Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is SMC First Class?
SMC First Class is a way for you to experience the College, its faculty, and students before you even graduate from high school. Better yet, it is a way for you to get a valuable four-credit course for free! Eligible high school students can take one hybrid course during the spring semester of their senior year.
2. Which courses are offered in SMC First Class?
Students may choose to take one of five courses profiled in detail in the course information on the main page.
3. How will this course be different from my high school courses?
SMC First Class is a bona fide college course taught by a Saint Michael’s College faculty member. Students are expected to spend time carefully preparing for class by completing course readings, online discussions, and other assignments. Time spent with classmates and faculty members is devoted to discussing and making meaning of the course content together. Our faculty members bring a passion for sharing their discipline with you, and expect you to bring strong organization and time management skills as well as a willingness to reach out for assistance when necessary. We also recognize that you will be completing SMC First Class courses during the high school semester, so we have designed the online portion of the courses with flexibility in mind.
4. How will this course be different from other courses I’ll take at Saint Michael’s College?
Most courses at Saint Michael’s are taught in-person in a seminar discussion, laboratory, or lecture style. SMC First Class includes much more class discussion, faculty interaction, and course work conducted online through our Canvas learning management system.
5. Who is eligible to enroll in SMC First Class?
Students must receive an offer of admission to Saint Michael’s College under one of our Early Action deadlines (November 1 or December 1, 2019) prior to enrolling in SMC First Class. Registration is limited to current high school seniors or PG students.
6. Is there a maximum capacity for SMC First Class?
Yes, each course does have a cap, so registration is on a space-available basis. Please plan to register as soon as you have decided to take the course.
7. Are there additional prerequisites for students who wish to enroll in SMC First Class?
Though test scores are optional for admission to Saint Michael’s College, we request that students enrolling in SMC First Class do submit SAT or ACT scores. This added measure of college readiness helps us ensure that SMC First Class participants are prepared for college level work during their senior year of high school. We also ask students to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, available on October 1 at www.fafsa.ed.gov or let us know that you will not be applying for aid.
8. If I receive learning accommodations for an IEP or 504 plan at my high school, how does that work for SMC First Class?
If you are a student with a documented learning difference/hindrance and wish to explore accommodations, please contact Antonia Messuri at email@example.com. Please share the nature of your learning strengths/challenges with your professor too.
9. How do I register?
Please register via the Admitted Student Portal once you have received an offer of admission. We will then send you course information and technology credentials for our Canvas learning management system. You will be registered as a non-matriculating student which gives you access to all of our learning management software, email, the student portal, etc.
10. Is there a registration deadline?
You must register by February 1, but we encourage you to register earlier as we register students on a space-available basis.
11. Is there a course fee?
SMC First Class is a free course so there is no charge to take the course. If you choose to enroll at Saint Michael’s, we will apply earned credits toward your Saint Michael’s College undergraduate program at no charge. Students who complete the course successfully but wish to transfer the credits to another college or university will be asked to pay a credit transfer fee of $1500. The fee to transfer these credits would be waived for students eligible for a Pell Grant, based on the 2020-2021 FAFSA.
12. Can I take more than one SMC First Class course?
Due to the fact that this is a bona fide, rigorous college level course, students are limited to one SMC First Class course.
13. How much time per week will I spend on this course?
That depends a lot on how you are as a student and what you are currently involved in. This course is in addition to your current school work and extracurricular involvement. You will need to find a minimum of 6-8 hours per week to devote exclusively to this class.
14. Do I need my parent or college counselor’s permission to take an SMC First Class course?
No, but it would be a good idea to talk about it with them to get feedback and support.
15. I was notified that my application was deferred to regular decision. Am I still eligible to take an SMC First Class course?
Only students who have been officially admitted during early action can register for an SMC First Class. If your application was deferred to our regular decision round it was likely due to the fact that we would like to see more grades and progress in your high school curriculum, so that is where you should be putting your effort.
16. What are the dates for SMC First Class?
Students will receive logon credentials for the Canvas learning management system in early February and will be expected to access Canvas the week of February 10 to download a pre-reading assignment. Course instructions will begin the week of February 17 and faculty are planning for assignments due that week. The first week of the course concludes with our Saturday, February 22 admitted student program and Sunday, February 23 on-campus class day. Class on Sunday, February 23 will run from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. where you will meet your instructor and classmates and formally begin the course. Courses will conclude by late April.
17. Which parts of the course meet online vs. on campus?
Course participants must be able to attend the first class meeting on the morning of Sunday, Feb. 23, the day after our Select St. Mike’s Saturday Open House. We are not able to provide overnight accommodations to accepted students on the Saturday night prior to the course meeting. For participants who will be traveling from out-of-state, we encourage you and your family to book hotel accommodations at one of our hotel partners listed at www.smcvt.edu/hotels.
18. What happens if I earn a bad grade?
Our faculty members are committed to supporting you through SMC First Class to ensure your success but if you have never taken a college course before, you may be surprised by the rigor and the pace. We want you to have a great experience, but if you find that you cannot keep up or are struggling, you ultimately have the option to take the course on a Pass/Fail basis. You can also drop the course any time before April 15. A low grade or a dropped course will not affect your admission decision in any way.
19. Will SMC First Class credits meet requirements if I enroll at Saint Michael’s College?
All SMC First Class courses come out of the Saint Michael’s College course catalog and can be applied to your undergraduate program at Saint Michael’s.
20. If I attend St. Mike’s will my course credit and grade be reflected in an SMC GPA?
Yes, you will start your St. Mike’s academic career with whatever letter grade and corresponding grade point average that you earned in the course. So, for example, if you earn an A in your First Class course, you will begin your SMC academic career with a 4.0 grade point average. Conversely, if you earn a D in the course you will begin your academic career at SMC with a 1.0 grade point average. It is important that you think about the time involved in the course so that you can do well. We want you to be successful, which is why there is an extended deadline for you to drop the course or to take it Pass/Fail.
21. If I choose to attend another college or university, will my credits transfer?
The receiving college or university makes the final determination about your eligibility to transfer any credits. The same rule holds true for AP or dual enrollment courses offered through your high school. Because SMC First Class courses are offered in our catalog and Saint Michael’s College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, SMC First Class courses are regular college courses that should be eligible for the receiving college’s regular transfer credit procedures. As noted above, students who complete the course successfully but wish to transfer the credits to another college or university will be asked to pay a credit transfer fee of $1500. The fee to transfer these credits would be waived for students eligible for a Pell Grant, based on the 2020-2021 FAFSA.