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Policies and Procedures

 

Transfer of Course Policy 

In order to transfer legal specialty courses from another institution the following policy will be observed: 

1.      The other institution must be accredited by a recognized regional accrediting agency and approved by the American Bar Association.

2.      The course description must be comparable to the course description at Santa Ana College.

3.      The unit value or hours must be comparable to the unit value at Santa Ana College.

4.      Students may not substitute any course for Para 248 Advanced Research and Writing, Para 121 Ethics or Para 297 The Professional Paralegal.

5.      Students must submit the Santa Ana College “Petition to substitute or waive major requirements for degrees and certificates” form along with the course syllabus from the instructor at the other institution, a copy of the course description at the other institution and a certified copy of the student’s transcript showing a grade of C or better.  A credit/no credit or pass/fail grade will not be accepted.

6.      The Department director/chair shall review the submitted material and any other material available to determine if the coursework meets the same rigor and preparation as the Santa Ana course work.

7.      The decision of the Department director/chair shall be final.

8.      Students are not allowed to test out of or waive legal specialty courses with the following exception:  Students who are experienced the use of legal application software may test out of Computers in the Law Office; however they are required to take a substitute course such as Advanced Microsoft Office in order to receive an approval of the waiver petition.  If a student feels they will not benefit from an elective course due to their experience, they are advised to take a different elective.

Students must complete at least 12 semester units in legal specialties at Santa Ana College, including Para 100, Para 101, Para 121, Para 248 and Para 297 in order to receive a degree from the college.

Students must petition the Paralegal Department Director/Chair for consideration for credit of legal specialty courses and must provide relevant transcripts and course descriptions.  The student shall submit the form to the business division office.

The Paralegal Department Director/Chair, in consultation with the dean will approve or deny the form and forward to the graduation office.  

Paralegal Degree Policy on General Education Requirements

The Paralegal program at Santa Ana College is approved by the American Bar Association.  The American Bar Association has specific guidelines the program must meet in order to be in compliance with the guidelines and to maintain the program approval.  Students who graduate with a degree in Paralegal Studies or who meet the qualifications for a paralegal certificate must meet the following general education criteria. 

1.      The student must satisfy the general education requirements under either plan A,B or C as set forth in the College Catalog.  These units may be used to satisfy section 2 below. 

2.      The student is required to have a minimum of 18 semester units of  general education that meet the criteria of the American Bar Association as set forth below: 

1. A general education course is an academic college-level course designed to give students a broadly based liberal arts education. This definition of general education may differ from the definition adopted by a particular institution or a particular accrediting agency.

a. A general education course ordinarily provides the students with critical reasoning and writing skills.

b. Such courses are usually in the areas of social and behavioral science, English composition and literature, foreign language, mathematics, humanities, natural science, and the fine arts.

c. Courses specifically designed to develop professional, vocational, and technical skills or that are remedial in nature are not classified as general education.

d. Examples of courses that are not classified as general education include, but are not limited to, physical education, performing arts, accounting, computers, technical writing, business mathematics, business English, keyboarding, and business law. 

2. Within the requirement for 18 semester credits or the equivalent of general education course work, students must take courses in at least three disciplines, such as social sciences, natural sciences, mathematics, humanities, foreign language, and English. 

1.      Courses listed in the Santa Ana College Catalog that meet the requirement of part 1 which may not be used to satisfy part 2 include but are not limited to the following:

All computer science courses, E.S. Professional 140, Fashion Design Merchandising 103, all courses listed under Plan A F2 and Plan B E2.

The student shall be required to certify with the graduation department, completion of courses that meet the ABA definition of general education.  Any general education courses passed by credit by examination may not be used to satisfy the 18 units of general education required by the American Bar Association.

Santa Ana Paralegal Department Policy on Credit by Examination and Pass/Fail.

No paralegal course may be taken by credit by examination with the following exception:

The department chair at his/her sole discretion may allow a substitution for the Paralegal 120 Computer in the Law Office Course.  If a student is able to demonstrate to the department chair, to the department chair’s satisfaction, that the student has the skill sets being taught in the class, then the student may enter into an education plan to satisfy that requirement.  The education plan will include one or more advanced Microsoft class (Word, Excel etc.)

 

Policy on Course Substitution/Waiver Petitions

It is the departmental policy to deny petitions to waive or to substitute program requirements.  The course work that is outlined in the program is approved by the advisory committee, the department, division and college curriculum councils. All students are expected to complete the entire course of study in order to be properly prepared to obtain gainful employment in the legal profession.

In the event a student has a degree from an accredited institution that is not generally accepted by Santa Ana College, then on a case by case basis the department will review the petition and determine if the student has met the 18 units of general education required for the certificate.

          PRODEDURE:  The student shall submit the Petition to substitute or waive major requirements for degrees and certificates to the department chair’s office in A 107-13.  Included with the petition shall be attached a sealed official transcript from the issuing institution, a copy of the official transcript.  The student shall supply the department with a list of courses that meet the general education requirements of the American Bar Association, a copy of the catalog entry for each course and a copy of the course syllabus.  The student shall add their email address to the petition.  Once the department has reviewed the petition the student will be informed via email of the department’s decision. 

In the event a student is working under a catalog that has a course required (Para 143 and 144 for example) and said courses are no longer being offered, the department will review the petition and allow for the substitution of an appropriate Paralegal course (Para 145 for 143 and 144.)

          PRODEDURE:  The student shall submit the Petition to substitute or waive major requirements for degrees and certificates to the department chair’s office in A 107-13.  The petition shall state which course is no longer offered, such as Para 143 or 144 and the course to be substituted, which in this case would be the new course Para 145.  The student shall include the email address for notification of the department decision.