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Tools for Success

The First Day of Class | CFCC Students’ Advice | Advising | myCFCC

To help students succeed, CFCC has also provided the following:

  1. Reading prerequisites in most courses
  2. Developmental courses in math and English
  3. Mandatory labs with respective math courses and foreign language core courses
  4. A selected transfer list requiring no prerequisites and enabling students to take a full class load while completing developmental work
  5. Free tutorial assistance and access to computers in the Learning Lab at both campuses
  6. Delivery of selected courses via multiple formats–traditional or face-to- face, Internet, and hybrid (part face-to-face and part online)
  7. Evaluation of instruction (program reviews every five years, student evaluation of courses annually, and ongoing collaboration with UNC institutions and other NC community colleges, supervisor evaluation of faculty, updated editions of text, faculty participation in professional development activities)
  8. College Day–University of North Carolina (UNC) representatives on CFCC campus to distribute applications, brochures, course equivalencies, important dates, and souvenirs
  9. Special visits from UNC-Wilmington’s academic advisors in the fall and spring
  10. Special visits from UNC-Wilmington’s School of Education representatives
  11. ACA 122-College Transfer Success in each transfer program. (This one- credit hour, transferable course introduces students to the college’s facilities, policies and procedures, programs and services, and helps students develop study, note taking, time management, and test-taking skills.)

Additional Opportunities

Learning also occurs outside the classroom! Extracurricular activities help students develop quality leadership, a strong work ethic, social and critical thinking skills, and a sense of community:

  • Attend the Arts and Sciences forums and other presentations on academic topics, held spring and fall semesters. Some stimulating presentations have included “Evil,” “Happiness,” “Science and Religion,” “Truth,” “Political and Morality,” “Understanding Cultures,” “Tsunami,” and “Beauty,” “Constitution Day,” “Middle Eastern,” “Sex Matters Too,” “Being Human,” “Does Evolution Explain Human Nature,” “The Harlem Renaissance Comes to CFCC,” ” Climate Control:  Is it Hot, or is it Just Me?”, “Who Owns the Facts?, “Does It Really Matter? Or Why Vote?,” “The Forever War?:  The Israeli?Palestinian Conflict,” “Issues, Effect, and Framing In Relation to the Cold War,” “Old School vs. New School.”A Discussion on Gang Awareness,” “Women’s History Month Forum,” and “The Many Faces of Philanthropy.”
  • Join a club or an organization – Anthropology, Salt-n-Light, Cheerleading, Chorus, Drama, Jazz, Philosophy, Rotaract, Spanish, Geology, F.O.C.U.S. (Film), and Portals Literary and Arts Magazine; Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society (Alpha Chi Sigma); Student Government Association; Student Sea Devil Club, and Ambassadors.
  • Showcase your artwork at an art exhibit.
  • Read your poetry and fiction to the public or publish your work in the school’s literary magazine, Portals.
  • Participate in our free concerts.
  • Dazzle students and faculty by helping to produce a play (act; direct; design and build sets; construct and test lighting designs; construct costumes; apply makeup; produce sound; aid in promotion; sell tickets at the box office; and participate in story development, script writing, script analysis, casting, and technical direction).
  • Volunteer as a tutor in our Learning Lab and/or at surrounding schools.
  • Participate in the National Junior College Athletic Association sports: volleyball, women’s golf, women’s soccer, men’s soccer, men’s basketball, or men’s golf.

At CFCC, everyone helps shape the future! Make your experience at CFCC u-n-f-o-r-g-e-t-t-a-b-l-e!

What to Know About College: Advice from Students

If this is your first college experience, your expectations may be based on your high school memories. Many students struggle during the first semester or year because they do not understand what is expected of them. They may approach their educational experience the same as they approached their high school experiences.

This information may help you understand the college environment and work to your full potential.


Colleges require you to take responsibility for your progress, your attendance, and your performance.

Attendance Policy. College instruction is designed for students to learn by way of class attendance, and regular attendance is a key to academic success.  Attendance is based on class meetings and calculated from the first class meeting, not based on when the student enrolls in the class.  Students are expected to punctually attend all class sessions in the courses for which they are registered.  Late arrivals and/or early departures may count toward total absences in classes. Students who have not attended at least once by the 10 percent date of the class will be dropped by the instructor as a “No Show.”  No tuition or fee adjustments will be made.  For example:  A student enrolls in a three credit hour class totaling three meeting hours per week.  The class meets 16 weeks for a total of 48 hours during the semester.  Ten percent of this class would be 4.8 hours rounded to 5.  Therefore, the fifth class meeting would be the 10 percent point of the class

Within their respective departmental guidelines, instructors are responsible for stating their own course attendance and tardiness requirements on course syllabi distributed at the beginning of the academic term. It is the student’s responsibility to know and understand the attendance requirements for each instructor and to understand how attendance in class might affect his or her final grade.  Regardless of how attendance is used in grading, faculty are required to keep a timely record of attendance for each student through the end of the semester using a college approved record keeping software.

Attendance in online (Internet and Hybrid) courses is measured not only by completion of an initial log-in assignment (first 10% of the semester) but also by completion of the required coursework and/or online participation, as defined by the instructor on the course syllabus.  Hybrid courses, students MUST meet on the required meeting dates specified by the instructor (first class meeting, lab, etc.). See for course information.

Late Work. Some instructors will give extensions for assignments; many will not. It is up to you to balance your time to get all work in by the deadline. You may not be able to make up work you missed when you were absent, so your grade may suffer with every class you miss.

Extra credit is not usually offered. Aim for good grades on all your assignments.

You will need a much time outside of class to read and study. Readings for classes like English, history, and psychology are done outside of class. Please make use of the free resources provided by CFCC if you need additional help.

You will need to take good notes. In lecture classes, the instructor may write on the board or overhead, or he or she may lecture without writing. Either way, you should learn to recognize what is important. Develop a system for taking notes quickly–write down the key ideas only–because the instructor may not stop to repeat ideas. Again, the Learning Lab and the counselors offer free workshops on listening/notetaking skills. Please look out for dates and times.

You, not your parents, should contact instructors if you have problems or questions. While you can involve your parents in the process of your education, CFCC personnel are not legally allowed to discuss your information with your family without your consent.

Your instructor will not chase you to discuss your progress. If you miss an assignment, you must ask about it. Keep track of your major grades. Instructors do not have to remind you of your absences or deadlines. They expect you to do it yourself.

Unlike high school, where overall requirements may be the same for all students, requirements in college vary according to your major. Find out early what your requirements are, make a plan to meet them, and ask questions as often as needed to be sure you are getting what you need.

The First Day of Class

Instructors handle first days differently, but you should prepare in order to get a good start.

  • Find your classes early to reduce stress. If you are late or absent on the first day, you will miss important information.
  • If you purchase your books before the first class, SAVE YOUR RECEIPT. If you buy a book you don’t need or if you drop the class, you will need a receipt for a refund.
  • Bring a pen and a notebook to the first class meeting. You may be given an assignment.
  • Know the syllabus (course policy handout). The instructor may review some of the policies–if so, pay attention. Every instructor is different, and you will be held responsible all semester for following the class policies.
  • Ask questions. Be sure to understand what will be expected of you.

College Classes

Many students have unrealistic expectations of college because of what they have seen on television or heard from others.

  • CFCC is not an easy college! If you take a class here that transfers to a university, it will be taught the same way and the expectations will be the same.
  • Most classes are small–about 15-30 people.
  • Full-time faculty have office hours each week. You should always feel free to approach your instructors with questions or problems (or to say thanks!). Call ahead and schedule an appointment if you wish. While adjunct faculty are not required to maintain office hours, these faculty are required to indicate how they will be accessible outside of class.
  • Classes may be lecture format, discussions, small group work, hands-on, or a combination of the preceding.
  • Some classes may have many grades, which may include the following: essays, tests, quizzes, presentations, homework, and projects. Some classes may have two tests:  a midterm and a final.
  • There is no final exam week. Finals are given during class.


myCFCC, another important tool for success, is the official free e-mail address provided to students. It provides easy communication with instructors and fellow students and also helps keep you informed of news and activities at CFCC, such as your grades and important announcements.  You may access this account by visiting the CFCC website, clicking on the myCFCC link near the top of the page, and then following directions on the site to log in.

You will use your username as part of your email address: This email account is provided to you as long as you are enrolled in classes and may be used for personal email as well as academic email. You may keep your email account in the summer even if you are not enrolled in classes.


One of the great parts of college is planning your own schedule. You may choose classes and times. If you want to avoid the long registration lines, advising and pre-registration are the way to go.

  • Every entering student is assigned to an advisor sometime after regular registration but before the Advisement Period. When you first enter CFCC, you may be advised by a counselor or any transfer advisor. Later during the semester, you will be assigned a personal advisor. CFCC will notify you about the following via your CFCC email account: the name of your advisor and an explanation of the advising process.
  • Pay attention to the dates for the Advisement Period; the dates are located in the calendar section of the catalog. The Student Development Office will notify you about the advising period via your CFCC email account.
  • When you attend this advising meeting, bring a list of classes you plan to take. Your course schedule consultation will be faster and shorter!
  • Ask questions. You are ultimately responsible for knowing your transfer/graduation requirements and meeting them. Check the CFCC student Catalog and use the curriculum worksheet to plan your schedule.
  • In lieu of a face-to-face meeting, access the College Transfer Advising Website by sending your questions and course selections via email.

We want your experience at CFCC to be positive. Knowing the information above can help you get the most out of your time here!

Wilmington Campus
411 North Front Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
(910) 362-7000

North Campus
4500 Blue Clay Road
Castle Hayne, NC 28429
(910) 362-7700

Burgaw Center
100 East Industrial Drive
Burgaw, NC 28425
(910) 362-7900

Hours of Operation
Monday-Friday: 8:00am to 5:00pm

Accessibility Services

Cape Fear Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, political affiliation or age.