Carl Sandburg Student Success Guide 
    May 20, 2024  
Carl Sandburg Student Success Guide

Schedule Planning Guide

Building Your Class Schedule

Here are some tips to make sure you get the most out of your classes:

  • Study the course schedule on the website, which lists each class being offered, the time, the format, location and instructor (if available).
  • Meet with your advisor for valuable assistance and information unique to your degree plan.
  • Take classes in the correct sequence.
  • Check the course descriptions for any prerequisite courses/important information.
  • During registration, classes fill on a first-come, first-served basis. Have some alternative classes in mind in case your first choices are full.
  • Students who plan to transfer to a four-year university should follow the degree plan from their

anticipated transfer institution. To gather the best information, contact your transfer school as early as possible for advice on what courses will transfer toward your degree and to become familiar with any transfer equivalency guides, articulation agreements and Sandburg’s core curriculum guide.

Starfish Early Alert

Sandburg uses Starfish to communicate with students regarding their academic progress. The purpose of Starfish is to communicate with students EARLY in the semester and to keep you informed of your progress in your class. The system is not intended to punish you for poor performance. Starfish promotes success in the classroom.

Why Do We Use Starfish?

We want all Sandburg students to successfully complete their degrees or certificates. The Starfish software allows faculty to easily communicate their concerns and progress notes to you as well as the staff in your Success Network. This is a group of people at Sandburg concerned with your success. This includes all of the current faculty members, your advisor, student success coach and, if you are an athlete, your coach.

  • You need to check your Sandburg email routinely.
  • Your instructor will send you a flag or a kudo through the Starfish program.
  • You can also set up text alerts to go to your mobile phone notifying you when you receive a flag or kudos.

Request Help Through Starfish

Starfish has a feature called “Request Help” that allows students to be proactive in seeking assistance. Login to your Starfish account, click on the menu button, and then select “Request Help” on the left side navigation.

Strategies for Academic Success

At Carl Sandburg College, we want you to achieve your goal of graduating with a college degree or certificate. Here are a few steps you may take to help make your path to success easier:

  • Go to class prepared for the discussion and ask questions to clarify the information.
  • Meet with your instructors after class or during their office hours for additional help.
  • Go to the Tutoring Center or use our 24-hour online tutoring through Brainfuse for assistance with course material. You can find a Brainfuse link in mySandburg.
  • Meet with your academic advisor to discuss your concerns and update them on your academic progress.
  • Form a study group with other students in the class to prepare for tests.
  • Check your Sandburg email every week for Champ the Charger emails and Starfish emails from your instructor.
  • At the first indication you might have a problem with a class, speak with your instructor; they are your best resource! If you have a personal concern, contact Student Services to speak with a counselor or use TimelyCare for 24/7 medical and emotional support. Find the link in mySandburg.

Calculate Your Study Time

Use the following form to calculate the number of hours you will need to attend class and study. Use this to help you decide the number of credit hours you will take and meet with an advisor or counselor for additional help.

Number of hours in a week   168
Number of hours a night you sleep x 7 =  -  
Number of hours per week you work  -  
Number of hours per week you are in class  -  
Number of hours per week spent commuting to school/work  -  
Number of hours per week spent preparing and eating meals  -  
Number of hours per week spent on personal hygiene  -  
Number of hours per week spent with your family/providing childcare  -  
Number of hours per week spent doing household chores or errands such as grocery shopping  -  
Number of hours per week spent on recreation or fun activities  -  
Miscellaneous weekly activities such as visits to the doctor’s office  -  
  Total potential time left for study  



Planning Your Study Time

Students should study between two and four hours a week for every credit hour they are taking. Most classes are three or four credit hours. Around midterms and finals, you will likely study a minimum of four hours per week for every credit hour you are taking. Calculate a high and low range of study time. Number of credit hours taken this semester x 2 hours = low range Number of credit hours taken this semester x 4 hours = high range

EXAMPLE MAT 109 3 credits

ENG 101 3 credits

SOC 101 3 credit

ART 111 3 credits

PHL 100 3 credits

Total 15 credits