduate.  This so-called "contract year" between student and university governs all requirements-major, general education, university-for a student's graduation.  To find your catalog year, check your CAAR Report or consult with your academic advisor.  Your catalog year will not change due to semester conversion.  However, a student’s department may need to offer semester course substitutions for some former quarter courses as a result of conversion.

Will the Transition to Cal State LA (the 301 courses) be required courses for academic credit and if so, how many semester units will they be?

Given that Cal State LA does not have current policy on the Transition to Cal State LA course and given that faculty governance is considering a policy that would move away from offering the transition tools through classes for academic credit, departments should plan for not requiring a 301 course. We will need input from the Executive Committee before stating anything more definitive.

Since the 2-year schedules will be uploaded directly into CMS, do we need to send a copy to the Q2S Office?

All that is needed is an email confirming that each department has completed this task. Please send this email to either Katherine Chim or Richard Valenzuela

How Should Q2S Transition Students Schedule Coursework?

As we assist our “transition” students (students who will experience the transition from quarters to semesters), effective planning to ensure timely completion of university and degree program requirements is essential. We are currently encouraging and soon requiring students (via orientations, brochures and banners, social media, videos, student organizations, ASI presentations, and soon postcards and t-shirts), to speak with an academic advisor in regard to completing as many GE requirements as possible before semesters begin (Fall 2016), and also to complete their major course sequences before semesters begin.

Click >here< for the Plan for preparing bridge courses

All of my credits have been converted to semester units, and I need 0.5 or fewer semester units to graduate.  Do I need to take a 1 unit course in order to graduate?

For undergraduate students, a minimum of 120 semester units are required to graduate. If a student is short of the 120 units by only 0.5 or fewer units after unit conversion, they will be granted 0.5 units in order to meet their graduation unit requirement. Students will not be required to take an additional 1 unit course in this situation.

For graduate students, a minimum of 30 semester units are required to graduate. If a student is short of the 30 units by only 0.5 or fewer units after unit conversion, they will be granted 0.5 units in order to meet their graduation unit requirement. Students will not be required to take an additional 1 unit course in this situation.


General Education Advisement

Coming Soon

Coming Soon

FAQ Tuition and Financial Aid

How will Semester Conversion affect my tuition and Financial Aid?

   It may seem at first more expensive if you look at it as a per term cost. Fall Semester 2016 will be more costly than Fall Quarter 2015. This is because you are attending two sessions a year vs. the three under a quarter calendar. If you compare the costs of paying for a year in a quarter system and the costs for paying for a year in a semester system you will see the costs are pretty much equal. Yes, Fall 2016 will be more expensive than Fall 2015 but Academic Year 2016-2017 should be the same as Academic Year 2015-2016 provided there are no state mandated increases to tuition or associated costs.

   Financial aid recipients will see an adjustment in their award packages to accommodate this difference. Consult with the Student Financial Aid Office to see what changes are in store for your aid packages.

Fall Semester 2016 Tuition and Fees Estimates

Currently under the quarter system basic student tuition per quarter is the same for 1-6 units (as part-time students), and a higher rate for more than 6 quarter units. Will this be the same for semester units? That is, is it true that a student will pay the same basic tuition per semester for 1-6 semester units, and a higher rate for more than 6 semester units?

   Yes, under the semester system this same fee structure will apply. See CSU Fee Schedules.

Faculty FAQ

Faculty Workload

What will be the maximum number of units that Teaching Assistants (TAs) can teach under the semester system?

TAs normally teach up to 20 hours per week (0.5 FTE, or 7.5 units). Under unusual circumstances TAs may teach a higher load. This will not change under semesters.

What will be the maximum number of units that part-time instructors can teach under the semester system?

Part-time instructors in the CSU are limited to a maximum of a 15 unit assignment per campus. The Cal State LA campus has a separate understanding with CFA that faculty may teach up to 16 units and be paid for the 16th unit. There are no current plans to change this under the semester calendar.

Will there be any flexibility for teaching assistant (TAs) and part-time instructors groups, as with tenure-track faculty, to teach a few extra units one semester and fewer in the next semester?

TAs may teach beyond 0.5 FTE under unusual circumstances, but in no case may they exceed full time employment in a given semester. Part-time instructors may not exceed the 16 unit limit in a given semester.

What will my workload as a faculty member be like under the semester system?

All work assignments will be in accord with the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Current campus practice with regard to the use of Weighted Teaching Units (WTUs) to guide the appropriateness of instructional assignments, and compensation of temporary faculty, will continue, including assignment of additional WTUs for large lecture classes consistent with current University practice.

The Provost's Message on Semester Conversion (October 21, 2013) addressed the number of courses to be taught by permanent faculty under the semester calendar. In short, it is expected that after conversion, tenured and tenure-track faculty will see a reduction in the number of courses they teach in a given year. While the expectation is a 4-4 teaching load, the Provost is committed to working with the Deans to support reassigned time for faculty who are active in basic and applied research, scholarship, and creative activities (RSCA), and those requiring significant engagement with community-based projects.

In addition, the Deans and Provost will seek ways to support (up to 3 WTUs per semester per faculty member), typically low enrollment courses that enhance student success and involve significant engagement with students (for example, supervision courses such as cooperative education, directed study, and thesis/project classes).

It may be necessary to take a phased approach to this initiative, based on available resources and other considerations. For the complete text of the Provost's Memo, see Semester Conversion (October 21, 2013)

Program Policy

Are there minimum and maximum numbers of units for graduate programs?

Minimum: 30 semester units
Maximum: None

Are there minimum and maximum numbers of units for a thesis or project?

Minimum: 3 semester units
Maximum: 6 semester units

What is the policy on Program Suspension and Discontinuance during conversion?

As you recall one of the principles guiding Q2S is the following:

“No academic programs will be discontinued as a result of a conversion to semesters except through ordinary program discontinuation procedures, as prescribed in Chapter IV of the Faculty Handbook.”

However, we are learning that although departments have decided to suspend or discontinue programs and not convert them to semesters, they are often unwilling to do the paperwork necessary for the process to proceed.  Nonetheless the process needs to be followed for at least the following important reasons:

  1. The process protects faculty;
  2. The process protects students who need to be “taught out” of their programs;
  3. The process protects other academic programs that may be dependent on the program or elements of the program; and
  4. CSU Mentor needs to accurately reflect the programs that are open for application/admission at Cal State LA.

We in Academic Affairs will facilitate the paperwork necessary for the process and thus alleviate faculty of the sometimes onerous task.  HOWEVER, the process requires a vote by the contributing faculty to the program.  This you must hold.
If you have any questions, direct them to David Connors, Director of Academic Programs and Accreditation

Faculty Compensation

What is the replacement rate for faculty under the Semester Calendar?

Based on current rates: The replacement rate for faculty after the conversion will be $1,716.00 per unit.