|How do I Apply to SAC?
|See Apply to SAC here!
|How do I register for Engineering Classes
See Enroll to SAC Classes here!
|Where do I buy books?
|Visit the Don Bookstore Website. Or online.
|What classes should I take first?
|Engr 100A is a great first course (or 100B if you are specifically interested in civil engineering).
First drafting classes:
Engr 183 (AutoCAD) for civil drafting
Engr 103 (Solidworks) for mechanical drafting
Engr 133 - first mechatronics class
|I have prior experience or have already taken similar courses. Can I get credit for that?
|Students may be eligible for credit if they have taken engineering classes at accredited ROP programs or high schools (click
HERE to see if your high school class is eligible)
Students may take a credit-by-exam to see their experience competencies
Students can transfer credits for classes taken at other colleges (use a Petition to Substitute or Waive form)
|How can I get free student-version CAD software?
|Check with your instructor. It depends on the particular software. Autodesk offers free student versions of their programs for students. SAC Engineering students can get a free student version of Solidworks (ask your instructor for codes).
|I am close to completing an engineering degree or certificate. I'm short 1 or 2 core courses but need to finish right away... can I substitute another class?
|Gen ed courses CANNOT be substituted (see a counselor about gen ed)
Core engineering courses MAY be substituted with a reasonable alternative. Contact the department Chair. He will ask about your career goals and what other engineering/engineering-related courses you have taken.
|Who can I contact for more information or questions?
|Email your the instructor of the applicable class, or contact the department Chair.
|What's the difference between an associate degree & certificate?
|Most of the programs in engineering have a degree or certificate option. In these cases, the "core" engineering classes are the same, but the associate degree also requires GENERAL EDUCATION coursework. This is at least 30 additional units and an additional year of full time work to complete.
For Gen ed, there are 3 plans (Plans A, B, and C). Per counseling the added gen ed units depend on the plan per below:
- PLAN A, 29-37 units (for associate degree & no plan to transfer)
- PLAN B, 41-48 units (for transfer to CSU)
- PLAN C, 39-50 units (for transfer to UC)
|Do I really need a degree or certificate?
In short... YES! Students are STRONGLY advised to complete degrees and certificates!
Degrees and certificates formalize your education and help you GET JOBS. Our programs are designed in consultation with industry so that they teach you the skills needed to obtain jobs.
We have had students who decided against completing a degree/cert because their current employer did not require it at that time. Later, they switched jobs or their company was taken over, and suddently they now needed the degree/cert. They were at risk for losing their jobs without it. Earned degrees/certificates can never be taken away & they can protect you from job loss
Consult with engineering faculty (esp the Chair) about what is the best engineering coursework to take. They know best. Counselors are helpful, but discipline-area faculty know their field the best.
|I've been told to focus on general education courses, complete a liberal arts degree and transfer. I was told that discipline-area courses, degrees, and certificates are a waste of time. Is this true?
|We disagree. Many times the people giving this advice do not have an engineering background and are not familiar with engineering career pathways. Here is what we suggest:
counselors to complete an "ed plan". Counselors are especially helpful at selecting general education coursework and to help strategize transfer to the university.
However, ALSO consult with the Engineering Dept Chair about selecting engineering courses to take! Engineering faculty know their programs and career pathways best (even better than counselors). We do agree that you should focus on transfer. More education means higher pay.
And of course students need to take SOME gen ed courses (note - you don't need to complete ALL gen ed courses to transfer!).
However, we strongly suggest you also take some engineering courses. They teach valuable JOB SKILLS. Even taking only 1 or 2 of these courses may be enough to help you land a paid internship, or perhaps entry-level work as CAD drafter or technician at an engineering firm. These jobs are great for students. The pay is better than random low-skill jobs. You build applicable experience that looks great on a resume (which helps you get that first engineering job!). You get to see and experience what it is really like working at an engineering firm. Many engineering companies support their workers' education & will work around your class schedule. Some engineering companies will even help pay for your schooling.
|I'm a transfer student. I mostly take math and science courses. Many of these CAD, drafting, or engineering technology courses don't transfer. Why should I take them?
|Transfer students also benefit from taking job-skills engineering courses. These courses may not transfer to the university, but they teach important skills that help you land your first engineering job!
Most universities don't have these jobs skills courses - it's not what they do.
It can be tough to get that first engineering job out of school. There will be stiff competition for the position (many applicants, one job). You need to set yourself apart. The applicant with more job skills and experience is more likely to land the job! A great applicant has on their resume:
1. Prior or current internship at an engineering firm
2. References from an engineering firm (e.g., an engineer or engineering dept manager)
3. Engineering-related certificate or degree (e.g., drafting or engineering technology)
4. Professional certifications (e.g., CSWA, CSWP, Autodesk Certiport)
5. List of valuable job skills/experience/coursework (examples below):
- proficient at Solidworks, CATIA, solid modeling
- knowledge: good drafting practices, GD&T (ASME Y14.5M)
- coursework in: machining, circuits, programming micro-controllers, sensors, motor control, rapid prototyping (3d printing, SLA, lasers), welding
- proficient at AutoCAD, Civil 3D, Revit,
- coursework in: civil drafting, surveying
- proficient at OrCAD (sorry we don't teach it),
- programming languages (C++, Python, Java, etc.);
- coursework in: micro-controllers, circuits
- experience in: oscilloscope, function generator, multi-meter, soldering
Note to transfer students - you do not need to complete every gen ed course to transfer, just a few of them (ask counselors which ones! Ask about the "Golden 4")
|What about financial aid?
|Financial aid may help you work less, which will help you succeed in school. But you must be careful about how to use financial aid, especially those of you who plan to transfer.
Please consult with the financial aid office about this!