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Community Access FAQ

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Am I eligible for Community Access?

Community Access enrollment is possible if space is available. The instructor must sign your Community Access petition indicating permission to enroll in a course or approve your request via the Course Request email form. You must meet the prerequisites for the courses and be prepared to show evidence to the instructor.

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How many units of Community Access credit applies to a Cal Poly degree?

A maximum of 36 units of Community Access credit and other extension credit may be applied towards a Cal Poly bachelor's degree. No more than 12 quarter units (8 semester units) of approved Community Access credit may be counted if taken prior to submission of a formal study plan for a graduate degree.

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How can I get tax credits for educational expenses?

Please consult with your tax advisor. You may also refer to the Extended Education Policies.

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What if I received a "W" or a "WU" as a final grade?

If you complete the withdrawal process after the last day of the third week of the quarter, you will receive a "W" (withdrawal) notation as a final grade. Failure to complete the withdrawal process may result in a "WU" (withdrawal unauthorized) which is equivalent to a failing grade.

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Do I get a Cal Poly ID?

The first Tuesday or Thursday after your registration is processed, call the PolyCard Customer Service office at 756-2614 or 756-5939 to see when your PolyCard will be available. You will need to provide your Cal Poly email address and pay a $5 fee. The PolyCard Customer Service Office is open Monday - Friday, 7:30 am - 7:00 pm during the quarter or 8:00 am - 4:00 pm during breaks.

The PolyCard Office has moved to Building 46

The PolyCard Office has moved to the Natatorium (Building 46) where it is co-located with the Service Desk in the Information Service Department. For more information, including a link to Campus Dining customer service, go to the PolyCard website. If you have emergency PolyCard issues when the office is closed, contact the PolyCard office at ext. 6-2614.

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What are the benefits of getting a Cal Poly ID Card (PolyCard)?

You can use your PolyCard for access to the campus library including online library services, the Campus Express Club, laser printing in campus computer labs, access to the Recreation Center plus other services offered on campus. Some services are limited for Community Access students. Click here for more information on using your Cal Poly ID.

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What is my Empl ID and how do I get it?

Your Empl ID is your student ID number that will be issued to you automatically after you register and pay your registration fees. You may get your Empl ID from "My Cal Poly portal".

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What is "My Cal Poly Portal"?

"My Cal Poly Portal" is a web portal that features information and services. Through your Cal Poly Portal you can access:

  • Empl ID
  • Course Information
  • PolyLearn
  • Email
  • Campus Announcements
  • Events
  • Plus other campus activities

"My Cal Poly Portal" can be accessed the day after your registration is processed. You must call the Cal Poly Service Desk at 756-7000 to have your password initialized. To learn more about "My Cal Poly Portal", download this PDF.

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What if I have a Cal Poly registration hold?

You will need to clear all holds before enrolling through Community Access.

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How will I know I'm registered in a class?

You will see the courses that you have registered in on your portal.

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Do I need a permission number to enroll in a class?

You do not need a permission number to enroll in courses through Community Access but you do need the instructor's approval and signature or email approval.

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How can I find out if my courses will meet my degree requirements?

You should contact your academic advisor at the institution offering your degree to determine if your courses will meet degree requirements.

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How do I get a Cal Poly email address to communicate with my teachers and other students?

After submitting your registration forms and fees, you will be assigned a Cal Poly email address. You will need to ACTIVATE your email address which you can do the day after your registration is processed by calling the Cal Poly Service Desk at (805) 756-7000. Click here for information on how to activate your email address (PDF).

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What if my instructor uses online delivery for course material through PolyLearn?

You can access PolyLearn from your Cal Poly Portal. You can activate your portal the day after your registration is processed by calling 756-7000.

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What if I can't find an open class?

If you are having difficulty finding a class, you are encouraged to view the schedule of classes and/or contact academic departments for enrollment availability.

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Can I audit a class?

You may audit a class through Community Access by completing the Community Access registration process which includes obtaining the instructor's and department chair's signatures and paying the appropriate fees. To request the audit, you will need to complete and have the instructor sign a Grade Option form. Download the Grade Option Change/Audit Request form (PDF) or pick it up at the Extended Education Office (Jespersen Hall, Building 116). Please refer to the calendar for deadlines.

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If I am a matriculated Cal Poly student, can I take courses through Community Access?

If you are considered a matriculated Cal Poly student, you may not enroll in classes through Community Access.

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Can I repeat a Cal Poly course for a better grade through Community Access?

The Cal Poly repeat rules apply to Community Access courses as well. If you are repeating a D or F you are eligible for the grade forgiveness policy, meaning that both grades will be recorded on the transcript but only the most recent grade will be reflected in the gpa calculations. If you are repeating a course with a grade of C- or above, both grades will be recorded on your transcript and averaged in your gpa calculations.

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What if I am subject to academic disqualification or have been dismissed from Cal Poly?

You will need to obtain the appropriate approvals before enrolling through Community Access.

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What if I need to withdraw from a course?

To withdraw from a course you must complete a Petition to Withdraw from a Course form. You may download the Petition to Withdraw (PDF) form here or pick it up at the Cal Poly Extended Education office. The instructor's and department chair/head's signatures are required. The approved withdrawal form must be received by Cal Poly Extended Education no later than 4:30 pm on the last day of classes.

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What is the refund policy?

The Community Access refund policy is the same as the campus refund policy. Please click here for complete refund information.

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Can I change my grading option?

You may change your grading option to CR/NC by completing a Grade Option Change/Audit Request form (PDF) available for download or at the Extended Education Office (Jesperson Hall, Building 116). Please refer to the calendar for deadlines.

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How do I access my grades?

You can access your grades through "My Cal Poly Portal" beginning the first Tuesday after finals week. If you have not activated your portal, Click here for instructions to access your Web Portal (PDF).

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How do I get an official transcript of my record?

You may request an official transcript of your record through the Academic Records Office (Building 1, Room 222). For more information on requesting an official transcript go to registrar.calpoly.edu/stu_info/trans_orders.htm.

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Can I receive financial aid?

Only students currently enrolled in a Cal Poly degree program may receive state or federal aid. You may qualify for private loans depending upon the financial institution.

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Where can I buy my textbooks?

You may purchase your textbooks and other course materials from the Cal Poly University Store. For more information about the University Store.

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Do I need a parking permit to park on Campus?

Parking permits are required, 7:00 am to 10:00 pm, Monday through Thursday and 7:00 am to 5:00 pm on Friday during Fall, Winter, Spring Quarter, and 7:00 am to 5:00 pm during Summer Quarter and academic breaks. All other parking restrictions (red zone, disabled, etc.) apply 24 hours, 7 days a week. Parking permits are not valid in metered parking spaces.

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Where do I get a parking permit?

You may purchase a parking permit from the University Cashier's Office in the Administration Building, Room 133E: the University Police Department or from the Visitor Information Center at the Grand Avenue entrance. You may also purchase daily permits from mechanical dispensers throughout campus. Click here for more information on parking and parking fees.

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Can I use the Cal Poly Health Center?

Only students admitted to a Cal Poly degree program paying the additional Health Center Fees are eligible to use Health Center Services.

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Can I use the Cal Poly Recreation Center?

After submitting your registration forms and fees you can pay a membership fee to the Recreation Center in order to gain access. You will also need a Cal Poly ID (PolyCard) and you must be at least 16 years old.

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